November 30, 1951 – At a meeting of the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago at the Morrison Hotel proposals are put forth to bring the only Nazi submarine ever captured at sea to Chicago. The plans have the United States Navy towing the U-505 from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where it is anchored, to Chicago, where it will be placed on a foundation near Buckingham Fountain. Jack Foster, a naval reserve officer, tells the crowd that a Chicagoan, Admiral Dan Gallery, commanded the anti-submarine task force that captured the German U-boat and its top-secret codes and that makes Chicago the appropriate final resting place for the captured sub. The head of the Irish Fellowship Club, Dunne Corboy, appoints an engineering consultant to head a committee that will study the proposal. The new effort comes after the Science Museum in Hyde Park gives up its efforts, citing the prohibitive costs involved in the operation. The U-505 finally comes to Chicago in September of 1954, as a result of a renewed effort on the part of the museum. The photo above shows the U-boat just east of Michigan Avenue as it arrived it the city in 1954.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
November 29, 1902 – Explosions shatter the Swift and Company’s refrigerating plant at Forty-First Street as a boiler explodes, killing 13 and injuring 26. The huge refrigeration building’s boiler room contained 11 boilers, and one of the five boilers on the north side of the room apparently boiled dry and exploded, lifting the majority of the boilers off their bases. The explosion occurs at 10:00 a.m. According to the Chicago Daily Tribune, “One boiler was lifted thirty feet in air and carried over the two story storage room just west of the boiler room. As it dropped to the earth it carried away the west wall of the building, leaving an opening through which fifty frightened employees of the storage room rushed to safety . . . Another boiler was blown fifty feet to the north, where it collided with a freight car. A third ended its flight thirty-five feet eastward, after it had penetrated a brick wall and brought death to two workmen who were excavating for a sewer along the boiler room wall.”
Monday, November 28, 2016
November 28, 1914 -- The completion of Sheridan Road is celebrated as members of the Sheridan Road Improvement Association start from the Congress Hotel and drive the new road to Highland Park, where they join with the Highland Park Business Men’s Club. The end of the road is at Forest Avenue in Highland Park, and from a raised platform at that point Highland Park Mayor F. P. Hawkins officially opens the road to the public. W. G. Edens, the chairman of the Illinois Good Roads Committee, then accepts the new road. The dignitaries then proceed to the Moraine Hotel where they enjoy a luncheon. Plans are to extend the road to the Wisconsin border in the coming years. The statue of General Phillip Sheridan, pictured above, stands at the intersection of Belmont and Sheridan, about a half-mile north of the point where Sheridan Road begins.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
November 27, 1953 – Colonel Frank F. Miter, Commander of the 45th AAA brigade, a battery of 120-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, announces that the battery will be moved from its site at the north end of Meigs Field to a “safer Chicago park district site.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 28, 1953] The site, in the direct path of planes landing and taking off, was never terribly appropriate, but a realignment of the entire air defense structure of the city made it possible to accomplish the move. There was more than that, though. It was becoming apparent that the guns were out of step with the next generation of air defense. According to the Tribune article, “Actually the transfer, it was learned was fitted into a large realignment of Chicago’s ground defense facilities. The new AAA pattern, it was reliably reported, will include sites for the location of batteries of missile men trained in firing the army’s new Nike guided missile [rocket] which is reported to be more accurate and have a longer range than the big 120 mm. guns.” The photo above, although taken at Montrose Harbor, shows the guns that protected the city as the Cold War began to build.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
November 26, 1963 – The first steel column for the new Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States building at 401 North Michigan Avenue is put in place at 10:00 a.m. Workers for United States Steel place the 19-ton, 35-foot long column into place on the north side of the site that sits between Tribune Tower on the north and the Chicago River on the south. The tower, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, will be located on the site where Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, built his home in the early 1780’s, a site that is a National Historic Landmark. The Chicago Tribune sold the land to Equitable on the condition that the new building could not be taller than Tribune Tower, its neighbor to the north. Today the tower is busy getting a neighbor to the south as the new Apple store is under construction next to the river.
Friday, November 25, 2016
|The Lincoln Park Palace -- 1910|
November 25, 1900 – The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that General Henry Strong has bought the Lincoln Park Palace on the northwest corner of Diversey Boulevard and Pine Grove Avenue for $75,088.76. The Palace was completed in 1893 as a “high class apartment building and hotel”. [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 25, 1900] The building reportedly cost $200,000 to construct and the sale came about as a result of a suit General Strong filed against Mrs. Mary Edwards, the wife of the developer, C. C. Edwards, who fell from the top of the building as he was inspecting the progress of its construction. Mrs. Edwards supervised the completion of the building, but it never saw anywhere close to a return on the money that was invested in it, and she took up residence just to the west. If you happen to stop by Yak-Zies on Diversey, you are in the former home of Mrs. Edwards, so order up a drink of your choice and offer a toast to poor old Widow Edwards. She deserved better than she got. The Lincoln Park Palace still stands today as an apartment building, The Brewster, with an unbelievable atrium that rises to the full height of its eight stories. Glass block walkways on each floor allow light to travel from the roof’s skylights to the vestibule as they provide access to the apartments. For more information on the Brewster and its fascinating history, please click here.