Saturday, March 18, 2017

March 18, 1903 -- "A Lake Front Open to the People"

March 18, 1903 – The Chicago Daily Tribune editorializes favorably about a bill that will be discussed in Springfield allowing “the commissioners in charge of parks and boulevards bordering on public waters to extend them over and upon the bed of such public waters.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, March 8, 1903] One result of the bill, if approved, is the ability of the south park commissioners to gain title to the submerged land several hundred yards off shore from Jackson Park north to the Lake-Front Park.  “There is no room for differences of opinion as to the wisdom of an enabling act of this kind,” the editorial writers state.  “It will save for public use and enjoyment what may otherwise be lost to the city.  Chicago has what few other great cities have, a frontage upon a large body of water.  That natural advantage has been utilized thus far for esthetic purposes in Lincoln and Jackson parks … There is no reason why there should not be in the future a lake front open to the people between Grant and Jackson parks.”   The editorial admits that the ability to take advantage of the city’s riparian rights will be hindered by a lack of financing to fund a project of this size.  Despite this the editorial concludes, “The bill to give the park commissioners title to the submerged lands should pass without opposition.  Then the lands will be preserved for the city to be utilized by it when it shall be in a position to do so.”  The above photo, taken in 1907, shows the ongoing project of creating made land in the area that is today Grant Park.

March 18, 1895 -- Twenty paintings by Claude Monet are placed on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. They are described by the Chicago Daily Tribune as "much more rational than those of his followers and imitators. They form an interesting showing of the rapid noting of illusive appearances in nature upon which the fame of the painter rests." Monet had been painting since 1856 and had completed his "Grain Stacks" series, a kind of visual manifesto for Impressionism in 1890. He had painted his series of Rouen Cathedral in 1892 through 1894. It would be interesting to know what 20 paintings went on display in the new building that the Art Institute had occupied for only two years when Monet's works went on display.

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