Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 1971 -- Proposed Metropolitan Correctional Center Gets Negative Review

April 3, 1971 – Roger Henn, the Executive Director of the Union League Club of Chicago, pens a guest editorial for the Chicago Tribune concerning plans for a federal correctional facility at Clark and Van Buren Streets.  He writes, “Chicago has an almost unbelievable opportunity for development of a great tract of land immediately adjacent to the Loop … Here is an opportunity to build a ‘city within a city’ … Housing of all varieties could be built that would retain the white-collar workers who are now fleeing to the suburbs.  Here, also could be more expensive dwellings for Loop businessmen … Not needed is the proposal of the federal government to place a penal institution and gigantic parking facility squarely on the gateway to this promising area … What is needed is overall planning and cooperation, not spot development for the convenience of the federal government with the resulting loss to all of Chicago.”  [Chicago Tribune, April 3,1971]  The above photo of Harry Weese’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, completed in 1975, is proof that the federal government ultimately got its way.

April 3, 1909 -- The University Club at Michigan and Monroe is opened as 500 members and 700 guests participate in the ceremonies. Members wear academic garb representing their colleges and march in a procession from the old club headquarters on Dearborn to the banquet hall on the ninth floor of the new quarters. There a 75-person glee club joins a 30-piece orchestra and a pipe organ, and "the big dining hall reverberated with the songs of colleges east and west. Latin hymns, drinking songs, chants and serenades were punctuated with yells and cheers." [Chicago Tribune, April 4, 1909] A banquet is served on the eighth floor. The Holabird and Roche design still occupies its place on Michigan Avenue where University Club members are still active.

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