Tuesday, June 2, 2020

June 2, 1967 -- Gateway Two Welcomes First Tenants

June 2, 1967 – The president of Tishman-Gateway, Inc. welcomes the first two tenants into the 120 South Riverside Plaza building.  Ross Llewellyn, Inc., an advertising agency and Massachusetts Mutual Insurance Company are the two firms that have taken up space in the second of an anticipated four structures that will make up the Gateway Center project on the west bank of the Chicago River’s South Branch.  The four buildings that today make up Gateway Center are built on air rights over railroad tracks, spanning four blocks from Madison to Van Buren Streets.  A Riverwalk leads pedestrians along the river to the east of the first three buildings, ending just north of Gateway IV, finished in 1983.  120 South Riverside Plaza is a twin to the first Gateway building, finished in 1965.  These two are the shortest of the four buildings that make up the project, which was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

June 2, 2011 – With the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District poised to drop its opposition to tougher water quality standards for the Chicago River, the Chicago Tribune runs an editorial urging the decision forward.  “A cleaner Chicago River,” the editorial observes, “what a gift that would be to Chicagoans.  That wouldn’t just be a boon just for boaters or the tourists who stroll the river’s banks.  It would be a bonanza for the businesses sprouting at water’s edge and the homeowners who have helped fuel an amazing river resurgence.”  The piece continues, “This effort has the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Mark Kirk.  They know the stakes, and they recall the late Mayor Richard J. Daley’s dream of a Chicago River clean enough for fishing and swimming … Come on, commissioners.  Lead on this.  Clean up the Chicago River.”

June 2, 2010 –The Chicago Tribune reports that the Obama administration, in a letter to an Illinois legislative panel, is calling for the Chicago River to be made safe enough for swimming.  The paper reports, “Though it doesn’t outright order the changes needed to make the river safe enough for swimmers, it notes that the federal Clean Water Act requires all waterways to eventually be clean enough for ‘recreation in and on the water.’” [Chicago Tribune, June 2, 2010] Linda Holst, head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s regional water quality branch, says, “We might not be able to attain these standards now, but we need to look toward the future and what is possible.”  Reaction is swift.  Louis Kollias, director of monitoring and research for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, says, “We think the river is clean enough for how it is used today.  Why should we be spending millions of dollars to do this?”

June 2, 1960 – Mayor Richard J. Daley orders a suit filed against the Illinois Central Railroad to force it to repair the docks along its property on the south branch of the Chicago River between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. The stand-off between the city and the I. C. results from a long-standing agreement between the two parties that provided the city with an easement along the river when it was planning an extension of Wacker Drive to Lake Shore Drive. The city contends that maintenance is up to the railroad because the easement was never used, pointing out that the I. C. has erected signs that forbid the mooring of boats in the area unless permission is obtained from the railroad. The whole mess started during the preceding summer when a series of newspaper articles created a stir about the conditions found on railroad property all along the river. The top photo shows this section of the river approximately where the cloud of steam is showing on the left of the photo. Note the cores of Marina City rising on the north side of the river in the background.  The second photo shows the same section of the river as it appears today.

June 2, 1892 – The Chicago Daily Tribune examines the case of Mrs. Sarah E. Daggett, who “Does not propose to have her property rights and incidentally the rights of the public as regards the Lake-Front Park encroached upon.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 2, 1892].  Daggett, it seems, claims that “she has a vested right in a free and unobstructed view of the lake from her property and considers that the erection of any building, however costly or elegant, would be a damage to her property.” The building in question, yet to be built but eagerly anticipated, is the new home of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her attorney states, that “… she would object to the transfer of the Vatican at Rome to the Lake-Front, or the reproduction of Solomon’s temple in all its grandeur.  Her means are ample for all emergencies, and her inclination to stand up for her rights is said to have been inherited from her father.” Dagget’s case rests on an 1869 court opinion that used an 1827 action of the United States government – the deeding of the property between Madison Street and Twelfth Street to Illinois for the purpose of constructing the Illinois and Michigan Canal – as the establishment of the land east of Michigan Avenue as an area that would be kept free of all obstructing buildings.  Only one other Michigan Avenue property owner joins Daggett in her resistance, which clearly is not enough as one can see today when greeted by the lions facing Michigan Avenue and guarding the great museum behind them.  The above engraving shows Mrs. Daggett's view before the Interstate Exposition building was razed to make room for the Art Institute of Chicago.  

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