Saturday, September 12, 2020

September 12, 2006 -- F.B.I. Opens New Chicago Headquarters

September 12, 2006 – Although the FBI will not be moving into its new ten-story, 350,000-square-foot office building until the spring of 2007, the building is still officially opened on a rainy day as a color guard, speechifying officials, and the girls’ choir from Neuqua Valley High School contribute to the festivities.  The new $125 million headquarters at 2111 West Roosevelt Road will feature state-of-the-art facilities for processing evidence and for training the 350 agents who will eventually work there.  It is a huge improvement over the old Chicago headquarters in the Dirksen Courthouse on Dearborn Street.  “I am told it was not unusual for the temperature to change from ice age to global warming in a matter of minutes,” says FBI Director Robert Mueller in his address to hundreds of officials and guests at the dedication. He adds.  “Like this new building, today’s FBI is stronger, today’s FBI is more flexible and today’s FBI is more modern.” [Chicago Tribune, September 13, 2006] Today the headquarters building is the world's first LEED for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance project to earn a Platinum level of certification. 

September 12, 1973 – The Hyatt Regency, the first new major downtown hotel in Chicago in more than 20 years, is topped out as Mayor Richard J. Daley attends the ceremonies on Wacker Drive.  Hoisted into place at the top of the new hotel is a piece of limestone, signed by Mayor Daley and Jay Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Corporation, that has been salvaged from an old Illinois Central Railroad warehouse that stood on the site for over a hundred years, a structure that served as a shelter for thousands of Chicago citizens who were trapped in the Chicago Fire of 1871.  The hotel also stands on the spot where Captain Nathan Heald, the commander of Fort Dearborn, ordered the fort’s whiskey supply dumped in the riveron August 13, 1812, an action that may have been the chief provocation for the attack that two days later led to the death of 63 soldiers and settlers.  [Chicago Tribune, September 13, 1973]
September 12, 1953 – Officials at the Glenview Naval Air Station disclose that an undetermined quantity of jet fuel that could be as high as 190,000 gallons has leaked out of underground tanks at the base, moving through storm sewers and into the North Branch of the Chicago River.  The Glenview fire department works most of the day to flush the film downstream.  Calls begin coming in 36 hours earlier from residents complaining of a smell of kerosene in the Chicago River with more than 40 calls being handled before the police learn from the air station that fuel tanks are leaking. Commander Thomas W. McKnight, executive officer at Glenview, says that sometime during the afternoon it was discovered that sump pumps had somehow begun pumping fuel into the storm sewers.  By September 17 Chicago fire department officials had ordered a close watch on the jet fuel floating down the river, and the Chicago Sanitary District ordered the opening of two locks “to hasten passage into the Illinois river.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, September 18, 1953]  At that point the fuel had reached Foster Avenue, and a fire was reported on the river at Niles.  Chicago Fire Commissioner Michael J. Corrigan takes the air station to task “for making no attempt to burn the fuel while it was moving thru the countryside.” 

September 12, 1915 – James A. Pugh takes his 40-foot hydroplane Disturber IV and skims it across the lakefront at over 60 miles per hour.  Off the Grant Park shore Pugh makes six runs over a half-mile stretch of the lake.  According to the Chicago Daily Tribune, “Disturber IV’s twenty-four cylinder 1,800 horse power Dusenberg motors ran as smoothly as the movement of a Swiss watch.  The roar of the heavy exhausts could be heard on Michigan Avenue and brought out thousands of spectators, who lined the shore of Grant park and watched the spectacular flights of ‘Dynamite Jim’ and his two mechanics.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, September 13, 1915] In the above photo Disturber IV is launched in the Chicago River in July of 1914.

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