Monday, November 10, 2014

Chicago Week in Review November 10 - 17

Chicago Week in Review – November 10 – 17
Reports taken from the Chicago Tribune

November 10, 1891
Captain E. D. Comings floats a big plan for carrying passengers to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition by way of the lake.  Projecting the ability to transport 17,000 passengers an hour between the city and Jackson Park, Captain Comings announced the formation of a company that would build or lease five excursion stammers, each holding 3,500 passengers and capable of serving an onboard meal. The plan also included the vision of building a “Coney Island” somewhere on the lake not more than 20 miles from the city, to which the great steamers could transport passengers after the fair closed in the fall of 1893.

Columbian Exposition Pier in foreground (
 November 11, 1890
Constable Robert Crawford and a friend drive off the opened Halsted Street bridge and plunge into the Chicago River at 12:30 a.m.  Approaching the abutment at the crossing, the constable apparently failed to notice that the swing bridge had rotated on its turntable, and horse, buggy and the two occupants soared into the night air.  The companion jumped and landed on solid ground.  Mr. Crawford went into the river, striking a piling as he fell, and became entangled in the buggy’s harness, which kept him from hitting the water.  Nearby sailors heard his cries for help and came to the rescue.  The horse never reappeared.

November 12, 1863
“It smells rank to high heaven,” The Chicago Tribune editorializes about the condition of the Chicago River, “and to every man and woman’s olfactories which approach within ninety rods of its redolent shores.  What is to be done with it?  It is a question, the solution of which must be reached at once.  Delays are dangerous, and growing more so every day.  Some remedy must be applied.  Either the cause of its present condition must be abated, or some new and untried experiment must remedy the evil.”

November 13, 1951
An 8.5 million dollar, two-level garage under Michigan Avenue and Grant Park, extending from Randolph Street to Monroe is proposed by the park board.  Planned to hold 2,567 cars, the structure would be financed with revenue bonds.  Ralph H. Burke, city airport engineer and former chief engineer of the park district, said that first construction would begin under the park with a temporary roadway acting as a detour while Michigan Avenue entrance and exit ramps were constructed.

November 14, 2010
The 116-year-old Francis J. Dewes mansion in Lincoln Park goes on the market for $9.9 million.   With 16 rooms and eight working fireplaces, the mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Dewes came to Chicago in 1868 from Prussia and served as a bookkeeper at established breweries in the city before founding his own company in 1882.  A tour of the mansion can be found here and here and here.

November 15, 1954
The will of Edward H. Bennett, designer of Buckingham Fountain and the bridge at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River, reveals an estate of $325,000.  The will leaves $250,000 to his widow, Olive; $3,000 each to two sisters, and architectural books, documents, jewelry and seven valuable portraits to his son, Edward H. Bennett, Jr.

November 16, 1902
Chicago football led to misery just as much a century ago as it does today.  At 2:30 a.m. at Emil Devic’s bar at 1610 Wabash a group of college students were celebrating a football victory when some glasses fell to the floor and broke.  John Hoback, the bar tender brought the glasses back to the bar where Joseph Ryan, the establishment’s manager, insisted he return to the table and charge the customers for the damage.  Mr. Hoback, apparently taking objection to the tone in which the demand was made, announced that he was quitting, and Mr. Ryan argued with him, finally firing him.  At that point he bar tender claimed that Ryan started over the bar for him.  “When Ryan rushed at me I knew he would kill me if he could,” said Hoback, “so I drew my revolver and shot him.”  Ryan died of two shots to the head.   

November 17, 1891

William Ordway Partridge, the sculptor of the statue of Shakespeare in Lincoln Park, leaves the Leland Hotel to return to his studio in the Boulevard Montpanasse in Paris.  Before leaving the sculptor said, “Your Art Institute has the nucleus of what can easily be made one of the best all around schools of art in the world, with possibly Kensington as its only superior.  Then, too, I consider Chicago admirable for the absolute independence of its taste in art.  The East adopts or admires a thing because Europe has stamped it with approval.  Chicago does so because Chicagoans feel it to be art, no matter whether others have praised or have even seen it.”

Shakespeare by William Ordway Partridge
(JWB Photo)

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