Saturday, June 6, 2020

June 6, 2001 -- Soldier Field Plans Slammed in Chicago Tribune Editorial

June 6, 2001 – “Soldier Field:  Perfuming the Pig,” is the headline atop a Chicago Tribune editorial that begins, “Now even the most self-interested backers of the plan to desecrate Soldier Field realize what a failure their design is.” [Chicago Tribune, June 6, 2001] After yet another model is unveiled for the renovation of the field, the Tribune expresses its dissatisfaction, “… critics of the design are correct:  This grotesquerie would overwhelm everything around it and ruin part of a fragile, supposedly protected lakefront.  By acknowledging flaws in the oafish design, Daley signals the obvious:  He holds the power to twist arms and protect the public’s interest.”  The editorial concludes, “Daley has clearly become aware of the problem.  He needs only the will to make this deal a winner.  His legacy is in nobody’s hands but his … this city only erects a football stadium every 80 or so years.  Having admitted the obvious, let’s do the job right.”

Chicago Tribune photo
June 6, 1955 – The Bethlehem Steel Company’s 626-foot Johnstown, the first ore carrier built expressly for Great Lakes service, makes its way up the Chicago River and into Lake Michigan.  The tugs Utah and Delaware guide the big ship with some very delicate maneuvering.  The tightest area comes at the Van Buren Street bridge where the two sides of the ship scape the bridge guard pilings on both sides of the river. Traffic is held up for 17 minutes at the Michigan Avenue bridge as the Johnstown glides past, three times the usual wait.  It took the ship just 52 minutes to clear the lock at the mouth of the river as she moves to South Chicago where she will be fit with her superstructure.  The ship was built in Baltimore, Maryland.  The above photo, taken from Tribune coverage, shows the Johnstown headed east with its bow adjacent to the Wrigley Building.  The parking lot to the left of the mid-section of the ore ship is where Trump Tower stands today.

June 6, 1928 – President Edward J. Kelly of the South Park Board announces that a gift of $500,000 from the former vice-president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., Max Adler, will be used for construction of a planetarium on an island east of the Field Museum.  “In giving the planetarium to Chicago,” Adler says, “I have a three-fold conception:  Scientific, popular and philosophical.  One is to further the progress of science.  The second is to enable the people to observe the action of the heavenly bodies as heretofore only astronomers have been able to do.  The third is to emphasize that all mankind, rich and poor, powerful and weak, as well as all nations, here and abroad, constitute part of one universe, and that under the great celestial firmament there is no division or cleavage, but rather interdependence and unity.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 7, 1928]

June 6, 1899 –For the second time in two months the Chicago River catches fire as “an oily scum” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 7, 1899] ignites near Blackhawk Street.  The river is covered with flames that spread to docks and a stack of lumber on its west side.  Firefighters say that if the wind had been stronger, things would have become far more serious.  The area of the river fire, shown above, is now part of an ambitious city initiative, the North Branch Framework Plan, designed to develop 760 acres on the North Branch of the river.

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