February 15, 2011 –Target Corp. announces plans to open a store in the Sullivan Center at 1 South State Street, a space that has stood empty since Carson Pirie Scott closed its State Street store four years earlier. The retailer will lease 124,000 square feet of the building, part os which will be composed of 54,000 feet of selling space on two floors. Mayor Daley says of the decision, “I applaud Target for bringing this urban store concept to Chicago, as well as the new jobs and economic opportunity this store will create. Target will be an important addition to State Street, one of Chicago’s most important retail centers, and will be located in one of the city’s most architecturally significant buildings.” [Chicago Tribune, February 16, 2011] The city has spent $24.4 million in tax-increment-financing to help restore the building, an architectural masterpiece designed by Louis Sullivan. Chicago developer Joseph Freed and Associates, the owner of the building, has spent another $190 million on the structure over the preceding decade.
February 15, 1880 – The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that the triangular block lying between North Avenue, La Salle Street, North Clark Street, and Eugenie Street has been sold to H. A. Hurlbut for $100,000. Close to the horse cars and adjacent to Lincoln Park, the property “has had no charms for the speculator or investor” [Chicago Daily Tribune, February 15, 1880], but plans are now in place to build a private residence between Clark and La Salle south of Eugenie Street and a dozen residences, six on each side of the triangular tract, just south of that home. The houses “will have marble fronts, and will be three stories high, besides basement, with a frontage of 20 and 22 feet.” The area in question has not seen development, despite its excellent location, because no single buyer was willing to risk such an investment without knowledge of what would be built on the adjoining lots. “Now that the whole property has passed into a single hand,” the Tribune reports, “… this quarter will certainly take its place as one of the most eligible residence spots in the city. People who live there will have a marine view of the lake, over the trees of the park, not to be rivaled by anything else in Chicago. They will be in the continuation of the most fashionable thoroughfare of the North Division, and within easy distance of the heart of the city.” The “Old Town Triangle,” purchased for a hundred-grand back In 1880 is within the red boundary shown above. Today the Moody Church, a couple of gas stations and a bank occupy the property.
February 15, 1935 – Louis H. Skidmore, the man in charge of the demolition of the buildings at the Century of Progress exposition, announces that work will begin on clearing the site. The buildings that are to be demolished originally cost over $10,000,000 and include the Sky Ride, the Hall of Science, the Home Planning, Food and Agriculture buildings, the States building, the Dairy building, the Wings of a Century theater, the Electrical building, and the Lagoon Fountain. Although the wrecking company is based in Springfield, the 500 men working on the razing of the buildings will all be hired in Chicago. Remaining on the site will be the Administration building, Fort Dearborn, the Lagoon Theater, the DuSable cabin, and the boardwalk around the lagoons.
February 15, 1933 -- Postmaster General Walter F. Brown dedicates the world's largest post office in a ceremony that includes speeches, singing and music by the post office band in the lobby of the building's Van Buren Street entrance. In his remarks Brown says, "A few less than 7,000 workers normally will spend about one-third of their adult lives in this building. Here will be sorted and dispatched 6,500,000 letters and circulars, 300,000 packages and 80,000 sacks of newspaper and parcel post, which originate in Chicago each week, destined for every part of the globe."