Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4, 1974 -- Developer: Marquette Cannot Earn A Fair Income Under Any Circumstances

July 4, 1974 – The Chicago Tribune reports that an attorney for the owner of the Marquette Building on the northwest corner of Adams and Dearborn Streets has labeled a city proposal for saving the building as “premature and not pertinent.” [Chicago Tribune, July 4, 1974]  The city’s proposal had been put forth on June 10 when the city Commissioner of Development and Planning, Lewis H. Hill, suggested that the building could be saved if the owner, Romanek-Golub & Co., was given “lucrative zoning bonuses” that would allow it to raze the building in the block bounded by Adams, Dearborn, Clark and Monroe Streets while allowing the Marquette to remain.  The position of Romanek-Golub is that it cannot “earn a fair income on operation of the Marquette under any circumstances” and that landmark status for the building “stigmatizes any building in the eyes of lending agencies and others.”  A position paper in which the Department of Architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle assesses the worth of the building states, “The preservation of the great works of architecture, which are this city’s unique, valuable, and ongoing contribution to the culture and civilization of the twentieth century, must be seen as a positive force that will enhance the quality and thus the life of the city.”

July 4, 1902 – 10,000 people gather in Independence Square at Douglas Park and Garfield Boulevard as Illinois Governor Richard Yates unveils a great fountain as a band plays, Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean and 700 school children sing along.  In his speech the governor says, “You may go around the world, and into every port, and you will find no flag so dear to the seekers for freedom as the stars and stripes that wave over there.  It represents an unequaled, a sublime, and unprecedented citizenship.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, July 5, 1902]  The sculpture by Charles J. Mulligan stands on top of a 15-foot base in the shape of the Liberty Bell.  The children in the sculpture hold Roman candles that once served as fountainheads.  The also carry a flag, bugle and drum in the celebration of an old-fashioned Fourth of July.  Today the fountain basin is dry, surrounded by a ten-foot high fence as the above photo shows.

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