Thursday, November 28, 2019

November 28, 2017 -- Johnson Publishing Company Headquarters Sold

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November 28, 2017 – The Chicago Tribune reports that the former Johnson Publishing headquarters at 820 South Michigan Avenue has been sold with developer 3L Real Estate paying more than $10 million for the 11-story building, which was designated a Chicago Landmark three weeks earlier.  Columbia College intended to use the structure as a library and student center when it purchased it in 2010, but plans never moved forward on the project.  The building will be converted into studio and one-bedroom apartments with a few two-bedroom units in the mix.  Rents are expected to range from $1,200 to $2,700 a month.  Completed in 1971, the International Style building was designed by John Warren Moutoussamy, an architect who became the first African American partner in a large architectural firm, Dubin, Dubin, Black and Moutoussamy.  [preservationchicago.com]  Moutoussamy had studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology with Mies van der Rohe.  3L Chief Executive Officer Joseph Slezak says of the development opportunity, “We love being able to preserve the story of a building as much as the building itself, and this building, with the Johnson legacy, is as unique an opportunity as we’ve had to step in and create another chapter.”  [chicagosuntimes.com]

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November 28, 1886 – At a time when good watches were expensive and poorly made watches could not be relied upon to deliver the time accurately, the Chicago Daily Tribune runs a feature on the six great clock towers in the city, each of which allowed the average citizen access to the correct time of day.  The first of these is found at LaSalle Street and Jackson Boulevard where the Board of Trade stands.  The clock is “the largest and strongest clock in the United States and probably any in the world.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 28, 1886] Each of the four dials is eleven feet in diameter.  “During the first few months,” the Tribune reports, “the Board of Trade clock got off time by one-third of a second and nearly broke its maker’s heart, though none of the Board of Trade people ever discovered the dreadful discrepancy.” There are two clock towers on the North Side, one at Clark and Division Street, above the offices of the North Chicago City Railroad, and the other at the Chicago and North Western Railroad depot.  The paper says that the C & NW clock, “ … is useful to let one know when he is too late for his train, so that he need not break his neck down the stairs in the vain endeavor to be in time.  Of course it is also useful to let him know if he has time to warm himself in an adjacent groggery before the train starts.”  Four dials, nine feet in diameter, make up the clock at the Polk Street depot, a clock that “is said not to have altered a second since it was put up.”   The Rock Island Railroad terminal has a clock tower “but at present it is so crowded by new sky-scraping buildings and overshadowed by the big Board of Trade clock that it is almost ashamed to show its face.”  But this is the only clock to use American-made glass on its face.  All the other tower clocks use glass manufactured in France. The clock at Seipp’s Brewery, located at Twenty-Seventh Street and the lake, is the only one located near a residential community, which might pose a problem for “the husband who gets home at 4 a.m. and wants to make his wife believe it is not yet midnight has no show, for she is sure to pull back the window-curtains and look what time it is by ‘Seipp’s Tower.’  Many wise husbands have moved the bedroom to the other side of the house for that very reason.”  The above illustration shows the C & NW depot just to the north of the river on Wells Street and its imposing clock tower.


November 28, 2008 – Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas files suit against developer Donald Trump in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, claiming that Trump owes the bank $40 million after defaulting on a $640 million construction loan for Chicago’s Trump International Hotel and Tower.  This will be the second suit filed within a month concerning the 92-story tower on the river.  In October Trump had filed his own suit against Deutsche Bank, “seeking to excuse a repayment of more than $330 million due on Nov. 7 and extend the construction loan for an unknown period of time because the global economic crisis was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime credit tsunami.’” [Chicago Tribune, December 1, 2008] The developer also asked for $3 billion in damages.  The bank’s suit “calls for Trump to make good on the personal payment guarantee he signed in February 2005 for the building if he didn’t make the loan payments on time.” Deutsche Bank alleges that Trump missed a $330 million payment on November 7, a date that had already been extended previously.  By March of 2009 the bank and the developer decided to make nice with one another and suspend the lawsuits with just a couple of months left before the expected completion of the tower.  “I think it’s going to sell nicely,” says Trump.  “we’re doing better than anybody else in Chicago.” [Chicago Tribune, March 4, 2009]


November 28, 1914 -- The completion of Sheridan Road is celebrated as members of the Sheridan Road Improvement Association start from the Congress Hotel and drive the new road to Highland Park, where they join with the Highland Park Business Men’s Club.  The end of the road is at Forest Avenue in Highland Park, and from a raised platform at that point Highland Park Mayor F. P. Hawkins officially opens the road to the public.  W. G. Edens, the chairman of the Illinois Good Roads Committee, then accepts the new road.  The dignitaries then proceed to the Moraine Hotel where they enjoy a luncheon.  Plans are to extend the road to the Wisconsin border in the coming years.  The statue of General Phillip Sheridan, pictured above, stands at the intersection of Belmont and Sheridan, about a half-mile north of the point where Sheridan Road begins.

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