Tuesday, November 20, 2018

November 20, 1897 -- Milk Dealers Head to Court

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November 20, 1897 – Warrants are sworn out for the arrest of 55 milk dealers who are charged with selling milk and cream below a standard mandated by city ordinance.  For two weeks, the Milk Inspection Bureau has been collecting samples of milk from the wagons of dealers, and these 55 dealers are the first to be charged with their arraignment scheduled for November 23.  Folks who lived in the rapidly growing city were far removed from the cows that provided their milk, so milk sellers “acted as middlemen between farmers and townspeople .., [and] were widely mistrusted and said to possess neither character, nor decency of manner, nor cleanliness.” [neatorama.com] It was common to dilute whole milk with water or other substances, which was not only an illegal practice but a dangerous one since no one knew the purity of the substance with which the milk was diluted.  Add to that the “swill milk” practice by which distilleries kept herds of dairy cattle on the premises, fed the cows the residue of the alcohol manufacturing process, and milked the sorry creatures until the day they died. Because this milk was thin and had a bluish color, distillers added flour, starch, chalk or plaster of Paris to make the milk sellable.  In the early 1890’s the city created an ordinance that finally got around to dealing with the problem.  One section of the ordinance is pretty emphatic, not to mention graphic:  “Whoever, by himself, or by his servant or agent, employe or milk wagon driver, or as the servant, agent, emplye or milk wagon driver or any other person, firm or corporation, sells, offers for sale, exchanges, delivers or transports or carries for the purpose of sale, exchange, or delivery, or has in his custody, possession, care or control, with intent to sell, offer for sale, exchange or delivier, or express or offers for sale, exchange, transportation or delivery, any milk or cream, for human food, which is unclean, diluted, impure, unhealthy, diseased, unwholesome, adulterated or not of the standard of good quality provided for by this ordinance, or milk or cream produced from sick or diseased cows, or milk or cream produced from cows kept in an unclean, filthy or unhealthy condition, or milk or cream from cows fed on the refuse or slops from distilleries, vinegar factories or any similar slops, mash or refuse or on any other than good or wholesome food, or milk or cream that has been exposed to, or contaminated or affected by the emanations, discharges or exhalations from any human beings or animals sick with any contagious or infectious diseases by which the health or life of any person may be endangered, compromised or in any way affected, shall be deemed guilty of misdemeanor and, on conviction thereof, shall for a first offense be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars and for each subsequent offense by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than two hundred dollars.”  A misdemeanor and fine wasn’t much, but at least it was a start.


November 20, 1907 – The president of the South Parks Commission, Henry G. Foreman, proposes a set of plans that will move the city closer to becoming the “Paris of America.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 21, 1907] The huge plan involves widening Michigan Avenue north of Twelfth Street to seventy feet with a space for plants and flowers and trees 16 feet wide on the east side of the street.  “Huge vases or urns filled with brilliant flowers or green vines placed at intervals along the curb – that is the dream of Mr. Foreman which has a good chance of becoming a quick reality ...” reports the paper.  Jackson Boulevard would also be improved with additional lighting, floral displays, and the removal of canopies and signs on the street. Foreman says, “These boulevards downtown should be boulevards in something beside the name.  I feel sure that a small expenditure for improvements of such character as I have suggested would transform Michigan avenue and Jackson boulevard from their present appearance of ordinary city streets, and the change would be most welcome to all the people.”  The grainy photo above from the Chicago Daily News archives, taken in 1908, looks north from Washington Boulevard and shows that Michigan Avenue could probably have stood some improvement at the time.


November 20, 1942 – Fire Commissioner Michael J. Corrigan blames the lack of water hydrants for complicating the extinguishing of a massive fire at the 82-acre Chrysler B-29 engine plant under construction on a site bordered by Cicero Avenue and Pulaski Road on the east and west and Seventy-First and Seventy-Seventh Streets on the north and south.  The power plant for the facility is destroyed before the flames can be brought under control in a 3-11 alarm fire that forces fire fighters to run hose lines for more than a mile along Cicero Avenue.  Ground was broken for the massive plant in June of 1942 with construction following designs by architect Albert Khan, plans that used half the steel that conventional plants of similar types had used.  By March of 1943, despite the fire, “16 buildings at the complex had come on line.  The complex ultimately used 4.3 million bricks, housed over 6,000 machine tools, had 23 cafeterias for thousands of employees, was able to handle 10 million gallons of water a day . . . Over 16,000 were employed in building the plant; and 1,200 Chrysler personnel were involved in planning and layout of the manufacturing.”  [www.allpar.com] Today as you pass by the headquarters for Tootsie Roll Industries and the Ford City shopping mall on Cicero Avenue, you are looking at a site that once turned out 18,413 engines for 3,628 B-29 airplanes.

