Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January 10, 1965 -- Rock Island Shareholder Vote to Merge with Union Pacific

January 10, 1965 – Shareholders of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific approve a merger with the Union Pacific Railroad by a margin of 8 to 1. This end-to-end merger would give the Union Pacific entry into the Chicago market, but the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad led a number of railroads that objected to the deal to such an extent that the government took ten years to make a decision on whether or not to allow the merger.  During that crucial ten-year period the “Rock,” a railroad that began in 1851 on trackage between Chicago and Joliet, hemorrhaged money … 1965 would be the last year the railroad would show a profit.  Between 1965 and 1974, the road’s management, hoping for the merger to be approved sooner rather than later, conserved cash by scrimping on track maintenance and locomotive servicing.  Rolling stock began to look tired, and derailments occurred with increasing frequency.  By the time the merger was approved in 1974 the railroad had deteriorated so much that Union Pacific ended up walking away from the deal.  On January 24,1980, a federal judge announced his decision not to approve the railroad’s plan for reorganization, and the last train on the line tied up in Denver on March 31,1980.  In the above photo a "dead line" of Electro Motive Division E-8's wait for final disposition in 1981 after the shut-down of the railroad in the preceding year.

January 10, 1956 – Plans are announced for a $5,000,000 building program that will give the Armour Research Foundation at the Illinois Institute of Technology “one of the most complete industrial research centers in the world,” according to foundation vice-president Dr. Haldon A. Leedy.  The plans call for three new buildings on the I. I. T. campus with “extensive additions” made to two other buildings on the south side campus of the school.  The buildings will include a physics and engineering research building, a chemistry research building, an administration building at 10 West Thirty-Fifth Street, a mechanical engineering research building and a metal research building.  According to Leedy, “The building plans are based on the assumption that the foundation will have a research volume of $16,000,000 a year and a staff of 1,600 by 1961.  [Chicago Daily Tribune, January 11, 1956]  Leedy says that since the foundation was established in 1936, it has conducted 70 million dollars of research in more than 3,000 projects for industry and the government.  The Richard D. Irwin Publishing Company building at 3201 South Michigan Avenue, pictured above, was the original home of the electrical engineering research labs when the Armour Research Foundation opened in 1936.

January 10, 1951 -- Claiming that he had "important architect-engineer projects involving the national defense" and, with a year still remaining in his tenure as the chairman of Chicago's Plan Commission, Nathaniel A. Owings submits his letter of resignation. The decision came 48 hours before a city council committee was to deliberate over a resolution demanding that the principal in Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill be forced to step down because of contracts the firm had obtained for the design of the 100-acre, 1,870-unit public housing site that came to be known as Lake Meadows.

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