Wednesday, March 13, 2019

March 13, 2017 -- Emanuel Warns Against Lowering Environmental Standards
March 13, 2017 – At a conference about water issues with 16 mayors from around the world, Mayor Rahm Emanuel warns against the danger of deep funding cuts that President Donald Trump could possibly propose to Great Lakes environmental programs.  The Mayor says that before cleanup efforts were begun over several decades earlier “dead fish just rolled in.” [Chicago Tribune, March 13, 2017] Mayors attending the conference come from Europe, Asia, South America and Africa as well as from North America.  A portion of this Urban Waterways Forum is devoted to a boat tour of the Chicago River in cold temperatures and intermittent snow.  The mayor talks of his boyhood experiences on Chicago beaches when he addresses the need for maintaining funding for environmental stewardship in the future, saying, “I grew up in Chicago … you used to have dead fish coming in, and you would have to go in, run into the water, dive under the dead fish, hold your breath, swim all the way -- 20, 30, 40, 50 feet – it tested your lungs … and then come up past that … It shows you investing in that environmental cleanup has had a tremendous impact.”  As Emanuel speaks, the city announces that Comcast and the Driehaus Foundation have pledged  contribute a combined $110,000 to fund a project in which architecture firms will submit models of riverfront structures in order to promote public discussion of guidelines for future river development. 

March 13, 1962 – A model of the city’s new “skyscraper courthouse” is shown to the Public Buildings Commission, headed by Mayor Richard J. Daley.  The new building will be 631.5 feet tall, a height that will carry it 30.5 feet taller than the Prudential building, the tallest building in the city.  Despite its height the new courthouse will have only 31 stories in deference to the high-ceilinged courtrooms that will make up much of its interior.  Most ceilings are expected to measure 18 feet from the floor.  The project is so large that three premier Chicago architectural firms will be handling the design of the structure – C. F. Murphy Associates, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and Loebl, Schlossman and Bennett.  The cost of the project has already risen $9 million dollars above the original projection of $67 million for the building that will sit on the north half of a block bounded by Clark, Washington, Dearborn, and Randolph Streets.  The southern half of the property will be given over to a public plaza.  Because the Public Buildings Commission has limited the terms of revenue bonds used to finance the project to 20-year terms, annual rental rates of $8.26 per square foot will be quite a bit higher than rentals of space in newer private buildings financed over a much longer period.   Government agencies occupying the space will be the source of the rental income.  For more on the building you can turn to this entry and this one, too, -- and there's one more -- in Connecting the Windy City.

March 13, 1860 – From the police report in the Chicago Press and Tribune: “John Crangie, a jolly customer, hailing from Arkansas, was found on Saturday night holding up a telegraph pole on Dearborn street.  He was discharged.”

March 13, 1969 -- The Standard Oil Company of Indiana selects the Perkins and Will Partnership and Edward Durell Stone as the architectural firms for its planned headquarters building at Randolph Street and Stetson Drive. The new building will replace the company's offices at South Michigan Avenue and East Ninth Street. When completed in 1974 the new headquarters will be the tallest building in the city, the fourth tallest in the world, and the tallest building in the world to be completely clad in marble. Each of those 43,000 panels of Carrara marble will subsequently cost over $1,800 to replace.

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