Boeing blows into the Windy City

Associated Press

CHICAGO — The Boeing Co. opened its new corporate headquarters for business Tuesday, becoming Chicago’s biggest company less than six months after its stunning announcement that it was leaving Seattle for a more central location.

A day ahead of the official welcoming ceremony by city and Illinois leaders, about three dozen peace activists staged what they called an "unwelcome" for the arrival of a company that had $11.8 billion in military sales last year.

Protest signs called Boeing a "merchant of death," objected to the $53 million in state and local incentives the company is getting and carried messages such as "Boeing Makes War Machines" and "Stop the New Arms Race!"

Kevin Martin, executive director of National Peace Action, drew cheers when he declared that Boeing "works for war" and paraphrased Dr. Seuss to illustrate continued opposition to the aerospace and military giant:

"We do not welcome you here,

"We do not welcome you there,

"We would not welcome you anywhere."

Boeing likely will get a much warmer, if less poetic, reception Wednesday when Mayor Richard Daley and Gov. George Ryan are to speak at the downtown office tower on the Chicago River.

Chairman and chief executive officer Phil Condit, whose business trip away from Chicago forced the welcome to be scheduled for Day 2, issued a statement saying: "Boeing is in the midst of many exciting changes, and our new world headquarters in Chicago is part of our ongoing transformation. We intend to grow our enterprise here and create businesses that open frontiers and advance technology, while allowing our business leaders in other locations to drive their businesses to their full potential."

About 200 Boeing employees began work Tuesday at the new building, where Boeing has leased the top 12 of 36 floors. That number is expected to grow to no more than 400 or 500 employees — just 0.2 percent of the company’s work force — with nearly 80,000 still in the Seattle area at Boeing’s commercial airplane manufacturing operations.

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

FILE - In this file photo dated Monday, March 11, 2019, rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The number of deaths in major air crashes around the globe fell by more than half in 2019 according to a report released Wednesday Jan. 1, 2020, by the aviation consultancy To70, revealing the worst crash for the year was an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX on March 10 that lost 157 lives. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene, FILE)
US board says Boeing Max likely hit a bird before 2019 crash

U.S. accident investigators disagree with Ethiopian authorities over the cause of a 2019 Boeing 737 Max crash.

Paddywack co-owner Shane Somerville with the 24-hour pet food pantry built by a local Girl Scout troop outside of her store on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
An out-paw-ring of support: Mill Creek pantry feeds pets, day or night

With help from local Girl Scouts, the Mill Creek pet food store Paddywack is meeting the need for pet supplies in a pinch.

Kelly Cameron is the woodworker behind Clinton-based business Turnco Wood Goods. (David Welton)
Whidbey woodworkers turn local lumber into art

In the “Slab Room” at Madrona Supply Co., customers can find hunks of wood native to the south end of Whidbey Island.

Siblings Barbara Reed and Eric Minnig, who, co-own their parent’s old business Ken’s Camera along with their brother Bryan, stand outside the Evergreen Way location Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in Everett, Washington. After five decades in business, Ken’s will be closing its last two locations for good at the end of the year. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Print it or lose it: Ken’s Camera closes after decades caught on film

The local legend, processing film photos since 1971, will close its locations in Mount Vernon and Everett at the end of 2022.

Barb Lamoureux, 78, poses for a photo at her office at 1904 Wetmore Ave in Everett, Washington on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. Lamoureux, who founded Lamoureux Real Estate in 2004, is retiring after 33 years. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Barb Lamoureux, ‘North Everett’s Real Estate Agent’ retires

A longtime supporter of Housing Hope, Lamoureux helped launch the Windermere Foundation Golf Tournament.

IonQ will open a new quantum computing manufacturing and research center at 3755 Monte Villa Parkway in Bothell. (Photo courtesy of IonQ)
Quantum computing firm IonQ to open Bothell R&D center

IonQ says quantum computing systems are key to addressing climate change, energy and transportation.

Bothell
AGC Biologics in Bothell to produce new diabetes treatment

The contract drug manufacturer paired with drug developer Provention Bio to bring the new therapy to market.

Nathanael Engen, founder of Black Forest Mushrooms, sits in the lobby of Think Tank Cowork with his 9-year-old dog, Bruce Wayne, on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Growing green mushrooms in downtown Everett

The founder of Black Forest Mushrooms plans to grow gourmet mushrooms locally, reducing their carbon footprint.

FILE - In this Monday, March 23, 2020, file photo, a worker walks near a mural of a Boeing 777 airplane at the company's manufacturing facility in Everett, Wash., north of Seattle. Beginning in 2024, some 737 planes will be built in Everett, the company announced to workers on Monday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
With 747 out, Boeing to open new 737 Max line at Everett’s Paine Field

Since the last 747 rolled out of the factory, speculation has been rife that Boeing might move some 737 Max production to Everett.

Most Read