June 26, 1961 – Officials of the Chicago Dock and Canal Company announce that the firm will be conducting a study to assess the potential of a 45-acre plot along the north bank of the Chicago River, surrounding the Ogden Slip and the adjoining area east of Lake Shore Drive. The firm, founded by the first mayor of Chicago, William B. Ogden, has owned the property since 1857. All good things take time. It will be 25 years before the company seals a joint agreement with the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States to pool the 45-acre site of Chicago Dock and Canal with 50 acres to the west that is owned by Equitable. In June of 1986 it is viewed as a $3-billion development deal, involving 20 to 25 million feet of space running along the north of the Chicago River in close proximity to Lake Michigan. The three pictures above show the change over time. The first one, taken in the 1950’s shows the shaded area controlled by Chicago Dock and Canal with the Ogden Slip shown in blue. The second photo shows Lake Point Tower as it nears completion on the east side of Lake Shore Drive. The final photo shows the area as it exists today.
June 26, 1919 – The steamer Lake Granby with Captain John Klang in command casts off her lines in the Chicago River and starts her run to Liverpool with a cargo of meat products. This will be the first shipment of goods from Chicago directly to a foreign port. The Lake Granby carries a Chicago crew and was built in the Chicago area. Before departure, lunch is served on the steamship for a group of businessmen and a bottle of champagne is broken over the ship’s bow. The Vice-President of meat-packing company Morris and Co., Charles M. MacFarlane, explains the purpose of the trip, saying, “The advantages of this mode of sending shipments to Europe are great, as it eliminates rail shipment to New York. It relieves the congestion at the seaboard and does away with all the reloading, demurrage, and other charges usually incident to shipment to the seaboard. Shippers from points west of Chicago, on the Missouri river and the other points in that direction are all interested in the development of this branch of the service because it means their own commodities can be handled to much greater advantage through Chicago than by having them shipped to New York.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 27, 1919] The through-freight rate from Chicago to Liverpool by the all-water route is $1.25 per 100 pounds for the meat products the Lake Granby is carrying. The rate would be $1.45 per 100 pounds for the same cargo, using the railroads to New York and a ship to Liverpool. Notice how high the Lake Granby rides in the water in the above photo. Because the maximum depth in the Welland Canal locks permits only 14 feet of draft and the Lake Granby draws 25 feet when loaded to the water line, the ship will stop in Montreal to take on additional cargo.
June 26, 1893 –On the occasion of its sixtieth anniversary, the Chicago Daily Tribune provides a history of the First Presbyterian Church of Chicago. The church, located in 1893 at Indiana and Twenty-First Street, was formed on June 26,1838 inside the walls of Fort Dearborn. Twenty-six members made up the first congregation, 16 of whom were soldiers stationed at the garrison. The first real meeting place for the new congregation was situated “on a lonely spot at the southwest corner of Lake and Clark Streets.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 26, 1893] People approached that first church “across a large slough, bridged with benches from the meeting-house.” It was here that “North-Siders came, not as you come to church now in carriages, but braving the angry flood in a canoe and climbing along the fences to escape the unknown depths of prairie mud.” Classes in the first public school in Chicago were also held in the 40- x 25-foot building. The church has moved several times over the years. For a number of years services were held in a substantial stone building at Twenty-First Street and Indiana Avenue. The present Gothic-Revival building at 6400 South Kimbark Avenue was dedicated on October 24, 1928 and came about as a result of a merger of the First Presbyterian congregation and the Woodlawn Park Presbyterian Church which was formed in January of 1885. Today the congregation is known as the Woodlawn Collaborative First Presbyterian Church. The congregation's church building at Twenty-First and Indiana Avenues is shown in the above photo.