Monday, November 19, 2018

November 19, 1942 -- Chicago Plan Commission Receives City's Master Plan


November 19, 1942 – A huge plan for “revitalizing” [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 20, 1942] the central part of the city is brought before the Chicago Plan Commission by H. Evert Kincaid, the Director of the Master Plan Division.  The plan includes “a helicopter field, park areas with underground parking lots, consolidation of railroad terminals, and a civic center” bounded by Jackson Boulevard, and Madison, Wells and Clinton Streets.  That plan would concentrate office buildings west of State Street, and would redevelop residential districts north of Chicago Avenue.  A proposal to relocate the Dearborn Street, LaSalle Street, and Baltimore and Ohio railroad stations to a site south of Taylor Street near State Street is also a part of the plan.  The helicopter field would be placed north of the new civic center and west of the river.  The Romanesque Grand Central Station, pictured above, was one of the stations for elimination as a new central terminal provided a more expedient way of getting railroad passengers in and out of the city.  It made it until 1971 when it was torn down after 81 years of service.  The site on which it stood is the site of a multi-residential building development called Southbank which will offer as many as 2,700 units i five high rises that surround a two-acre park. 



November 19, 1929 – The formal inauguration of Dr. Robert Maynard Hutchins as the fifth president of the University of Chicago is held.  Noting the ceremony a Chicago Daily Tribune editorial states, “Chicago has reason to be proud of the great institution which bears its name and speaks for its highest aspiration before the world, an institution which we hope will be profoundly American though of world wide influence, a congregation of scholars, a mother of leaders in all fields of learning and honorable activity. And in this faith Chicago welcomes the new president upon the threshold of what we hope and believe will be a great accomplishment.”  The selection of Hutchins was wise. Despite his age – he was barely 30-years-old when he assumed the office – he gave 64 public addresses in his first year at the university and appeared regularly on the radio and on the pages of popular magazines, raising his profile along with that of the school.  During his tenure Hutchins re-organized the graduate departments into four academic divisions of the biological sciences, humanities, physical sciences, and social sciences, establishing a separate College for each division and unifying all undergraduate work under one dean.  In 1939 he gained the support of the university trustees and eliminated varsity football. Under his leadership the university prospered, moving steadily forward during the 1930’s on money from generous donors during the previous decades and on funds from the Rockefeller Foundation.  World War II saw millions of dollars in government contracts come to the university; in fact, the old football field was the site in which the Manhattan Project developed the atomic bomb.  A staunch defender of academic freedom and proponent of world peace, Hutchins resigned in 1951 to become an associate director of the newly-formed Ford Foundation.



November 19, 1978 – The Chicago Tribune reports on the “waterfront dream” of architect Harry Weese as he explains the vision for Wolf Point Landings that he has nurtured for over 15 years.  “I first saw it back then and realized it would be a marvelous site for a new town of as many as 30,000 people,” says Weese.  [Chicago Tribune, November 19, 1978]  Back in the early 1960’s Weese bought a piece of river front land at Kinzie and Canal streets for about $12,000.  It was not a great source of comfort to him.  “I had always wanted a stretch of waterfront property.  I wanted to park my boat there, but I was afraid of vandals,” he said.  Times change, though, and in the preceding week new plans are announced for a huge residential project of two new condominium buildings, a 22-story residential building between Lake Street and Grand Avenue and the renovation of the North American Cold Storage building on Canal Street, a project that will create 122 residential units.  Weese was rhapsodic about the project, especially the view, saying, “We have very nice diagonal views of Water Tower Place and the entire Loop area to the south.  And to the west, we’re wide open.  We’ll see great sunsets, and a marvelous view of O”Hare Field.”  The view is considerably different these days.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

