Sunday, April 29, 2018

April 29, 1963 -- Wolf Point Residential Tower Announced

April 29, 1963 – Mayor Richard J. Daley announces plans to build an 80-story apartment building west of the Merchandise Mart on Wolf Point.  The building will be the tallest building in the Midwest and the fourth tallest in the world, rising 782 feet with a 571-foot antenna at its top.  It is projected to hold 1,300 apartments and a 320-room hotel with a plaza that rises two floors above the bridge at Orleans Street.  The cost of the project, which will occupy 5.76 acres of land, is $45 million.  Studio apartments will rent from $120 to $200 a month; the 512 one-bedroom units will go for between $180 and $280 a month; 256 two-bedroom units will rent for between $270 and $370; and 128 three-bedroom units will top out at $420.  Each apartment will have glass from floor to ceiling with seven-foot balconies extending the width of the unit.  The first tier of apartments will not begin until the building reaches the 120-foot mark with four restaurants and a theater, along with shops making up the first floors of the building.  There will be two levels of parking below ground that will hold 800 cars.  The architect for the project is Chalres Booher Gunther, who founded PACE Associates, an engineering firm that worked on early drawings of Marina City.  One can see the similarities to the two Marina City towers on the river six blocks to the east.  The project actually got a permit from the Federal Aeronautics Administration for the antenna, but that is as far as it ever went. The top photo gives some idea of the look of the colossus.  Below that is a Chicago Tribune rendering of the space that it was projected to fill at Wolf Point.  The bottom photo shows what Wolf Point will look like when the last of the three towers is topped out in the next four years or so.  Probably a good thing the original plan got shelved, right?

April 29, 1928 – The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that the Gage Structural Steel Company, with offices at 3123-41 South Hoyne Avenue, has set a record for placement of steel in a tall building.  According to R. H. Gage, vice-president and engineer of the company, a record of 36 working days was established in the steelwork of the 100 North La Salle building. Gage says, “The first delivery of structural steel was made on Feb. 24, 1928, and the final delivery on April 13, 1928, and the erection of same was completed shortly thereafter in the record time of seven weeks, or thirty-six working days.  Three days were deducted for inclement weather, when the steel erectors could not work, and Saturdays were figured as half days, owing to the fact that the steel erectors quit at noon.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, April 29, 1928] The 25-story building at the corner of La Salle Street and Washington required 1,958 tons of structural steel.

April 29, 1862 -- Report in the Chicago DailyTribune for this date: "A drunken man named Gates, who resides on Wells street, became suddenly sobered Saturday night, as follows: He was walking along the river dock between Randolph and Lake streets, when, by some means unexplained, he got into deep water. He howled lustily for help, and was rescued by two men, just as he was sinking for the last time. Never was a pickled article more suddenly or completely freshened than was Gates. He was taken in charge by the police and furnished with lodgings in the Hotel de Turtle, West Market station." Poor pickled Gates nearly met his doom just beyond the nearest bridge at Randolph Street, pictured above.

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