Friday, June 30, 2017

June 30, 1941 -- Damages Awarded for Subway Construction

June 30, 1941 – Superior Court Judge Ulysses S. Schwartz awards $1,275 to A. F. Cuneo, the owner of two three-story buildings at 933 and 939 North State Street, an amount that covers the cost “of protecting the buildings against possible collapse as the result of subway excavation” [Chicago Daily Tribune, July 1943] related to the 8.75 mile subway we know today as the Red Line.  The case is seen as a precedent, impacting “millions of dollars” that are involved in the dispute between the city and property owners over damages incurred during the construction of the subway.  City officials plan on appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court, but a clause in the Illinois Constitution does not appear to support their case.  It reads, “Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without compensation.”  Already 50 suits have stacked up, amounting to a million-and-a-half dollars, mostly costs associated with underpinning buildings to protect them from collapse as the subway is bored beneath them.  Construction of the State Street subway is shown in the photo above. 

June 30, 1950 – The formal dedication of Merrill C. Meigs field takes place on the lakefront.  Although the airport has been open since December 10, 1948, it carried no name.  Speaking from prepared notes, Meigs, who had served as the head of the city’s Aero Commission, said, “When my name was brought up last year before the city council, there were objections that no airport should be named for a living person.  I was honored at the original suggestion but felt that the sacrifice involved—in order to qualify—was too great a price, even for that glory.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, July 1, 1950]   Special guests were drawn from 30 states—the Flying Farmers of Prairieland and the National Flying Farmers.  It is estimated that 890 of their planes, carrying 2,047 persons, landed at Chicago area airports.  

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