Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6, 1925 -- Chicago Plan Commission Sets Lakefront Goals

November 6, 1925 – In its fifteenth annual report the Chicago Plan Commission sets a goal for “parks along twenty-six miles of the lake front, with boulevards, bathing beaches, lagoons, golf courses, athletic fields and playgrounds, yacht harbors and public buildings.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 6, 1925] In the fifteen years since the establishment of the commission Cook County has obtained 30,000 acres of wooded land around the city, the beginning of a system of forest preserves that surrounds the city with a buffer of green space.  In 1926 the commission forecasts the completion of most of the Grant Park landscaping “with the Field museum, the Shedd aquarium, Soldiers’ field, the Art institute and the several statues and fountains that will be erected in the park, it will be one of the most impressive and beautiful public improvements in the world.”

November 6, 1886 – A simple note in the “Of Interest to the Art World” section of the Chicago Daily Tribune announces, “The will of Mr. Samuel Johnston contained an appropriation of $10,000 for a statue of Shakespeare to be erected in Lincoln Park.  The executors are John DeKoven and Wiliam Elliot Furness.”   Eight years later the statue is unveiled in Lincoln Park after the sculptor, William Ordway Partridge, travels to Stratford and London in an effort to come to some reckoning with what the Bard may have actually looked like.  The statue sits today in Grandmother’s Garden to the west of the Lincoln Park Zoo.  For more information on the statue and its benefactor, please head here.

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