Thursday, August 23, 2018

August 23, 1933 -- Tribune Tower Accepts Alamo Rock

August 23, 1933 –A stone from San Antonio’s Alamo is dedicated at 11:00 a.m. in a ceremony held at Tribune Tower to coincide with Texas Day of the Century of Progress World’s Fair on the lakefront.  The stone is presented to the Chicago Tribuneby Miss Emma Kyle Burleson, whose brother was the Postmaster General in President Woodrow Wilson’s administration and whose grandfather, General Edward Burleson, served as the third Vice-President of the Republic of Texas. Mayor Edward Kelly serves as the master of ceremony with a prominent Texas newspaper editor, Peter Molyneaux, offering thoughts on the stone that will join stones from other historic structure from around the world in the tower on Michigan Avenue.  There are a total of 149 rocks embedded in the exterior of the tower, down from 150 after NASA reclaimed a rock from the moon.

August 23, 1985 – Under the headline “Tattered Navy Pier Finds Dance Card Empty,” the Chicago Tribune describes the sorry condition of the municipal pier at the end of Illinois Street and Grand Avenue, finished in 1916 for $4 million.  According to the paper, “…the unique 3,000-foot pier has deteriorated to the point that its sewer system has been plugged up and its roofs are sieves.  The upper walkways are too dangerous, and the floors of lower storage rooms can barely support their own weight.”  The pier has no adequate fire protection system, so that any event held there must keep a fire engine standing by.  With one exception, a major event has not been held at the pier since the inauguration of Mayor Harold Washington two years earlier.  Joe Wilson of the Department of Public Works says, “I don’t think $60 million would give you much more than the basic structure, but it depends on what you want.”  Wilson says that an average of 20 people visit the pier on weekdays and about 75 on weekends.” The above photo shows the east end of the pier in the 1980's.

August 23, 1914 – Henry Korthagen, an unemployed painter, pays the 25-cent admission to the observatory of the Masonic Temple Building on State Street, crawls through a window to the northwest corner of the building and then jumps.  His body strikes the crowded sidewalk on State Street at noon on a Saturday.  A dentist on the twelfth floor of the building, Dr. A. Jay Blakie, sees the body fly past his window, with a black derby hat following 20 feet behind.  “From my position above,” Blakie says, “the sidewalk looked like the surface of water after a stone has been thrown in.  A circle of humanity just eddied back from the crumpled object in the middle of it.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, August 24, 1914]  Korthagen had visited the Painters and Decorators District Council at 300 West Madison Street earlier, seeking to pay back dues and gain reinstatement to the union.  Those at the union headquarters describe him as cheerful at the time.  The observatory at the Masonic Temple is pictured above, all the way up there at the top of the building.

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