Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 1992 -- U. S. Steel South Works Turn Off the Lights



April 10, 1992 – The U. S. Steel Group’s South Works closes its doors, ending a run at this location that goes all the way back to 1882 when the company began as the Chicago Railway Mill Company, and the mill that once produced steel beams for most of Chicago’s skyscrapers and jobs for thousands of area residents” ends its run [http://forgottenchicago.com/articles/south-works/], leaving an uncertain future.  A U. S. Steel spokesman, Thomas R. Farrall, says, “We want to get value from the facilities.  The mill is one direction real estate and development is another direction.”  [Chicago Tribune, April 10, 1992] About 730 workers will lose their jobs with the closing.  Only 30 of those are eligible for pensions. Various development schemes have been hatched over the intervening years.  The latest one for the 420-acre site, released earlier this year, envisions a build-out in four phases, each phase contributing 3,000 low- and mid-rise buildings, built around a harbor and spread over 30 city blocks along the lake shore.  The area that the South Works covered is shown in the photo above.  Imagine the view of a future resident as he or she looks across the lake toward downtown.


April 10, 1955 -- The Chicago Daily Tribune editorializes about a $5,000,000 appropriation
bill sponsored by State Representative William E. Pollack, a Republican from Chicago, to locate a four-year campus for the University of Illinois on the North branch of the Chicago River around California Avenue. "The university's budget requests have been cut drastically." states the editorial. "For the university to expand its operations and expenditures in Chicago when it can't get enough funds for the proper operation of the facilities that it now has would be the height of folly." [Chicago Daily Tribune, April 10, 1955] Ten days later Mayor Richard J. Daley would begin his first term as the Mayor of Chicago, and he would say toward the end of his career that helping to arrange for a branch of the University of Illinois in Chicago was his greatest achievement. The university's library is named for him. The photo below shows His Honor officially opening the new university on February 22, 1965, ten years after and over six miles south of Representative Pollack's proposal.

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