Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27, 1933 -- Chicago Federation of Musicians Opens New Headquarters



February 27, 1933 – The new home of the Chicago Federation of Musicians is opened for business at 175 West Washington Street as several hundred invited guests look over the new digs.  During the ceremonies James C. Petrillo, the president of the federation, is presented with a diamond studded commissioner’s star.  During the evening the guests dance to the music of Wayne King, Ben Bernie, Charles Agnew and Fritz Miller and their orchestras.  Architect Max Dunning designed the building in a modest Art Deco design, notable for the panels above the second story windows that reference the building’s purposes.  The panels have representations of a flute player and harp player and a figure in the middle panel surrounded by musical instruments. 


February 27, 1919 -- The final three pieces of real estate necessary for the construction of the Michigan Avenue bridge are secured. The city pays $719,532 to the estate of W. F. McLaughlin for a piece of property on the east side of Michigan Avenue fronting the south side of the river. $62,500 goes to John S. Miller for a triangular piece of land across Michigan Avenue from the McLaughlin property. $91,760 goes to Levy Mayer for a small piece of property directly south of the McLaughlin holding. With these three transactions the city is ready to build the bridge that would change the north side of the city forever. The photo above shows the three pieces of property on each side of Michigan Avenue south of the river.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

February 26, 1912 -- Ebenezer Buckingham Dies



February 26, 1912 -- Ebenezer Buckingham dies at his residence, 2036 Prairie Avenue.  A graduate of Yale University, Buckingham came to Chicago in 1850, an in 1865 took over management of the grain elevators located at the Illinois Central depot at the mouth of the Chicago River.  By 1873 he and his brother, John, had increased the capacity of the elevators from 700,000 bushels to 2.9 million bushels.  Investing wisely as the city exploded both in population and in industry, Buckingham became the president of the Northwestern National Bank in 1890.  In 1853 Buckingham married Lucy Sturges, and a son, Clarence, and two daughters, Kate and Lucy, were born to the couple.  It was the death of Clarence Buckingham that led Kate Buckingham to provide the generous gift of the fountain dedicated to the memory of her brother that sits today at the head of Congress Avenue. 


February 26, 1903 -- With the payment of $100,000 the Studebaker brothers become absolute owners of the Fine Arts Building and the ground beneath it. The ground on which the building stood had been held in a 99-year lease that began in May of 1885 with an annual ground rent of $2,000. The building, designed by Solon Spencer Beman, opened in 1886 with a four-story annex added for use by the Art Institute in 1898. On July 7, 1978 the building was declared a Chicago City Landmark. The photo below shows the building as it looked in 1900.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

February 25, 1905 -- Ground Is Broken for Illinois Athletic Club



February 25, 1905 -- Ground is broken for the new Illinois Athletic Club as Colonel Frank O. Lowden uses a silver-plated pick to hack away at “some decayed oak flooring at the site of the projected building at 147-149 Michigan avenue.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, February 26, 1905] The president of the organization, William Hale Thompson, introduces Lowden, who says, “It has been only ninety days since the first work toward this new athletic club for Chicago was begun and in that time more than 3,000 members have been secured and more than $250,000 has been raised.  The celerity with which this movement has progressed is wonderful, and it will not be long until the new Illinois Athletic association has a waiting list.”


February 25, 1873 -- The Chicago Daily Tribune reports on the annual report of the City Steam-Boiler Inspector for 1872, and the news is not encouraging. 765 boilers were inspected with nearly a third found defective. The paper reports, "In view of the rapid increase of the manufacturing and commercial interests of th city, requiring the use of steam as a motor in the factories, its use as a heater and ventilation in the schools, churches, hotels, and other public buildings, the consequent increase in the number of steam-boilers -- the majority of them distributed among the most populous districts int he city, beneath pavements, etc., -- he [the inspector] urged the necessity for further legislation to secure the object for which the ordinance was passed, -- the security of lives and property from dangers attendant upon the ignorant or careless management of steam."