July 7, 1994 – The Lake County board agrees to join Lake Forest, Highland Park and Highwood in a committee that will determine ways in which Ft. Sheridan can be used. The county and the three towns agree to appoint representatives to the committee, which will be given the responsibility of drawing up a comprehensive land-use plan for the closed Army base. Lake Forest, Highland Park, and the County board will pay 30 percent of the committee’s costs while Highwood will contribute 10 percent. Cook County board member Robert Buhai of Highland Park says that approval of the coalition at the county’s board meeting clears the way for the group to apply for federal grant money to help move the process along.
July 7, 1977 – The Chicago City Council sets up a special assessment district to collect revenue from State Street merchants for the cost and maintenance of the State Street pedestrian mall, scheduled for completion by March of 1979. With suburban malls springing up as fast as they can be built and with many patrons who traditionally do their shopping on State Street moving to the suburbs, the thinking is that closing the street to all but bus and pedestrian traffic will make it more attractive to shoppers. The idea comes a tad too late, and in the 17 years that the mall is open Wieboldt’s, Sear’s, Montgomery Ward, Goldblatt’s, Baskin’s, and the Bond store all go out of business. There were as many reasons for the mall’s lack of success as there were people to share them. Chicago’s Planning Commissioner in the 1980’s, Elizabeth Hollander, said, “The mall took the excitement out of State Street.” Adrian Smith, the lead architect in putting the street back together again, said, “The buses would line up, one after another, like a herd, with their diesel fumes.” Mayor Richard M. Daley, who hitched a ride on one of the machines that began breaking up the mall in 1996, said, “As Mayor I have found it difficult to find out whose idea this was in the first place.” [New York Times, February 1, 1996]