The Brit List: The 10 Most British Towns in America

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago’s Sears Tower has been re-christened Willis Tower after a British company. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Chicago’s many parks, free zoo, vast lake, hip restaurants, seemingly endless festivals and amazing architecture have all helped to create a busy British community of 500,000 people employed by big names like HSBC, Aviva, First Group and Dyson.

The annual British car festival is a fixture that builds on a history that dates back to Charlie Chaplin making his classic film The Tramp in Chicago. In 1964, the Rolling Stones recorded their first U.K. No. 1 hit, “It’s All Over Now,” at Chess Studios on South Michigan Avenue.

But the British stock plummeted three years ago when the London insurance firm, Willis Group, renamed the iconic Sears Tower, America’s tallest, after itself. That sparked a storm of protest, but it is now an established part of the landscape.

NEXT: Baltimore, Maryland

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William Kay

Bill Kay was a London business journalist until he emigrated to Pasadena, ten miles north of Los Angeles, from where he writes a financial advice column for the London Sunday Times. He was City Editor of The Times and the Mail on Sunday and has written a dozen books, including a Pasadena murder-mystery novel, as well as dipping into screenwriting and stand-up comedy. He attended Westminster City School and The Queen's College, Oxford, and still manages to follow Chelsea Football Club. He has two adult sons, Andrew and Ben - and two grandchildren, Jackson and Indiana - all in London.

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