October 6, 1939 – Chicagoans turn out to say their final good-byes to the Most Reverend George Mundelein, who had served as the third Archbishop of Chicago from 1915 until his death on October 2, 1939 at the age of 67. The funeral service is celebrated at Holy Name Cathedral by the papal delegate to the United States, the Most Reverend Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani of Washington, D. C. A public address system delivers the liturgy and music of the service to those who are outside Holy Name, with nearby rooftops crowded with mourners and the top of Holy Name School at the corner of Wabash and Chicago Avenues, “thronged with black-robed sisters in the warm October sunshine.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 7, 1939] Cardinal Mundelein lies, dressed in purple vestments with a white mitre on his head and purple shoes and stockings on his feet. Red gloves cover his hands which hold a crucifix. The Most Reverend John J. Cantwell, the Archbishop of Los Angeles is the eulogist, and in his remarks he names the accomplishments of Mundelein … the dedication of 205 new churches, the erection of the $20,000,000 St. Mary of the Lake seminary and the Quigley seminary, the founding of the Lewis Holy Name Technical School in Lockport, the construction of Lewis Memorial Hospital, and the doubling of the enrollment of the parochial school system in the city. After the service, the funeral cortége leaves the cathedral and heads east to Michigan Avenue “lined by thousands who realized that a notable builder had become a tradition deeply graven in a city’s life.” The American Federation of Musicians’ band plays Chopin’s “Marche Funebre” and the death march from Beethoven’s “Saul,” and the 750,000 onlookers are so quiet that only the footsteps of the procession rise above the solemn music. After the procession Mundelein’s bronze coffin is taken to the seminary in Mundelein where he is interred in the Immaculate Conception chapel. His crypt will rest six steps beneath the high altar of the chapel under a half-ton slab of black Belgian marble, chosen by the Cardinal himself, inscribed with words, translated from the Latin, “George William Cardinal Mundelein. Third archbishop of Chicago. Born July 2, 1872. Died October 2, 1939. I shall await God my Savior.” The photo shows the funeral procession turning onto Monroe Street from Michigan Avenue. From there it would head up the Outer Drive and onto St. Mary of the Lake.
October 6, 1981 –The fireboat Fred A. Busse makes its way down the Chicago River for the last time, headed for a south side dry dock where it will be retired. When the boat came to Chicago in 1937 from Bay City, Michigan where it was built, it was hailed as the largest fireboat in existence. The boat, 92-feet long and weighing 157 tons, continually proved itself over the years. Just two years after the Fred A. Busse came to the city, its crew pumped 32.5 million gallons of river water for over 50 hours as it fought the four-million-dollar fire at the Rosenbaum-Norris grain elevator on the South Branch. The Fred A. Busse still exists. In fact, you can actually ride the boat. After a stint in Door County, Wisconsin the Fred A. Busse returned to Chicago this summer, where you can book yourself a nice cocktail cruise on an authentic part of Chicago history. The top photo shows the fireboat at the Rosenbaum-Norris fire. Below that is the Fred A. Busse in its latest incarnation.
October 6, 1977 – Four city groups – the Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council, Friends of the Parks, the Open Lands Project, and the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects – come together to propose a large park, featuring a 10,000-seat outdoor music venue, to be located in a new 20-acre lot east of Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe Streets. Part of the park, it is anticipated, will be built over the Illinois Central commuter tracks with another section over the extension of Columbus Drive under construction at the time. The proposal for this “Lakefront Gardens for the Performing Arts” contradicts a proposal that the Chicago Park District has made for a new performance space in Butler Field to replace the existing Petrillo band shell. The photo above shows Grant Park in 1979 close to where Jaume Plenza's Crown Fountain stands today.
October 6, 1906 – The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that W. A. Gardner, the Vice-President of the Chicago and North Western Railroad, has announced the company will build a new railroad station between Madison, Lake, Canal and Clinton Streets. The paper says that the new station “will take its place among the great transportation centers of the world.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 6, 1906] With two-thirds of the property for the new station already in hand and the remainder in negotiation, it is anticipated that construction will begin in spring of 1907. The railroad has spent $2,000,000 (close to $58,000,000 in today's dollars) on the property, in one of the oldest sections in the city with many structures dating from just after the Chicago fire in 1871. Another $2,000,000 to $3,000,000 will still be spent on the remainder of the property with between $12,000,000 and $15,000,000 (between $350,000,000 and $430,000,000 today) needed to build the great station itself. The plans, drawn up by the architectural office of Frost and Granger, will “bring to the patrons of the railroad the conveniences and the facilities which they have been without and always would be without on the present Wells Street site.” The station on Wells Street north of the river was built in 1882 when the railroad had only four dozen or so trains arriving in or leaving the city, carrying about 4,000 people a day. In 1906 the road carried 45,000 passengers a day or 24,000,000 people a year. A singular advantage of the new station will be its location on the west side of the river, which means that trains will no longer be delayed by the raising of bridges and passengers will be able to access the station from five different streets, rather than having Wells Street and the bridge across the river as the only path to the trains.