September 24, 1966 – Shortly after the Illinois Supreme Court finds that the Illinois Central Railroad holds full rights of ownership to 186 acres east of Michigan Avenue from Randolph Street to the river, the Chicago Tribune runs an editorial, entitled “A Whole New City on Our Doorstep,” proclaiming that the opportunity with which Chicago has been presented, “comes rarely to a big city, and it should not be missed.” [Chicago Tribune, September 24, 1966] The editorial notes that the development “will require major street improvements. Lake Shore drive must be rebuilt to eliminate the two sharp turns. Wacker drive must be extended east from Michigan avenue in two levels. A new bridge across the Chicago river will be needed. “Wise planning for the area should include connections with the projected downtown subways for rapid transit trains.” Despite the work needed, the piece is forceful in the warning contained in its conclusion, “City officials should not delay their part of this program until the private developers become discouraged.” The photo above captures the area of Illinois Center where the Hyatt Hotel stands today.
September 24, 1954 – With the decision to move to the suburbs, the Butler Brothers Catalog Company announces the appointment of Hogan and Farwell, Inc., a Chicago realty firm, as the leasing agent to develop the Butler building on the northeast corner of Canal and Randolph Streets. The building has close to one million square feet of floor space with the Prudential Insurance Company of Americn leasing the tenth and eleventh floors and the United States government holding short-term leases for the Social Security board and the Air Force. George and Edward Butler founded their mail-order company in Boston in 1877, opening a Chicago warehouse two years later. By 1910 over a thousand people worked in its Chicago operation. The 1922 warehouse, originally designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, is today Randolph Place Condos with 340 loft apartments. The photo above shows the complex in 1950.