United auctions logo, letters from former HQ building
By Gregory Karp | Tribune reporter
The giant United Airlines tulip logo and U-N-I-T-E-D letters from atop the carrier’s former headquarters building on Wacker Drive in Chicago will be auctioned off as a fundraiser, the airline said Friday.
United this week opened its first online silent auction to benefit the United Airlines Scholarship Fund. The logo from 77 W. Wacker is being auctioned separately from the United letters, which will be sold as a set. The auction is open to the public, and bidders can place bids through their smart phones at http://myab.co/events/6e/i/silent.
On Friday morning, the United letters, measuring 5 feet high and weighing up to 75 pounds each, hadn’t received a bid above its starting bid of $1,000. But the tulip logo, used by United since 1974, received a high bid of $2,600. It measures 5 feet high and weighs about 100 pounds. The logo was designed by American graphic designer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Saul Bass.
The logo is no longer used. When United and Continental merged in 2010, the newly formed company adopted United’s name and Continental’s globe logo.
United installed the sign in 2007 when the airline moved its headquarters to Chicago from Elk Grove Village. It was taken down last month when the company moved several blocks to Willis Tower in Chicago.
United is also auctioning off other items including vacation packages, sports tickets and electronics. The auction is open until July 12.
The fund is a nonprofit organization that awards educational scholarships to United employees and their dependents. Since 2002, the fund has awarded 2,161 scholarships worth more than $7 million, the airline said.