November 18, 1971 -- Soldier Field Renovation Study Released

stadiumsofprofootbal.com
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November 18, 1971 – A special study committee headed by the city’s Commissioner of Public Works, Milton Pikarsky, presents a plan to Mayor Richard J. Daley which will renovate Solider Field, transforming it into a multi-use structure for between $14 million and $22.3 million.  The plan offers two options, the first of which would cost $13,996,264 and would include basic maintenance work and an increase in seating capacity.  The second option is more extensive, and includes “new seating in the south end zone, renovation of the west side press box, new team facilities, new electrical system,new lighting for the north end, new ticket booths, 10,000 seat movable bleachers and new ramps.” [Chicago Tribune, November 19, 1971]  That option would cost $22,329,303.  The present seating capacity of the stadium would be increased from 54,430 to 62,260.  In addition to Pikarsky, the members of the study committee include architects Jerome R. Butler, Jr.,  William Hartman, Charles F. Murphy, Jr. and Jerold Loebel.  It would not be until 1978 that the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Park District would agree on a 20-year lease and, at long last, the renovation of the aging facility.  This patchwork project would carry the stadium until January of 2002 when it was re-built from the ground up in a $400 million project that gave the city a 61,500 venue with two video-boards, 8,000 club seats and 133 luxury suites, along with a 2,500-space underground parking facility.  Comparing the two photos shows a pretty striking change from the old to the new.


November 18, 1911 – Harriet Monroe announces that she has garnered thirty pledges of $250.00, seed money for a new publication dedicated exclusively to poetry.  The magazine will allow young and unknown poets a forum that is largely non-existent in periodicals of the time.  Monroe says, “The average magazine editor’s conception of good verse is verse that will fill out a page.  No editor is looking for long poetry.  He wants something light and convenient.  Consequently, a Milton might be living in Chicago today and be unable to find an outlet for his verse… In other words, the modern English speaking world says ‘Shut up!’ to its poets, a condition so unnatural, so destructive to new inspiration, that I believe it can be only temporary and absurd.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 19, 1911] Monroe nurtured the magazine from the start, reaching out to poet Ezra Pound at the outset … it was Pound who forwarded the unpublished T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” to Monroe, and Poetry was the first magazine in which the poem was published.  Monroe died in 1936 of a stroke, but under the leadership of the editors that followed the magazine continued its excellence until in 2002 Ruth Lilly made a bequest of more than 100 million dollars to the magazine and its foundation.  One of the offshoots of the bequest is the amazing Poetry Center, designed by John Ronan at 61 West Superior Street, a building that contains a 30,000-volume poetry library, an exhibition gallery, a performance space for public events, and offices for the foundation and the magazine.


November 18, 1863 – As a result of a collision that has destroyed the Rush Street Bridge, all traffic across the river, north and south, is directed across the bridge at Clark Street.  Chaos.  According to the Chicago Tribune, “Yesterday afternoon, the bridge was open for a few minutes, to allow a number of vessels to pass, and the omnibuses, drays, hacks, family carriages, farmers’ wagons, etc, collected until the street was completely filled at the bridge, and extending into Lake street some distance, and for fully two squares south on Clark street.  Teams became restless, wagons got tangled and wedged in, drivers swore and scolded, each claiming the right of way, etc.”  The paper uses the commotion to editorialize in favor of quickly filling subscriptions to build a new bridge at State Street, following up on the city’s offer to provide half of the cost of the bridge if businesses and companies would supply the other half, an amount of about $14,000.  The completed State Street Bridge is shown in the 1868 photo above.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

November 17, 1964 -- Lake Shore Drive Promenade Ordered

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November 17, 1964 – The Superintendent of the Cook County Highway Department, Andrew V. Plummer, issues orders to remove the remainder of the detour around the grade separation at Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue.  In place of the detour a 4,000-foot long promenade will be built.  The work is expected to be completed by the time warm weather arrives in 1965, providing a thousand-foot long sandy beach.  A walkway at the top of the steps leading down to the beach will also be part of the project.  There will also be a paved section along the water line from North Avenue to Oak Street. The lovely lakefront walk east of Lake Shore Drive that we enjoy today is born on this day in 1964. The above photo shows the area in which Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive came together at Oak Street before the L.S.D. was swung farther to the east and the promenade created.


