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CNA Plaza

Built in 1972, the CNA Plaza building is one of the most recognizable structures on Chicago's skyline due to its bright red color scheme. Periodically, CNA displays messages on the 44-floor building by configuring lights in each of the windows, creating displays on all four sides.

CNA Plaza (Chicago, Illinois)

CNA Plaza - "Big Red" About CNA Plaza
Learn about the history of CNA Plaza, including its original name, associated buildings, how it compares to other structures in the area, and where it's located on Chicago's famous skyline -- take a closer look at the structure that has been affectionately nicknamed "Big Red"

CNA Plaza - "Go Sox" window message Go Sox
As the Chicago White Sox started their playoff trek during the 2005 baseball season, CNA Plaza debuted a "Go Sox" lighted window display to show support. This specific message was featured on various news outlets in the Windy City.

CNA Plaza - Breast Cancer Awareness lighted window display Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Continuing an ongoing trend of window displays that showed enthusiasm for noble causes, during October 2005 CNA debuted a ribbon design to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Rerun: The design returned October 2006
Rerun: ...and once again in October 2007


CNA Plaza - "Sox Win" window message Sox Win
With the World Series win by the Chicago White Sox in October 2005, CNA Plaza celebrated the victory via a "Sox Win" lighted window message. This type of display from the folks at CNA encouraged civic pride and helped spotlight the amazing sports victory.

CNA Plaza - Christmas Ribbon lighted window display Christmas Ribbon
During Christmas 2005, CNA Plaza was thematically wrapped in a ribbon, courtesy of window lights turned on and off. This particular design took advantage of the boxy nature of the building.

More info: Plans for the ribbon

CNA Plaza - "Go Bears" window message Go Bears
As the Chicago Bears headed into an NFL playoff game against the Carolina Panthers during January 2006, CNA Plaza expressed support for the Monsters of the Midway with a "Go Bears" message.

Rerun: Sunday Night Football, September 2006
Rerun: Sunday Night Football, December 2006
Media: Chicago Public Radio, January 2007
Media: Chicagoist, January 2007
Media: CBS 2, January 2007
Media: Chicago Tribune, January 2007


CNA Plaza - Chicago Police Department (CPD) lighted window display Chicago Police Department
Chicago celebrated Law Enforcement Appreciation Week during May 2006. One way this was marked was through a lighted window message on CNA Plaza, where the letters "CPD" were displayed on the large sides of the building (for "Chicago Police Department").

CNA Plaza - Chicago Fire Department (CFD) lighted window display Chicago Fire Department
Chicago takes fire very seriously. Sometimes something like the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 forces you to pay attention to such things! In July 2005, CNA Plaza paid tribute to fallen firefighters via the letters "CFD" (for "Chicago Fire Department").

CNA Plaza - "9/11" window message 9/11 Rememberance
The 5th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were remembered at CNA Plaza by opening or closing each of the 1,600 window blinds. During this September 2006 commemoration, both the American flag and the numerals "9 11" were displayed on the building.

CNA Plaza - "Fight AIDS" window message World AIDS Day
The red building hooks up with the red ribbon to observe World AIDS Day. CNA Plaza showcased this lighted window message in December 2006, utilizing a new "Fight AIDS" message on the larger faces of the building and reusing the ribbon illustration from another design.

CNA Plaza - "Happy 2007" window message Happy 2007
To celebrate the coming of 2007, CNA Plaza showcased dual messages on New Year's Eve. While the east face displayed the popular "Go Bears" lighted window message, the west face welcomed Chicago with a new message on the building, "Happy 2007".

CNA Plaza - "Super Bears" window message Super Bears
In the week before the Chicago Bears visit to the Super Bowl, CNA Plaza went super with a "Super Bears" lighted window message. This January 2007 design also featued a bear head and added the roman numerals for the Big Game, "XLI".

CNA Plaza - "'Heart' Bears" window message 'Heart' Bears
The day after the Chicago Bears lost to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI, CNA Plaza expressed love for the defeated team through a heart pattern. This February 2007 design featured a bear head on the north/south faces as well.

CNA Plaza - 2016 Summer Olympics Bid window message 2016 Summer Olympics Bid
To show support for Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, CNA Plaza displayed "2016" during a week of visitations by members of the United States Olympic Committee. This March 2007 design showcased this date on all sides of the building.

CNA Plaza - Looptopia window message Looptopia
In conjunction with Chicago's first all-night "cultural and artistic event showcasing the vibrancy and excitement of Chicago's historic Loop neighborhood," CNA Plaza illuminated the words "Looptopia" on the east facing side of the building in May 2007.

CNA Plaza - Go Cubs Go window message Go Cubs Go
When the Chicago Cubs advanced to the 2007 National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, CNA Plaza expressed support via this "Go Cubs Go" lighted window message. The sign appeared on both the east and west sides of the building in October 2007.

CNA Plaza - American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) window message American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM)
Donning a rare corporate logo in October 2007, CNA Plaza welcomed attendees to the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management annual conference in downtown Chicago. The "ASHRM" logo was emulated on the building, complete with graphical flourishes.

CNA Plaza - AIBA World Boxing Championships window message 2007 AIBA World Boxing Championships
Putting on Chicago's Olympic charm while the city hosted the 2007 AIBA World Boxing Championships, CNA Plaza showcased the event via a "WBC" lighted window message for 4 different nights in October and November 2007. The letters appeared on the east and west sides.

CNA Plaza - American Flag window message American Flag
To celebrate Independence Day in the United States, CNA Plaza showcased its patriotism by displaying an American Flag in July 2008. Similar in design to the 9/11 Rememberance flag, this symbol of our nation appeared on the West and East Sides of the building.

CNA Plaza - Election Day Election Day
As a part of Election Day -- along with the visibility of Barack Obama's rally in Grant Park -- CNA Plaza sported a "VOTE" message along with an American flag in November 2008. The familiar flag was on the West/East Sides, while the text message appeared on North/South.

CNA Plaza - Chicago 2016 Star Logo window message Chicago 2016 Olympics Logo
The International Olympic Committee visited Chicago in April 2009 as part of their evaluation of 4 candidate cities for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. CNA Plaza lit up with a version of the "Star" logo, complimented by "2016" on the sides of the building.

CNA Plaza - Chicago Blackhawks window message Chicago Blackhawks
With the Chicago Blackhawks reaching the NHL Western Conference Finals against the Detroit Red Wings in May 2009, it was time to "Commit to the Indian" on CNA Plaza. The famed Indian head logo was replicated on the East/West sides of the building, with "HAWKS" noted on the sides.

CNA Plaza-inspired 3D models as seen on...
Google Earth

CNA Plaza - 3D Lighted Window Messages in Google Earth CNA Plaza messages in 3D

3D building modeler Thomas Oechsner has taken these CNA Plaza Lighted Window Message photos and created customized buildings that can be viewed in Google Earth.

View the 3D models