Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June 30, 1929 -- Grant Park, A Parking Lot?

Chicago Tribune Photo
Google Maps

June 30, 1929 – The Chicago Daily Tribune prints a photo essay, showing the amount of space in Grant Park given over to the parking of automobiles.  There was at the time a pay station for those who wanted to park in what is now primarily Maggie Daley Park, an area where between 5,000 and 7,500 cars were parked each day.  In the grainy Tribune photo above one can see the long lines of cars with the Illinois Central Railroad freight yard in the lower left corner of the photo.  The second photo shows another view of the parking lot.  The third photo shows what the area looks like today. 

June 30, 1961 – The land on which the 100 North La Salle Street building stands is sold to the building’s owners for $1,750,000 or $200 a square foot.  The sum is believed to be the highest price paid for land in the downtown real estate market since 1929.  Vincent Curtis Baldwin, president of the consortium that owns the building, says that the price paid eclipses the previous high for a lot on the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Adams Street which sold for $115 a square foot. The corporation that owns the building was reorganized in 1942 under federal bankruptcy law after having fallen behind in rent, taxes and bond interest during the 1930’s Depression. Acquiring the land will allow the building’s owners to free themselves of the annual lease on the property, which, on an annual basis, amounts to seven percent of the purchase price.  Several years ago an Atlanta-based firm, the Bridge Investment Group, purchased the 47-story tower for $113 million.

June 30, 1950 – The formal dedication of Merrill C. Meigs Field takes place on the lakefront.  Although the airport has been open since December 10, 1948, it carried no name.  Speaking from prepared notes, Meigs, who had served as the head of the city’s Aero Commission, said, “When my name was brought up last year before the city council, there were objections that no airport should be named for a living person.  I was honored at the original suggestion but felt that the sacrifice involved—in order to qualify—was too great a price, even for that glory.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, July 1, 1950]   Special guests were drawn from 30 states—the Flying Farmers of Prairieland and the National Flying Farmers.  It is estimated that 890 of their planes, carrying 2,047 persons, landed at Chicago area airports.   

June 30, 1941 – Superior Court Judge Ulysses S. Schwartz awards $1,275 to A. F. Cuneo, the owner of two three-story buildings at 933 and 939 North State Street, an amount that covers the cost “of protecting the buildings against possible collapse as the result of subway excavation” [Chicago Daily Tribune, July 31, 1943] related to the 8.75 mile subway we know today as the Red Line.  The case is seen as a precedent, impacting “millions of dollars” that are involved in the dispute between the city and property owners over damages incurred during the construction of the subway.  City officials plan on appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court, but a clause in the Illinois Constitution does not appear to support their case.  It reads, “Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without compensation.”  Already 50 suits have stacked up, amounting to a million-and-a-half dollars, mostly costs associated with underpinning buildings to protect them from collapse as the subway tunnel is bored beneath them.  Construction of the State Street subway is shown in the photo above. 

June 30,1863 – The setting of the cornerstone of the Theological Seminary at the corner of Halsted Street and Fullerton Avenue takes place in a ceremony which opens with the assembled guests singing “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord.” Reverend Dr. Matthews of Monmouth, Illinois then presents the past history of the Seminary, after which he lays the cornerstone. Today’s McCormick Theological Seminary is the descendant of this seminary which, according to the McCormick website, “was born in a log cabin” in Hanover, Indiana with a faculty of two and a “handful of students.”  Seeking a Presbyterian seminary in Chicago, Cyrus McCormick provided a $100,000 donation to endow four professorships, allowing the Seminary to move to 25 acres in today’s Lincoln Park.  In 1975 the seminary moved to Hyde Park, a move that allowed the school to share resources with the Jesuit School of Theology and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  The above photo shows the Halsted Street entrances of McCormick Hall, built in 1883; Ewing Hall, built in 1863, and the seminary chapel, built in 1875.  

1 comment:

Byno Ceros said...

Thank you forr sharing this