November 17, 1908 – The Commercial Club of Chicago offers a new plan for a connection between the north and south side to the Board of Local Improvements.  The plan diverges from earlier plans in that it offers “a wider boulevard, 240 feet north of Randolph street, a lower elevation at its highest point, access to the roadway from the buildings along the elevated roadway … and a double street with a double-decked bridge across the river.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 17, 1908] The 90-foot wide bridge will be able to run at a right angle to the river, connecting Beaubien Court on the south side of the river to Pine Street on the north. The  official statement of the Commercial Club reads, “Congestion in the heart of Chicago could be relieved if certain streets were much widened and improved.  It is clear, however, that none of the streets in the district bounded by Van Buren street, Michigan avenue, and the river can ever be appreciably broadened … Michigan avenue, already a wide street, and easily widened still more in Grant park, must then be the great base of street circulation in Chicago, the foundation of a system of encircling and bisecting highways … The conclusion is plain: Michigan avenue is probably destined to carry the heaviest movement of any street in the world.  Any boulevard connection in Michigan avenue which fails to recognize the basic importance of Michigan avenue will be a waste of money.” The statement sets the stage for the next big contribution that the Commercial Club will make to city planning, the great Chicago Plan of 1909.  “A special investigation made under our direction,” the statement reads, “discloses the fact that the people of Chicago have, during the last twenty-five years, expended no less that $222,000,000 in permanent improvements.  It is estimated that not less than 40 per cent of this vast sum has been wasted because specific improvements were made without reference to a comprehensive city plan, and were, therefore, found to be inadequate … This great improvement will come because it is part of a plan which provides a basis of street circulation and which will weld and unify the three detached sides of Chicago; because it improves facilities for commercial traffic and at the same time preserves for the people the uninterrupted use of their greatest and most attractive highway.”  Criticism arrives quickly as the Michigan Avenue Improvement Association issues a statement saying in part, “… we shall not regard any elevated structure as less than a monumental and wasteful blunder.”  The above photo shows Michigan Avenue as it appeared in 1902.


November 17, 1965 – McCormick Place celebrates its fifth birthday as the building’s general manager, Edward J. Lee, announces that 17,013,515 people have been through the facility since it first opened its doors.  Events open to the public account for 41.8 per cent of the attendance while commercial, industrial, trade and professional shows account for 32.3 per cent.  The exhibition hall’s Arie Crown Theater did not open until the spring of 1961, but it still drew 2,174,510 people. The largest attendance for any one event in the hall was for the Billy Graham Greater Chicago Crusade in 1962, which drew 44,840 people.  Also notable was the first stockholders’ meeting ever held outside of New York City for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in April of 1961.  On that occasion 18,458 stockholders attended the annual event, and each of them was served lunch.  It would be only 14 months before two-thirds of the great convention hall on the lake would be destroyed in less than 45 minutes in a devastating fire.

Friday, November 16, 2018

November 16, 1934 -- Beverly Shores to Get World's Fair Homes


November 16, 1934 – The Robert Bartlett Realty Company of Chicago purchases six model homes that were exhibited at the Century of Progress World’s Fair with plans to take them by barge to Beverly Shores in Indiana.  The six homes scheduled for the move are the Rostone home, the Cypress cottage, the Florida tropical house, the Armeco-Ferra home, and the House of Tomorrow, along with a contemporary rendering of a farmhouse.  A pier, 40 feet in width, will be built extending 200 feet into Lake Michigan at the Indiana development where the homes will be located to permit relocation of the homes.  Robert Bartlett says, “The reason we bought these model homes is that they represent what we find are the most outstanding examples of modern home building, combining beauty and practical value.  We believe they will have a decided influence on home building in metropolitan Chicago.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 17, 1934]  According to the Indiana Landmarks website, “In hindsight, perhaps it’s not exactly shocking that Bartlett’s dream of creating a tony lakeside resort community in the middle of the depression failed.” In 1966 the United States National Park Service took over the area, which incorporated Beverly Shores into the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  This arrangement provided little motivation for occupants of the homes to maintain them.  In the early 2000’s, however, Indiana Landmarks partnered with the National Park Service, leasing the homes form the federal agency and then subleasing them to people who were responsible for restoring them according to a strict contract. Four of the five homes have been restored under this arrangement.  The House of Tomorrow, designed by George Fred Keck, is in the process of receiving the same kind of love and may require over $2 million in restoration. The Florida house is shown above.  An excellent explanation of the five homes, their history, and their rehabilitation can be found here. 



November 16, 1953 – At 6:00 a.m. Dearborn and Clark Streets become one way roadways with Clark used for southbound traffic from Kinzie Street to Harrison with Dearborn handling northbound traffic from Polk to Hubbard Streets.  The city’s commissioner of streets and sanitation, Lloyd M. Johnson, says that the new one-way streets will help increase the flow of traffic through the Loop.  The above photos show Dearborn Street in 1953, looking south from Hubbard and the same street as it appears today.


