March 7, 1903 – A Chicago Daily Tribune editorial condemns the practice of dumping dredgings from the river at Bridgeport into the lake a short distance from the shore between Fourteenth Street and Hyde Park. The editorial urges South Park Board President D. F. Crilly “now in Florida, where, presumably, he is breathing pure air, drinking pure water, and rejoicing at his immunity from mud, soot, smoke and garbage,” [Chicago Daily Tribune, March 7, 1903] to do something. Singled out for particular criticism are the commissioners of the district who “would not pay the contractors an exorbitant extra price to dump it [the dredgings from the river] in Grant Park.” The editorial puts a question in the absent Mr. Crilly’s mouth, “What is the use of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on intercepting sewers if we allow the sewage to be taken back and intermingled with our water supply?” The question is followed up with this lament, “With an ample supply of the best water in the world at our door, why should we not have water that is fit for use? Why should a few contractors year after year be allowed to poison that water?”
March 7, 1972 -- Eleven persons are hurt when a 150-foot metal scaffold falls from the top of the Old Stock Exchange Building at 30 North La Salle Street, carrying bricks and pieces of wood with it. Two cars are buried as debris are scattered over a 200-foot stretch of La Salle Street between Madison and Washington. Fire Commissioner Robert Quinn blames the falling debris on strong wind gusts that caught part of the tarpaulin at the top of the building and blew the scaffolding and bricks off the east wall, which had been demolished to the ninth floor. "It was a miracle that the whole wall didn't go down," Quinn said. "That tarpaulin acted just like a sail in the wind." The building's demolition, which comes after a protracted battle to make it a city landmark, removes what was arguably the greatest achievement of architect Louis Sullivan. Its death cry on this day in March of 1972 was heard, and a new attitude toward preservation was born and is alive and well today. The photo above shows the building not long after the accident occurred.