Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June 28, 1951 -- Amalgamated Meat Cutters Open New Building

June 28, 1951 – Big day at Sheridan Road and Diversey Boulevard as the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen begin to move into new headquarters at 2800 Sheridan Road.  Patrick E. Gorman, the Secretary-Treasurer of the union, says, “Our union of 250,000 retail butchers, sheep shearers, packing-house workers, and dozens of other craft workers in the industry needed a place to call ‘home.’  We hunted around for a location, one that would lend dignity both to our union and to Chicago.  We finally hit on the idea that the place for us was at Diversey and Sheridan, where a ramshackle building needed tearing down.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 28, 1951]  The “ramshackle mansion” had a long history, originally constructed for Rudolph Schloesser, a banker, an associate of Potter Palmer, Marshall Field and George Pullman, who, after the Chicago fire of 1871 built one of the most impressive buildings in the city, the Schloesser block, that stood where Phillip Johnson’s and John Burgee’s 190 South LaSalle building stands today.  Later, Schloesser’s home gave way to other families, and then to a restaurant called the Maisonette Russe, ending its life as the campaign headquarters for Charles S. Dewey.  The new headquarters for the Amalgamated Meat Cutters will feature meeting rooms, a clubroom, a library, and executive offices.  Classical music will be piped through the rooms of the building at half-hour intervals and televisions will be located in the recreation and dining rooms.

June 28, 1864 – The members of the Chicago Packers’ Association agree on four resolutions at a meeting in the Tremont House.  They are as follows:

Resolved, That it is the sense of this association that the various stock yards of this city should be consolidated into one.

Resolved, That said yards should be conducted by a joint stock company, the stock of which should be accessible to all.

Resolved, That the said yards to meet the requirements of the different interests concerned ought to be located near the city limits of the South Division.

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to confer with the committee of the Common Council in relation to the sanitary condition of the Chicago river, and that such joint committee examine each and every slaughter, rendering and packing establishment and their relation to the condition of the river.

In this same year of 1864 the Union Stockyards opened on 320 acres of swampland just southwest of the city, land that was purchased for $100,000.  Within five years the area would be incorporated into the city.  On July 20, 1974 the enterprise closed, 110 years after the four resolutions were adopted in the Tremont House on the southeast corner of Lake and Dearborn.

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