I'm a fan of tall buildings which announce their presence on the skyline with a large sign on top. It used to be that the signs were as much an advertisement for the city as for the company, with a strong degree of local pride attached. In these days of mergers and multi-national corporations every city will soon have a Bank of America building, and that's a shame. As a kid growing up, I always enjoyed watching the neon umbrella open and shut on top of the Traveler's Insurance building in Des Moines. I was thrilled to learn that Tommy James was inspired to write the hit song "Mony Mony" because from his room in New York City he could see the Mutual of New York sign. In Chicago, the sign for the Tip Top Tap makes me smile, even though the Allerton Hotel can't really be considered a tall building any longer. Likewise the Boston Wharf Company sign in South Boston which, when first erected, must have been impressive, but looks quaint compared to the height of the Federal Reserve Building.
Boston's skyline is a little disappointing because only two tall buildings are allowed to display their names near the top of the building, according to what I've been told. The Prudential Center tower is one and the old State Street Bank building at 225 Franklin Street was the other. Apparently State Street's petition to move their name to their new headquarters at One Lincoln Street was successful because I just looked out my back window and saw "State Street" gracing the top of the tower. I'm a fan of One Lincoln Street's retro architectural detailing and the State Street sign, a symbol of a company with strong local roots, fits right into the overall effect.