Saturday, August 1, 2020

August 1, 2001 -- Trump Is a Gucci Carpetbagger Says Stanley Tigerman

August 1, 2001:  Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin reports on a “freewheeling interview” he has had with Donald Trump, a “brash New Yorker who would bring the world’s tallest building [to Chicago].”  Kamin concludes, “This is a man, who it became clear as we talked, gives the bottom line the top priority.”  One of the topics Kamin discusses with the developer concerns the possibility that Trump might build the tallest building in the world on the site of the former Sun-Times building.  Trump reacts by saying, “Would I like to do that?  The answer is yes.  Does it have marketing value?  I think the answer is yes.  But the fact is, it’s very costly.  Does the additional cost justify it?  That’s a determination I’ll have to make.”  Kamin bookends his reporting with observations from architect Stanley Tigerman who “almost hissing” says of Trump, “He’s Mr. Glitz.  He’s shown an utter incapacity for doing great buildings.  He has no taste . . . He’s a Gucci carpetbagger . . . You’ve got to have a great client to do a really good building.  You’re lucky if Trump doesn’t get financing.”

August 1, 1984 –At a press conference at the Playboy Mansion, 1340 North State Parkway, Christie Hefner, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Playboy Enterprises, Inc., announces that the firm will lease and later donate its 72-room mansion to the School of the Art Institute for use as a dormitory.  Hefner says the four-story building will be leased to the school for ten dollars a year for a five-year period.  She adds, “It is our intent to make a permanent donation within that time.” [Chicago Tribune, August 2, 1984] Playboy also will sell the south addition of the building to the school for $500,000. Neil Hoffman, the president of the School of the Art Institute, says that the mansion will be renamed Hefner Hall and that it is hoped it will be in use as a dormitory by January, Plans are to house 50 students in the former mansion, two to a room with the school assuming the operating expenses of the new dormitory, which have been running close to $500,000 a year.  Nine years later the mansion will be sold to developer Bruce Adams and converted into four luxury condominiums.
August 1, 1980 – Chicago Tribune Sports Columnist David Condon reports that William Wrigley has assured him that the Chicago Cubs are not up for sale although he concedes, “We’re deeply concerned about recent performances, and in the next several months we’ll be taking a long, hard look at our situation.” [Chicago Tribune, August 2, 1980].  In the Wrigley family for the third generation, the Cubs at the time of the interview are lodged in last place, 13.5 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The budget is tight, and, when asked about the possibility of installing lights at Wrigley Field, to increase attendance, Wrigley answers, “I wouldn’t do that.  We have a unique facility that should be preserved.  Oh, sure, we could put in lights and sell advertising space on the walls. There are all sorts of things we could do.  But only at the price of changing the entire atmosphere of Wrigley Field.”  The owner admits that things could be better, “Cub fans are the greatest in the world. And we haven’t always been successful in entertaining them.  It has been some time since we had a team that excited fans – much longer if you look at the situation in terms of a pennant winner.  Yet we have had some exciting years, and will again.”  Less than a year later, on June 16, 1981, William Wrigley sells the club to the Tribune Company for $20.5 million.

August 1, 1884 – The new bridge at Rush Street is having more than its share of adjustment problems.  Problems in aligning the south approach to the bridge with the bridge itself delay the opening, but those difficulties are eventually worked out, and the bridge is opened earlier in the week.  It works fine until 8:15 a.m. on August 1 when a crew shift takes place and the new bridge tender gives the engineer on duty a signal to swing the bridge shut.  Unfortunately, “He obeyed so readily that a crash followed.  The pressure had been applied so suddenly that there was nothing left but for something to give way.  Accordingly a mouthful was taken out of the cogwheels by which the traveler is worked, the shafting was demoralized, and the bridge stopped short.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, August 2, 1884] A swing bridge such as the one at Rush Street sat on a turntable in the center of the river, and when such a bridge was rotated, pedestrians were not asked to leave the bridge.  On this day a dozen men and three women were on the bridge when it is swung open and “their consternation was great on being told that they stood a good chance to camp out on the bridge for several days if they preferred to wait till it swung shut again.”. The men choose to be transferred to the north side of the river in a dredge “half filled with water” but the women are reluctant to follow.  Several tugs pass the trio “but no attention was paid to the fluttering handkerchiefs and the feminine pleadings” until the captain of the tug Mentor comes to the women’s assistance.  After “a number of advances and retreats had been made” and “some lively hopping to reach a plank that had been thrust out” the women are delivered to the State Street bridge just to the east where they once again find dry land.  Interestingly, the Schlitz warehouse just west of the Rush Street bridge in the above photo stood approximately where Trump International Hotel and Tower stands today.

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