May 27, 1975 – After a City Council subcommittee approves $7.2 million for the rehabilitation of Navy Pier, a project that the Department of Public Works estimates may take closer to $34 million, the Chicago Tribune weighs in with its opinion. “Either it will be revived somehow,” the editorial states, “or it will be a big black eye on Chicago’s face as long as it remains. We hope a practical way can and will be found to make Navy Pier once again used, attractive, well served by public transportation from end to end as well as to it. The site is one of the most scenic and interesting urban sites in the country. Surely some time Chicago will find a means of turning Navy Pier’s unused potential into reality.”
|J. Bartholomew Photo|
May 27, 1933 – A creditors’ petition for reorganization is filed in the United States District court for the One La Salle Street building. According to the suit the building’s owners are in default $5,250,000 on a first mortgage and have accrued taxes of $500,000. The petition puts forward a plan to seek a new mortgage of $750,000 to pay off taxes and establish solvency to an operating fund while issuing 52,500 shares of stock to first mortgage holders. The attorney for the building’s bondholders claims that the half-million in taxes have been paid and a cash surplus exists. The attorney, Bernard Nath, says, “Eighty-nine percent of the bondholders and the owner of the building, the One La Salle Street Building corporation, have approved the reorganization plan. We expect to go through with the reorganization foreclosure proceedings now under and bid in the property for the bondholders.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, May 28, 1933]. For 35 years this 49-story building, designed by the architecture firm of Vitzhum and Burns, was the tallest building in the city. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
May 27, 1930 –The President of the 1933 Century of Progress, Rufus C. Dawes, pulls a lever on a steam shovel and scoops the first dirt from the site where the administration building will be erected for the Century of Progress World’s Fair, to be held along Chicago’s lakefront in the summers of 1933 and 1934,. The Vice-President of the South Park commissioners, Philip S. Garver, addresses a gathering of fair directors and public officials, officially turning over the use of the park property to the fair’s trustees. In accepting the site, Director Dawes says, “We pledge ourselves to the use of this land for the enjoyment, education, and entertainment of the people of the world. The exposition will fittingly portray the history of Chicago and be worthy of the city’s proud position among the cities of the world.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, May 28, 1930] In the top photo President Dawes moves the first bucket of dirt, which will give way to the Art Deco Administration building shown in the second photo.
May 27, 1917 – Seven weeks after the United States Congress approves a declaration of war on Germany, the Chicago Conference Committee on Terms of Peace holds a rally at the Auditorium Theater in which protestors rail against the country’s entanglement in the war an ocean away. Two thousand people are turned away from the packed Auditorium, and they instigate what the Chicago Daily Tribune calls the city’s first “war riot.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, May 28, 1917] The paper reports, “The scene was Grant park, just across from the Auditorium hotel. Michigan avenue’s thousands of Sunday promenaders came to an amazed halt. A steady flowing stream of automobiles pulled up short, blockading the boulevard for many blocks in each direction … Then a huge, bearded and mop headed Russian thrust himself above the heads of the others … ‘Why should American workmen fight the workmen of Germany for any _______ _________ in the White House?’ he bawled.” It took an hour to put down the riot as “The air was filled with clubs, that cracked down upon the heads of the rioters. The members of the meeting shrieked imprecations, women bit and scratched the police, bull throated malcontents bawled threats and ‘Down with the government!’ “Free speech!’ and 'No war.’” At first 40 officers show up, followed by 35 detectives. In ten minutes there are another 400 policemen trying to maintain order. The Tribune reports, “’Free speech!’ screamed the women. ‘We want free speech!’ ‘You’ll get it,’ bellowed back a square shouldered policeman as he whacked another disturber over the head.” The Reverend Irwin St. John Tucker, chairman of the peace terms conference, issues a statement in which he separates the meeting in the Auditorium from the disturbances across Michigan Avenue. It reads, “The Chicago permanent conference on terms of peace is responsible only for the mass meeting held in the Auditorium and for the resolutions officially presented therein … The conference is determined, while exercising all our rights under the law, strictly to observe all our obligations under the same.”