February 3, 1906 – At two o’clock in the afternoon both the Coliseum building and the First Regiment Armory open their doors for “the greatest display of automobiles ever seen in Chicago.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, February 3, 1906] Ninety-eight automobile companies and 140 dealers in automobiles and accessories are represented in the two buildings. Says one dealer, “Ten years from now you will see certain streets in the larger cities restricted entirely to motor vehicle service. You may think this is fanciful language, but the time is coming. The commercial automobile has grown more in favor during the last year than in the preceding five years. Good men are coming forward to apply for positions to drive these wagons, and with a supply of serviceable men to draw on, more firms will adopt motor vehicles to do their carrying. The motor car is a quicker and more economical delivery wagon than the horse drawn wagon.” As visitors from all over the Midwest crowd into the city’s hotels, attendance at the auto show is projected to be as high as 100,000. The above photo shows that not even a snowstorm could stop the show from going on as cars line up outside the Coliseum at Fifteenth Street and Wabash Avenue.
Also on this date from an earlier blog entry . . .
February 3, 1902 -- A dispute between Chicago and the Illinois Central Railroad is finally resolved after being dragged through the courts for nearly two decades. The United States Supreme Court found for the city in a case that involved "made land" running from Sixteenth Street to the river, land which did not exist when the city granted the railroad a 200-foot easement in the lake to build a trestle in the mid-1860's. When over the years that section of the lake lying between the trestle and Lake Park -- toady's Grant Park -- to the west was filled in, the Illinois Central assumed ownership of the new land. If the case had gone the other way Chicago would be a much different city today because the railroad would have been given control of one of the great stretches of urban shoreline in the world. BUT the Supreme Court found that the Great Lakes were to be preserved for the COMMON GOOD, and no private encroachment was to be allowed. The photo above gives a good look at what the lakefront looked like in the mid-1890's. The building closest to the railroad tracks with the squared dome and cupola is the Interstate Exposition Building, which was torn down in 1890 to make way for the Art Institute of Chicago.