Thursday, November 9, 2017

November 9, 1937 -- Rickenbacker Pleads for Lakefront Airport

November 9, 1937 – Captain E. V. (Eddie) Rickenbacker, the general manager of Eastern Air Lines, tells 200 members of the Bond Club of Chicago that the city should build a downtown lakefront airport as quickly as possible or lose ground to other cities in the nation.  At a Union League Club luncheon, Rickenbacker says, “It’s your duty and the duty of every civic body to get behind such a movement now, while the spirit of spending seems to be with us.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 10, 1937] Rickenbacker points out that the airline industry is “selling speed”; yet, Chicago “must let its passengers out on a field already ridiculously small, which is a full hour away from the business and financial district.” He adds that in the not too distant future planes will be “carrying from forty to sixty passengers …with service every hour on the hour; service between Chicago and New York every fifteen minutes, with the trips completed in about three hours.”  The World War I ace and Medal of Honor recipient concludes, “Chicago can only meet its immediate and future needs in a terminal field through an island aerodrome.”

November 9, 1937 – Dr. Walter Gropius, a professor of architecture at Harvard University, speaks before the members of the Association of Arts and Industries at a dinner held in his honor at the Palmer House.  Gropius tells the assemblage, “The development of machinery in the last century forced the craftsman and the artist into separate fields, but the artist today must appreciate the technical as well as the artistic value of his work.  He must adopt the machine as the modern vehicle of form.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 10, 1937]  The lecture of Dr. Gropius is part of ceremonies that accompany the dedication of the New Bauhaus, a school of design located in the former mansion of Marshall Field at 1905 Prairie Avenue, pictured above.

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