Wednesday, December 12, 2018

December 12, 1972 -- Apparel Mart Plans Announced
December 12, 1972 –The General Manager of the Merchandise Mart, Thomas V. King, announces that a 27-story building housing showrooms for the apparel industry, along with exhibition spaces and a 500-room hotel, will be built on Wolf Point, just to the west of the Mart. There will be space for 1,400 cars in and around the new addition.  Its presence will allow the movement of women’s and children’s showrooms on the ninth floor of the Merchandise Mart to be moved to the new building.  It is expected that construction will begin in the spring of 1973 on land that is owned by the Kennedy family of Boston.  The 1.7-million-square-foot project will go head-to-head with another proposed apparel mart that is planned for the corner of Randolph and Clark Streets, the site of the Sherman House Hotel.  That proposal never made it past the announcement phase, and in the early 1980’s work began on the Thomson Center on that block as the hotel came down.  The project on Wolf Point, though, with plans drawn by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, still stands.  When construction would on the new Apparel Mart in 1976, the Kennedy family controlled it for over two decades.  In 1998 Vornado Realty Trust  purchased it from the family along with the Merchandise Mart for $625 million.  The top photo shows the Apparel Mart as it appeared when it opened.  The photo below that shows it wedged behind three towers, one of which has been completed, the second of which is halfway toward completion, with the tallest of the three is set to begin construction when the east tower is done.  

December 12, 1928 – Colonel W. C. Weeks, the United States district engineer in Chicago, states that he will recommend the issuance of a permit for the construction of an outer drive link bridge across the Chicago River.  Almost immediately a bill asking congressional approval of the bridge is sent to Senator Charles S. Deneen and Congressman Charles R. Chindbloom in Washington, D. C. Weeks is persuaded, in part by the words of James Simpson, chairman of the Chicago Plan Commission, who wrote, “The people of Chicago will be unable to obtain the full benefit of the millions of dollars which they have spent in creating the lake front parks and drives unless they are properly connected so that the entire development will be accessible to all sections of the city … Traffic movement is increasing continually and the delay caused by insufficient river crossing results in a very large loss to all those who are affected by traffic congestion upon our north-and-south streets.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, December 13, 1928] The above photo shows the mouth of the river just about this time ... note that the bridge at Michigan Avenue is the last bridge before the lake.

December 12, 1943 – With United States war production at full throttle the Chicago Daily Tribune announces that the Illinois Institute of Technology has developed the “mightiest program in its history and a record of having become the busiest as well as the biggest engineering college in the country.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, December 12, 1943]  The school is running a twelve-month calendar with three 16-week terms with all holidays, except Christmas, eliminated from the schedule.  Classes begin at 7:30 a.m. and continue until 5:20 p.m.  The grueling schedule turns out certified engineers in 30 months.  “Frills in college life have been discarded,” the paper writes.  “Graduation ceremonies cut to the minimum as senior classes increase in number, and, if four weeks of the year were not the absolute smallest amount of time needed for registration and administrative work, college officials say these weeks would be utilized for classes.”  The school is spread out across the city with classes taking place in 27 separate war plants.  Classes are also being held at the John Marshall Law School, George Williams College, the Civic Opera Building, and 333 North Michigan Avenue.  Since the United States entered the war in December of 1941, 34,256 students have been enrolled in courses at the school with the enrollment standing at 4,665 as the year comes to an end.

No comments: