Friday, August 25, 2017

August 25, 1955 -- Art Institute's First Home Faces Demolition

August 25, 1955 – John J. Mack, the owner of a five-story building at the southwest corner of State and Monroe Streets, announces that the building will be torn down to make way for a new structure.  The building to be razed was built in 1872 by E. S. Pike and called the Pike Block.  It later assumed the name of the Ayer Block, and over the years it had been remodeled at least six times.  The loss of the building is significant because the Art Institute of Chicago called the building home when the Academy of Fine Arts, as the Art Institute of Chicago was known at the time, when it was established in 1886.  The corner today is seeing yet another transformation as New York-based Tishman and an investment partner paid $35 million for the 60-year-old property in March, 2015 in order to carve 70,000 square feet of retail and office space out of it and an adjoining structure.  The rendering of the new space is shown above.

August 25, 1972 – Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackman refuses to block the merger of the Illinois Central Railroad and the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad.  The Missouri Pacific Railroad had claimed that the proposed merger would create a near-monopoly that would cripple it.  The merger, which had occurred on August 10 gives the new Illinois Central Gulf Railroad control of 13,532 miles of track.

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