November 16, 1892 – With 29 miles of the land for the proposed Sanitary and Ship Canal channel from the Chicago River to within a mile of Lockport under contract, the board of the Chicago Sanitary District considers a motion to appoint a board of consulting engineers to find answers to four pressing issues.  They include:  (1) “the disposal of flood waters from all drainage areas which materially mollify or affect the sanitary condition of the district; (2) the supplemental works and measures within the limits of the Sanitary District best adapted to create a sanitary condition of the same, special reference being had to the exclusion of sewage from the lake and the proper sanitation of the North Branch and tributary territory; (3) the supplemental works and inlets necessary to furnish the main drainage channel with a supply of water from the lake sufficient to fill the requirements of the Sanitary District law in view of the present and probably future population of the district and in view of any incidental and commercial features which may contribute to the best interests of the Sanitary District and the City of Chicago; and (4) the works and treatment needed between the lower end of the Section 14 above Lockport and Lake Joliet to properly dispose of the water brought down by the main channel in addition to the flood water, said works being considered with reference to the ultimate necessity of the General Government constructing a navigable channel throughout the reach connecting with the main channel of the sanitary district and to any incidental commercial advantages which the situation presents.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, December 17, 1892]  In short, the process of reversing the flow of the Chicago River, a project that will consume eight years, has begun.  The above photo shows the great canal under construction four years later in 1906.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

November 15, 1963 -- Grebe Shipbuilding Company Asked to Consider Moving Down the River



November 15, 1953 – The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that the city’s commissioner of public works, Virgil E. Gunlock, has asked the Henry C. Grebe shipbuilding company to “consider” [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 15, 1953] moving its yards in his continuing effort to replace bascule bridges on the North Branch of the river with fixed bridges.  The city estimates that moving the company south of the Cortland Street bridge would save $1,650,000 in a program to replace old bridges at Fullerton Avenue and Diversey Parkway with fixed bridges.  Gunlock says, ‘The economy of the fixed bridges might more than offset the cost of moving the Grebe firm.  However the question of compensation from the city to cover the cost of the suggested moving will not be considered until we find out if the company can and would be willing to move.”  In 1952 the Diversey bridge opened 123 times while the Fullerton Avenue bridge was raised 116.  Raising the height of new fixed bridges by five feet – from the 16 feet allowance of the bascule bridges to 21-foot fixed bridges – would allow “most boats which now navigate the river to continue,” according to Gunlock.  According to shipbuildinghistory.com the Henry C. Grebe and Company was the successor to Great Lakes Boat Building, a firm that started in Milwaukee in 1915 and moved to Chicago in 1921.  It occupied over eight acres of land on the North Branch of the Chicago River at Washtenaw Avenue, a site almost directly across from Riverview Park.  Grebe built “large custom yachts for the wealthy of Chicago and across the country.” [blackhawkacbs.com], including three high-speed boats of 46’, 65’ and 94’ for P. K. Wrigley.  The firm stayed put as the city continued to replace bascule bridges on the North Branch with fixed bridges.  Grebe built its last boat in 1970 but continued to service boats at the site until 1970, a site that is now occupied by the Belmont River Club townhomes.  The top photo shows the site as it looked when Henry C. Grebe occupied the land.  The photo below that shows the site as it appears today.


November 15, 1953 – Dedication of the $1 million Edgewood Junior High School is held in Highland Park. Although the school has been open since September, this is the first chance that the public has had to view the facility which was for a number of years the subject of considerable debate in the North Shore community.  A referendum for the school was first approved in 1948, but the Voters League protested the construction of the school at the time, asserting that the student population of School District 108 was not growing as quickly as had been anticipated.  A second referendum was approved in October, 1951 and construction finally kicked off in July of 1952.  With an enrollment of 487 students it is expected that the new school will meet the needs of the expanding Sherwood Forest section as well as other developments in the southern section of the town for the next five years.


November 15, 1931 – Chicago Airport, today’s Midway International Airport, opens in ceremonies held in front of the new $100,000 passenger terminal at Sixty-Second Street and Cicero Avenue.  The head of the Illinois Aeronautics Commission, Reed G. Landis, presents Mayor Anton Cermak with the state’s first state airport license.  Also on hand are M. C. Meigs, the chairman of the Chicago Aero Commission and Walter Wright, the city’s superintendent of parks and aviation, the man who led the construction of the $774,000 airport.  The highlight of the event is the demonstration of in-flight radio as Pilot S. J. Nelson of United Airlines flies over the airport and broadcasts a message that can be heard over the terminal’s public address system.  At the conclusion of the ceremony Mayor Cermak takes his four grandchildren on a plane ride, courtesy of Century Air Lines.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

