Monday, April 23, 2018

April 23, 1992 -- Lake County Forest Preserve District Riled Up over Ft. Sheridan

April 23, 1992 – The Lake County Forest Preserve commissioners vote to protest a decision by the Department of Defense regarding the fate of Ft. Sheridan.  Playing both offense and defense, the commissioners vote to write a strongly worded letter to the Pentagon while stating that they still want to get their hands on 250 acres of the base that are comprised of a golf course, ravines and Lake Michigan shoreline.  This follows an earlier announcement that half of the 250 acres would go toward a veteran’s cemetery with the remainder put up for bid by local governments.  Andrea Moore, the president of the district, says, “I don’t think the Department of Defense ever intended that there be much local use of the land.  They have cut the natural resources in half.  How do you manage half a ravine?”  [Chicago Tribune, April 24, 1992] Commissioner Robert Buhai of Highland Park says that while the communities involved in the Ft. Sheridan commission had worked hard to preserve much of the land for public use, Lake Forest had actively lobbied veterans’ groups for the national cemetery.  He says, “The clout that Lake Forest had has superseded everything else.” All of the controversy comes as the clock ticks steadily closer to the closing of the base on May 31, 1993.  The district did not get its golf course.  Instead it received much of the are covered by the former golf course, a military air strip, rifle range, and Nike missile site.  The restored prairie area contains roughly 4.5 miles of trails for hiking, 3.7 miles for cross-country skiing and 1.3 miles for bicycling.  The area is currently closed for an extensive renovation project, but it is expect to reopen in the summer of 2018.

Alta Vista Terrace
April 23, 1970 – The Chicago Tribune reports that the Commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks has voted unanimously to give landmark status to two Chicago historical sites – the Hull House mansion at 750 South Halsted Street and a block of 40 row houses on Alta Vista Terrace, not far from Wrigley Field.  The Hull House mansion was built in 1856 for Charles J. Hull, a Chicago real estate broker but by 1910 had become the center for a 13-building complex that was home to the social settlement community of Jane Addams.  The mansion and one other building are the only two structures that remained after the University of Illinois began levelling the area for the building of its Chicago campus.  The Alta Vista terrace area is only the second such district to be designated as a landmark, the first being the area surrounding the Chicago water tower on Michigan Avenue.  Hearings within the month will determine the status of the Leiter I building at 208 West Monroe Street and the Monadnock Building at 55 West Jackson Boulevard.  Leiter I would not make the cut and would be demolished in 1972.  The Monadnock, fortunately, received landmark status and was meticulously restored.

April 23, 1955 -- The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that mass injections of the Salk anti-polio vaccine for Chicago first and second graders in 65 parochial schools will begin on April 25. Herman Bundesen, the president of the Board of Health, also announces that the rest of the 16,200 boys and girls in these schools, along with students in 38 private and five Jewish schools will begin receiving vaccinations on April 26. The first shot will be given by Dr. Bundesen at Immaculate Conception School, 1415 N. Park Avenue. Reverend Monsignor Daniel Cunningham, Superintendent of Catholic schools in the city, will be present as well as Mayor Richard J. Daley. Chicago School Superintendent Benjamin C. Willis reports that shots for public school youngsters will begin on May 2 with 89 percent of parental permission slips for first and second graders already returned.

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