Thursday, November 30, 2017

November 30, 1976 -- Noguchi Dedicates Sculpture at Art Institute

November 30, 1976 – Isamu Noguchi dedicates his outdoor sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago, a monumental piece standing on the east side of museum, facing Grant Park.  The fountain, commissioned to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States, is made up of two 40-foot pieces of granite and stainless steel, one horizontal and the other vertical and V-shaped.  The forms are set in reflecting pool with that will allow year-round operation.  The $250,000 piece is another sculpture that comes from the Ferguson Memorial Monument Fund.  Naguchi says, “I am always astonished that things work so well in Chicago when they don’t seem to elsewhere.  Chicago has always been a great place for me.  This is a very happy day in my life.” [Chicago Tribune, December 1, 1975] At the dedication it is also announced that the Chicago Park District has passed a resolution to place a monumental outdoor sculpture at the northeast corner of Fullerton Avenue and Cannon Drive.  Eventually Ellsworth Kelly would be chosen for that work.  In 1981 his Curve XII, known as his “I Will” sculpture was installed at the location named five years earlier.  Naguchi may have jumped the gun on his amazement that things work so well in the city.  His work, as one can see from the photo above, was not working all that well this summer and seems to have been largely forgotten.

November 30, 1951 – At a meeting of the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago at the Morrison Hotel proposals are put forth to bring the only Nazi submarine ever captured at sea to Chicago.  The plans have the United States Navy towing the U-505 from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where it is anchored, to Chicago, where it will be placed on a foundation near Buckingham Fountain.  Jack Foster, a naval reserve officer, tells the crowd that a Chicagoan, Admiral Dan Gallery, commanded the anti-submarine task force that captured the German U-boat and its top-secret codes and that makes Chicago the appropriate final resting place for the captured sub.  The head of the Irish Fellowship Club, Dunne Corboy, appoints an engineering consultant to head a committee that will study the proposal.  The new effort comes after the Science Museum in Hyde Park gives up its efforts, citing the prohibitive costs involved in the operation.  The U-505 finally comes to Chicago in September of 1954, as a result of a renewed effort on the part of the museum.  The photo above shows the U-boat just east of Michigan Avenue as it arrived it the city in 1954.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

November 29, 1935 -- Lake Shore Drive Moves North

November 29, 1935 – Robert Dunham, the president of the Chicago Park District, announces that a new highway will be built to serve as a north side connection with the bridge across the Chicago River, currently under construction.  Dunham says that plans are to begin the new highway in December with the section from Ohio Street to North Avenue completed by the time the Lake Shore Drive bridge across the river is finished. 

November 29, 1902 – Explosions shatter the Swift and Company’s refrigerating plant at Forty-First Street as a boiler explodes, killing 13 and injuring 26. The huge refrigeration building’s boiler room contained 11 boilers, and one of the five boilers on the north side of the room apparently boiled dry and exploded, lifting the majority of the boilers off their bases.  The explosion occurs at 10:00 a.m.  According to the Chicago Daily Tribune, “One boiler was lifted thirty feet in air and carried over the two story storage room just west of the boiler room.  As it dropped to the earth it carried away the west wall of the building, leaving an opening through which fifty frightened employees of the storage room rushed to safety . . . Another boiler was blown fifty feet to the north, where it collided with a freight car.  A third ended its flight thirty-five feet eastward, after it had penetrated a brick wall and brought death to two workmen who were excavating for a sewer along the boiler room wall.”

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

November 28, 2008 -- Trump Sued for Defaulting on Construction Loan

November 28, 2008 – Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas files suit against developer Donald Trump in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, claiming that Trump owes the bank $40 million after defaulting on a $640 million construction loan for Chicago’s Trump International Hotel and Tower.  This will be the second suit filed within a month concerning the 92-story tower on the river.  In October Trump had filed his own suit against Deutsche Bank, “seeking to excuse a repayment of more than $330 million due on Nov. 7 and extend the construction loan for an unknown period of time because the global economic crisis was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime credit tsunami.’” [Chicago Tribune, December 1, 2008] The developer also asked for $3 billion in damages.  The bank’s suit “calls for Trump to make good on the personal payment guarantee he signed in February 2005 for the building if he didn’t make the loan payments on time.” Deutsche Bank alleges that Trump missed a $3330 million payment on November 7, a date that had already been extended previously.  By March of 2009 the bank and the developer decided to make nice with one another and suspend the lawsuits with just a couple of months left before the expected completion of the tower.  “I think it’s going to sell nicely,” says Trump.  “we’re doing better than anybody else in Chicago.” [Chicago Tribune, March 4, 2009]

November 28, 1914 -- The completion of Sheridan Road is celebrated as members of the Sheridan Road Improvement Association start from the Congress Hotel and drive the new road to Highland Park, where they join with the Highland Park Business Men’s Club.  The end of the road is at Forest Avenue in Highland Park, and from a raised platform at that point Highland Park Mayor F. P. Hawkins officially opens the road to the public.  W. G. Edens, the chairman of the Illinois Good Roads Committee, then accepts the new road.  The dignitaries then proceed to the Moraine Hotel where they enjoy a luncheon.  Plans are to extend the road to the Wisconsin border in the coming years.  The statue of General Phillip Sheridan, pictured above, stands at the intersection of Belmont and Sheridan, about a half-mile north of the point where Sheridan Road begins.