November 14, 18677 -- Levi and Leiter Lose Another Store to Flames



thedepartmentstoremuseum.org
November 14, 1877 – For the third time in its history the great department store of Levi Leiter and Marshall Field burns to the ground. The Chicago Daily Tribune reports on the following day, “The destruction of such an amount of property could not but be regarded as a dire calamity at such a time as this, and so, as the news flew round, people left their firesides, their theatres, their billiard-tables, and everything, to crowd to the scene of action.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 15, 1877] In a pouring rain with every fire engine in the city at work, “It seemed as if the entire city had come down-town to witness the terrible scene.”  The first alarm is turned in at 8:04 p.m. after someone sees fire in the fifth story of the building at the corner of State and Washington Streets. Flames are found in a four-foot space at the top of the building that surrounds the central skylight between the north and south elevator shafts.  It does not take long for the fire to spread to the grease on the elevator wheels and pulleys and from there into the elevator shafts themselves, moving downward, floor by floor.  Sixteen minutes after the alarm is turned in, a 2-11 alarm is sounded, but the streams of water from the fire hoses cannot reach the top floor of the building.  Fire fighters are forced to run hoses directly into the interior of the great store, which at its center has an atrium, 40 feet by 90 feet, that extends all the way to the roof.  Hoses are dragged up to the third and fourth floors and from those points of attack “the brave firemen played upon the heat and fury of the fire until either stricken down by falling plaster and rafters, suffocated by the smoke, or driven from their positions by the heat.”  It isn’t until 3:00 a.m. that the fire is finally brought under control, and two fire fighters die in the effort to extinguish the blaze.  By November 18 men are put to work, bracing the fourth floor which looked “as though it might come down at any time like a huge avalanche, and bury in its downward flight any who might be so unfortunate as to be within reach of even its shadow.”  The insurance companies enlist over 200 men in salvage work, and on the sidewalks of State and Washington Streets there began a massive “fortification, made of cords upon cords of cottons, flannels, silks, white goods, mattresses, dress goods, parasols, kid gloves and umbrellas.”  In places the pile reaches six feet high and over 15 feet wide.  The huge mass of goods is carted two blocks to the northern part of the Exposition building on Michigan Avenue, where insurance adjusters estimate that from $175,000 to $200,000 worth of goods might be saved. Two years later Field and Leiter open their fourth store in the same location, and in 1881 Marshall Field buys out Levi Leiter and renames the firm Marshall Field and Company.  The top photo shows the 1868 store that burned in the Great Fire of 1871.  The middle photo shows the store that burned in 1877.  The last photo shows the store that opened in 1879.


November 14, 1964 – The Chicago Tribune reports that the city’s first “skyscraper condominium,” [Chicago Tribune, November 14, 1964] at 339 Barry Avenue is nearly 50 percent sold out.  Jack Hoffman, the president of F & S Construction Company, the developer of the property, says, “Thirty condo homes of the 67 in the building have been sold to date, with families moving in at the rate of two a week.”  The $2.5 million reinforced concrete building’s 26 stories overlook Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan and features units from less than $25,000 for a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment on the third floor to $58,000 for a four-bedroom three-bath unit on the twenty-fifth floor.  Hoffman says, “We find that about half of the owners are fairly young families who previously rented but who now want to build an equity through ownership while the other half are former home owners who want ownership without the bother of keeping up a house.”  That twenty-fifth floor today?  A three-bedroom unit on the floor sold on April 13, 2017 for $715,000.


November 14, 1978 – Architect Harry Weese introduces his $90 million plan for Wolf Point Landings, a development that will fill “a strategic gap in the development of the city.”  [Chicago Tribune, November 15, 1978]  The center of the project will be the renovation of the North American Cold Storage Building with the addition of two new residential structures on a six-acre site just to the north with amenities that include a 40-boat marina, a riverside boardwalk, and a public park.  The plans call for 776 owner-owned residential units in the three buildings with a total of 1,771,000 square feet of living space.  Projected prices for units in the renovated cold storage building are expected to run from $55,000 to $110,000 with a completion date of 1980.  Completion of the two towers, Kinzie Terrace and Wolf Tower, is expected sometime during 1981.  Weese says of the project, “Wolf Point Landings is designed to fill a void, a place where you can walk to work and enjoy the environment.”  Fulton House, as it is known today, is shown in the above photo as it looked in 1976 when it was the North American Cold Storage Warehouse.