Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 27, 1991 -- Shedd Aquarium's Oceanarium Opens



April 27, 1991 – Opening ceremonies are held for the Shedd Aquarium’s Oceanarium, the new home to two beluga whales, four Pacific white-sided dolphins, five Alaskan sea otters, three harbor seals, and a colony of penguins.  According to the web site of the aquarium “the modernistic Abbott Oceanarium … was linked physically and philosophically to the original structure by using the same white Georgia marble on its exterior.”  Architect Dirk Lohan says of his design, “If you have imagination, you can imagine that you’re on the edge of the ocean, looking out over the coastline, and these mammals are swimming and showing their abilities.  I kept all this below the roofline and dome of the old building, so the silhouette of the aquarium and city wasn’t destroyed in any way … I’ve seen aquariums where people sit surrounding the pool – like a circle in a circus tent, where the animals perform for you.  That was not something I liked.  I came up with the idea that, since we’re on Lake Michigan, why don’t we create the water surface of the pool in such a way that it visually links with Lake Michigan?”  [http://americanbuildersquarterly.com]


April 27, 1914 -- Whatever goes up must come down. Usually. That proves true enough in the Fine Arts building on this date as elevator operator Louis Rosenfeld lets in a few more people than wisdom would dictate -- 16 to be exact in a car rated for a dozen. Two women and two men squeeze into the elevator, already crowded with students and teachers from the upper floors. As it begins to descend a cable snaps and roars down the shaft, slamming into the roof of the car. From there it snakes through the front of the car, striking several passengers. No one can move since the elevator is so crowded. Two women faint and the car stops a few feet from the bottom of the shaft as the emergency brakes take hold. The roar of the calamity can be heard on Michigan Avenue, and the entire building shakes.  The top of the car stops a few feet above the level of the first floor, and those rushing to help, including the manager of the Studebaker Theater, are able to pry the doors open and lift the passengers to safety. Fortunately, no one is seriously injured, but if I had been in the car, I might have given a considerable amount of thought totaking the stairs from then on.

1 comment:

Jill Bartholomew said...

I agree the stairs would be the way to go!