Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 1880 -- Pullman Begins

April 24, 1880 – Surveyors begin staking out the site that the Pullman Palace-Car Works and the Allen Paper Car-Wheel Works will occupy and preparations are finalized for opening ceremonies on April 25.  Pullman will be quite a venture as the Chicago Daily Tribune reports, “Before winter comes a new town will be planted between One Hundred and Third and One Hundred and Fifteenth streets.  A population of thousands will be growing where not a young blade grew before.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, April 25, 1880] The erecting shops will have stalls for fifty passenger cars and 100 freight cars at one time.  All the buildings will have electric lights and will be heated with steam.  There will be 7,827,026 cubic feet to be warmed, requiring 230,536 feet of steam pipe.  The Tribune describes the expected grounds to be impressive as well, reporting that “The entire area, half a mile deep by a mile long, will be treated with shrubbery, lawns, serpentine walks, and drives in the best style of landscape art.  A drive two miles long will encircle the shops.  A boulevard 150 feet wide, with a lawn in the centre, will be made of One Hundred and Eleventh street.”  Before cold weather comes this year, close to 2,000 mechanics and laborers would be at work in the new community that would become, almost overnight, the largest suburb of the city.

April 24, 1966 -- The Chicago Tribune reports that as the old Federal building, bounded by Dearborn, Clark, Adams and Jackson, is demolished, the building across Jackson Boulevard, the Monadnock, is coming into clearer view. And the Monadnock, constructed between 1891 and 1893, is getting a major interior renovation. Fluorescent lights, carpets, and new office doors are being installed and the interior is being painted with white walls and dark gray ceilings. When it opened the building was the largest office building in the world and its design a pure statement of farewell to one building technique and a welcome to the next. As Professor Thomas Leslie of Iowa State University wrote, "Far from being the world's last and largest 'masonry skyscraper,' the Monadnock was a profoundly transitional structural achievement, making important advances in steel construction while still relying on the well-proven strength and reliability of masonry." However you approach the Monadnock, it is one heck of a building.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 23, 1970 -- Alta Vista Terrace and Hull House Receive Landmark Status

April 23, 1970 – The Chicago Tribune reports that the Commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks has voted unanimously to give landmark status to two Chicago historical sites – the Hull House mansion at 750 South Halsted Street and a block of 40 row houses on Alta Vista Terrace, not far from Wrigley Field.  The Hull House mansion was built in 1856 for Charles J. Hull, a Chicago real estate broker but by 1910 had become the center for a 13-building complex that was home to the social settlement community of Jane Addams.  The mansion and one other building are the only two structures that remained after the University of Illinois began levelling the area for the building of its Chicago campus.  The Alta Vista terrace area is only the second such district to be designated as a landmark, the first being the area surrounding the Chicago water tower on Michigan Avenue.  Hearings within the month will determine the status of the Leiter I building at 208 West Monroe Street and the Monadnock Building at 55 West Jackson Boulevard.  Leiter I will not make the cut and will be demolished in 1972.  The Monadnock, fortunately, will receive landmark status and will be meticulously restored.

April 23, 1955 -- The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that mass injections of the Salk anti-polio vaccine for Chicago first and second graders in 65 parochial schools will begin on April 25. Herman Bundesen, the president of the Board of Health, also announces that the rest of the 16,200 boys and girls in these schools, along with students in 38 private and five Jewish schools will begin receiving vaccinations on April 26. The first shot will be given by Dr. Bundesen at Immaculate Conception School, 1415 N. Park Avenue. Reverend Monsignor Daniel Cunningham, Superintendent of Catholic schools in the city, will be present as well as Mayor Richard J. Daley. Chicago School Superintendent Benjamin C. Willis reports that shots for public school youngsters will begin on May 2 with 89 percent of parental permission slips for first and second graders already returned.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 22, 1971 -- Dearborn Station Heads into the Sunset

April 22, 1971 – The Chicago Tribune learns that the Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad’s passenger trains will be moved to Union Station, making it certain that the Dearborn Street station will be closed.  Signs are already posted at Dearborn station, notifying passengers that service will be discontinued on April 30.  The passenger operations of the the Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe have been taken over by Amtrak and one of the government agency’s principal goals is to consolidate terminals in Chicago since they eat so much of the operating costs of passenger trains.  Chicago’s commuter trains will maintain their present distribution across several stations on the periphery of downtown.  Consolidation of these trains would add as much as 30 minutes to some routes, defeating the purpose of paying for a 30-minute train ride from the suburbs to the city.  The photo above shows the 1976 demolition of the train sheds that lay south of the station.

April 22, 1862 -- The Chicago Tribune reports that one Frederick Boetiger has filed a grievance with the Chicago Common Council that will be referred to the Finance Committee for a determination of damages. It seems that Boetiger had attempted to make his way into the city by way of Division Street, using "all due care and diligence in traversing the same". However, the street was in such bad condition that his horse became "stalled in the mud of the said street and smothered to death within the city limits." Boetiger sought compensation for his lost animal. The street on the far left of the photo above is the same street poor Mr. Boetiger got stuck on back in 1862.