November 12, 1943 – Plans for the construction of a $2,000,000 bridge over the north branch of the Chicago River at Grand Avenue with a viaduct extending from Orleans to Des Plaines are submitted to the city council subcommittee on motor fuel tax. Oscar E. Hewitt, the Commissioner of Public Works, says that as part of the project a viaduct will span the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul and Chicago and North Western railroad tracks with a roadway that is 56 feet wide, a plan that will relieve congestion on the approach to the present Grand Avenue bridge, which presently has a roadway width of only 19 feet. Hewitt concedes that construction will not begin until after the war is concluded. It was a good plan, but as is the case with many good plans, it never happened. The bridge, finished in 1913, still carries traffic and pedestrians across the river. Volume on the bridge was greatly diminished when the Ohio Street expressway feeder ramp and bascule bridge, a few blocks to the north, was completed n 1961.
November 12, 1932 -- The president of the Chicago Historical Society, Charles B. Pike, dedicates the society’s new building in a ceremony that is “long on dignity but short on oratory.” [Chicago Tribune, November 13, 1932] Pike says, “We stand here today at the portals of a building expressive of its purpose, ready to open it to the public. We are looking through the trees of Lincoln park to the waters of Lake Michigan and St. Gauden’s statue of the Great Emancipator . . . Lincoln belongs to the ages. So also do Columbus and Washington. Housed in this building are relics of all of them, and many others who influenced the shaping of America’s destinies.” First in the door is Miss Rhea Zugenbuehler of Maywood who pays a quarter to enter. Anyone who shows up on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays will be admitted for free.