June 20, 1979 – Stanton R. Cook, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and president of Tribune Co., announces plans for a $150 million newspaper production plant that will be constructed on a 21-acre site between Chicago and Grand Avenue on the west side of the Chicago River. Mayor Jane Byrne says of the plans, “This is a very important day for the City of Chicago. I am very pleased that The Chicago Tribune, which certainly sets trends, is setting a new one.” Designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill, the new plant will have 697,000 square feet of space with ten Goss Metroliner offset presses, allowing the paper to increase the number of copies that can be printed each hour from 60,000 to 75,000 while expanding the number of pages that can be handled per print run from 112 to 144. Clayton Kirkpatrick, president and chief executive officer of Chicago Tribune Co., says of the plans, “It is a testimony to our belief in the future of Chicago and our commitment to the city’s continued economic growth.” The company acquired the site on which the new facility will be built in 1967. Today that site is poised to take on a whole new future as the company hopes to develop the site, which it calls The River District, potentially making way for commercial buildings that may house 19,000 employees and residential buildings that may hold up to 5,500 units. The top photo shows the site as it exists now, outlined in red. The large building is the current printing facility. The photo below that shows the projected development of the site.
June 20, 1947 – Representatives of the city, state, and federal governments participate in ceremonies as silver plated shovels move the first earth on Northerly Island, and “Chicago’s 25 year old dream of a lake front airport attained the beginning of reality.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 21, 1947] Merrill C. Meigs, the chairman of the Chicago Aero Commission, acts as the master of ceremonies, saying “. . . when it is finished downtown Chicago will be only seven minutes away for the air traveller as compared with 45 minutes in most other large cities.” Chicago Commissioner of Public Works Oscar Hewitt said, “Chicago can be the magnetic center of the whole of the valley of the Mississippi and the air crossroads of the globe. I am willing to go on record as saying that travel and transport by air will go further in extending Chicagoland than any element in the growth of the area to date.”
June 20, 1926 – Cardinal William Henry O’Connell arrives on the steamship South America, along with “three monsignori, twenty-five priests, and 450 laymen, on a pilgrimage from Boston,” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 21, 1926], having sailed from Buffalo to attend the twenty-eighth Eucharistic Congress. Mayor William Dever is the first to greet the cardinal as he steps off the gangplank of the ship, moored in the Chicago River. The mayor begins, “Your eminence … Unofficially, I welcome you to this city. Officially I have some little influence about, and you may be assured that we will do what we can to make you comfortable.” Cardinal O’Connell responds to the mayor, who grew up just outside Boston, “We have deep sentiments of genuine gratitude for your courtesy in coming to greet the people of Boston and me. We are proud to find in this giant city of the west such an efficient, capable, honest and honorable chief executive … We are proud, for we are happy to know that the beginnings of the formation of this character took place in our own archdiocese.” The Twenty-Eighth International Eucharistic Congress was the first such congress held in the United States. Cardinal George Mundelein, the Archbishop of Chicago was the host. Among other things, the congress drew a half-million people to a mass at Soldier Field. The closing mass at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary drew nearly one million worshippers. It is shown in the photo above.
June 20, 1901 – A Circuit Court judge finds in favor of “the inherent rights of every property-owner on Michigan avenue between Randolph street and Park row.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 21, 1901] The case pits the Chicago Yacht club, in the process of building a new clubhouse at the breakwater at the foot of Monroe Street, against a property owner on Michigan Avenue. The most important aspect of the case is that it “holds that property-owners along Michigan avenue … have an inherent right to an unobstructed view of Lake Michigan from the street level.” Speculation abounds … it is unclear what the future will bring. Will the Illinois Central be forced to remove a retaining wall that obstructs the view of the lake? Some think that even the trees and shrubbery that the South Park Commission has planted in the park east of Michigan Avenue will need to be removed. While the case goes to appeal, the construction of the clubhouse of the Chicago Yacht club, will be halted. A similar decision was reached in an earlier case brought by catalogue merchant Montgomery Ward, but that decision was not nearly as far-reaching as the current case. Ward’s attorney, George Merrick, says, “It is a sweeping decision, but it is now the turn of the other side to move. Mr. Ward is in Europe and I have no instructions to begin any new suits.” The above photo shows Michigan Avenue about this time and the cobblestone streets in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.