Friday, November 1, 2019

November 1, 1946 -- W.G.N. Receives Federal Permission to Begin Television Operations

WGN-TV newsreel photographers Fred Giese, on the curb, and Leonard Bartholomew, positioned on the car, shoot pictures in the Loop on March 22, 1948. This photo ran on April 4, 1948 with the announcement in the Tribune that WGN-TV would started its transmission the next day. Both Giese and Bartholomew were the first cameramen appointed to the eight man WGN-TV Newsreel staff. Bartholomew had been a veteran still photographer for the Tribune who earned the nickname

November 1, 1946 -- The general manger of W.G.N. announces that the Federal Communications Commission has granted the company a construction permit for a television station.  Construction of the station, operating on a frequency of 186-192 megacycles on Channel 9, is expected to begin in May of 1947.  Frank P. Schreiber, the station’s general manager, says, “W.G.N. now enters the television field.  As in all previous radio operations, we will be a leader in television.  We will be in the television programming field as soon as necessary equipment, which is now on order, can be obtained.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 2, 1946]  This will be the third commercial television station in Chicago.  Balaban and Katz operates WBKB on Channel 4, and the Zenith Radio Corporation began operating three months earlier on station WTZR.  W.G.N.’s television antenna will be erected on top of Tribune Tower, 505 feet above street level.  The first post-war television sets will be placed at 75 R.C.A. dealers in the following week with several thousand sets expected to be in homes by Christmas.  The first sets will be table models with larger units scheduled to arrive in the city after the first of the year.  The above photo shows W.G.N. newsreel photographers shooting film in the Loop on March 22, 1948.  W.G.N. television would begin transmitting the following day.

November 1, 1981 –The Chicago Tribune reports that the Sunglas Reflective Architectural Glass Division of the Ford Motor Company has secured a $1.2 million order for the production of more than six acres of glass that will sheathe the new office tower at 333 West Wacker Drive.  In order to keep cooling costs down in warm weather, the glass will be coated on the inside with a reflective, metallic oxide film that will block up to 65 per cent of the sun’s heat.  Four types of glass will be used in the building.  There will be 27 tempered spandrel panels that are designed “to get the worst blasts on Chicago’s notoriously windy days.” [Chicago Tribune, November 1, 1981] Additionally, there will be 4,735 panels of heat-strengthened spandrel glass and 4,216 inside-annealed double pane insulated vision glass panels.  A dozen double-pane insulated vision glass panels that have been heat-strengthened with a half-inch of air between two quarter-inch thick sheets of glass will also be used in areas expected to receive high winds. Quarter-inch thick glass will be used for spandrels covering the building’s structural elements and the area between floors.  

November 1, 1925 – As “agitation for a great terminal on Randolph street” heats up, the Chicago Daily Tribune publishes an Eliel Saarinen sketch that depicts a soaring office building and railroad terminal for the Illinois Central Railroad on Randolph Street.  Saarinen, who won second place in the paper’s $100,000 design competition for its new office building, had completed the sketch two years earlier as a “project for developing the lake front with a giant hotel and terminal for the Illinois Central and other roads at the end of Grant park, instead of having them on Roosevelt road a mile south of Madison street.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 1, 1925] Of course, the project never took off, and it would be 30 years before the Prudential building is finally built on the site.

November 1, 1893 – Remaining tenants of the HonorĂ© block at the corner of Adams and Dearborn Streets are notified to leave the building immediately as demolition work begins.  Leases expire on this date, and after repeated warnings tenants finally must get out as 50 workmen have the roof off the building before darkness falls.  “All night,” the Chicago Daily Tribune reports, “there were busy scenes about the corner, and a dozen or more tenants were hard at work in removing their goods from the building.  Two or three first-floor rooms and the corner basement are occupied by saloons which were still doing business at a late hour last night, the proprietors declaring that they would continue to hold forth till the walls came down, but were somewhat disconcerted when told that gas and water would be shut off today.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 2, 1893]  Within 60 days the building will be completely gone, and in its place will rise one of the gems of the Chicago School of Architecture, the Marquette Building of William Holabird and Martin Roche.  The HonorĂ© block with its Venetian facade fronting Adams Street is shown in the above photo.

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