Friday, May 26, 2017

May 26, 1943 -- U. S. S. Sable Arrives

May 26, 1943 – The capacity to train aircraft pilots in the Great Lakes doubles as the U. S. S. Sable joins the U. S. S. Wolverine, which has been carrying out carrier operations off the Chicago lakefront since August of 1942.  The Sable, converted from a sidewheel passenger vessel known as the Greater Buffalo of the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation company, is somewhat larger than the Wolverine.  She is outfitted with a 12,000-horsepower engine that can deliver a speed of up to 20 knots and has a length of 550 feet and a beam of 100 feet.  As a passenger ship the Sable had room for 2,120 passengers and 1,000 tons of freight.  Since t all of the planes that practice landings and take-offs on the ship will be based at the Glenview Naval Air Station, there was no need for a hanger deck and money was saved in re-fitting the ship by retaining much of the fine furniture, china and linens that were a part of the ship’s previous life.  Captain W. K. Berner, a Navy pilot since 1924 and a 1922 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, will command the Sable.  The Executive Office will be Commander H. H. Crow, a Naval reserve officer since 1909, a veteran of World War I, during which he served aboard the U. S. S. Tacoma and the U. S. S. Buffalo.  The photos above show the Greater Buffalo and the U. S. S. Sable.

May 26, 1952 – The Chicago Park District unveils a $2,500 model of the underground garage that it is preparing to build in Grant Park. Anticipated plans have the garage situated between Randolph and Monroe Streets and between the Illinois Central railroad tracks to a point within 40 feet of buildings on the west side of Michigan Avenue. The two-level garage, 23 feet below Michigan Avenue, will occupy 400,000 square feet and will hold 2,500 cars. Fees will be 45 cents for the first hour and 15 cents an hour after that. The first hour today will cost you 21 bucks.  The photo above shows the 1954 opening of the garage with the Prudential building, finished a year later, under construction in the background.

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