Thursday, August 29, 2019

August 29, 1969 -- Black Panther Four Indicted
August 29, 1969 – A Cook County grand jury indicts four members of the Black Panther party on charges resulting from a raid on Panther headquarters at 2350 West Madison Street on July 31.  The men, all between 21- and 25-years-old, are charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery in the wounding of four police officers in the raid in which police seized a sawed-off shotgun, two automatic pistols, three revolvers, ammunition and a bayonet.  This would not be the end of the confrontation between the Black Panthers and the Chicago police in 1969.  On December 9 over a dozen policemen raid an apartment in which Fred Hampton and Mark Clark are sleeping.  Over a hundred shots are fired, only one of which is determined to originate from inside the apartment in a subsequent investigation.  Hampton and Clark are both killed in the raid.  A federal grand jury fails to indict anyone involved in the raid, and although a subsequent grand jury indicts all the police officers involved, the charges are later dismissed.  Times change, as can be seen in the above photo ... on the site of the August, 1969 raid now sits a Walgreen's with a strip mall across the street that includes a Subway, King Wok, Domino's, and Fresh Market.

August 29, 2013 – Chicago issues a permit that allows contractors to begin drilling caissons for the 48-story Wolf Point East residential tower.  The construction of the tower will reportedly cost $170 million and bring 400 construction jobs to the area at the junction of the three branches of the river.  The 507-unit tower, designed by bKL, will have an all-glass curtain wall and a split in its western face to allow for twice the number of south-facing balconies inset into the structure.  It will be the first – and the shortest – of three buildings to be constructed on the historic site.  Today Wolf Point West, the second tower on the site, is moving skyward.   

August 29, 1993 – A lengthy Chicago Tribune article seems to signal a coming rebirth for the Chicago River, a long-awaited event captured in one of the opening paragraphs of the article, “…a second life is being pumped into the 130-mile Chicago waterway. Once choked with steamboats and barges, the river—if developers and planners have their way—will be populated with pedestrians, tourists and businesses.  Already being built or on the drawing board are riverfront walks, parks, gardens, apartments and offices.” [Chicago Tribune, August 29, 1993] Three months away will be the opening of a “continuous Riverwalk from Michigan Avenue to the lake.”  In the coming spring the new downtown campus of the University of Chicago will open just east of Michigan Avenue.  And in another year a revitalized Navy Pier will open.  The city’s Commissioner of Planning and Development, Valerie Jarrett, observes, “We look at the river as a critical planning corridor … it’s just not enough that buildings have river walkways, but linkages – and it's challenging with the bridges.”  Numerous projects sit on the drawing board, all of them looking at the river as being an attractive enhancement to development.  River Bend includes 900 feet of river frontage; it will not be completed until 1992.  CityFront Center, a 60-acre mixed-use development on the north side of the river between Michigan Avenue and the lake has begun with the completion of the 1,200-room Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers a year earlier.  CSX Real Property, Inc., the real estate arm of CSX Transportation, Inc., owns property all along the South Branch of the river between Harrison Street to Roosevelt Road.  The company’s regional director of development, Bill Cromwell, says, “All our plans incorporate the river as an active ingredient.”  From Cermak Road to Sixteenth Street, the Chicago Park District is beginning to develop an eight-acre parcel on the east bank of the river for the Chinatown Riverfront Park.  It will be another half-dozen years before Ping Tom Memorial Park will open along that stretch.  The Park District also has a $35 million plan to renovate 100 acres of land around the mouth of the river with ground being broken in 1994 for Du Sable Park, to be developed jointly with the Chicago Dock and Canal Trust.

August 29, 1925 – After 80 years the South Water street market dies at noon as progress moves forward and the first link of the new Wacker Drive, between Franklin and Market Streets prepares to open to traffic the following day. This is the day on which wreckers start demolishing buildings on the north side of South Water Street east of La Salle to begin the eastern extension of Wacker Drive.  With this action a market that began on the oldest street in the city, on a street where the first Board of Trade was established in 1848, with annual business of over $300,000,000, closes down and moves to a new location bounded by Fourteenth Place, South Morgan Street, South Racine Avenue, and the Baltimore and Ohio terminal.  This market closed in 2001.

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