Thursday, September 1, 2016

September 1, 1925 -- What's in a Name

Wacker Drive Under Construction ins September of 1925
September 1, 1925 – Two days after the South Water Street market closes for business, the Chicago Daily Tribune rails against the street that will replace it, specifically the fact that the new road along the river will be named after Charles H. Wacker, the head of the Chicago Plan Commission.  “It is small town stuff at its worst,” the paper proclaims, “to rename South Water street because it is double decked and remade . . . We certainly acknowledge Mr. Charles Wacker’s civic spirit and his useful service in the protection and realization of the city plan . . . But to give his name to the chief thoroughfare of the city, after Michigan boulevard, is not only crude vandalism, but without fitness of proportion.  Mr. Wacker has been a useful citizen, but his service in the city does not tower above that of all other citizens . . . what of Daniel Burnham, who was the creator of the city plan, one of the most famous and gifted of our citizens? If we give Mr. Wacker’s name to our second greatest street, how are we going to honor Burnham with any respect for proportion?

No comments: