Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ever-changing scene that is Chicago

This is most definitely a scene from Chicago’s past.

Chicago's appearance is ever-changing. Photograph by Chuckman's Chicago Nostalgia
This particular photograph depicts what used to be in terms of the proximity of our city’s newspapers being published so close to each other.

THE PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS the old Field Enterprises building that housed the Chicago Sun-Times until they sold it off about a decade ago to Donald Trump – who erected that ugly tower that looms over downtown Chicago in an ominous fashion.

Which is particularly notable because people used to become amateur architectural critics in bashing about the old Sun-Times building (it looked like a barge or garbage scowl, they’d say).

It seems Trump has come up with something even more despised in appearance than the old Sun-Times building.

To the right, just the other side of the Wrigley Building that Frank Sinatra made reference to in his unofficial city anthem, “My Kind of Town, Chicago Is,” is the Tribune Tower.

THAT EDIFICE ERECTED back in the mid-1920s from which Col. Robert R. McCormick ruled his newspaper empire and his vision that “Chicagoland” (stretching from Detroit to Kansas City) was a unique version of our nation that made far more sense than anything occurring on any coastal point of the United States.
Tribune's new home come '18. Photos by Gregory Tejeda

It used to be from these points about one block apart along the Chicago River that our city’s two major newspapers (and as you can see from this particular photograph, the Chicago Daily News was part of the mix as well) did their part to help create the character of our city – for better or for worse.

Soon, it’s only going to be a memory that either newspaper was ever in such a prominent place along the riverfront.

The Sun-Times, of course, moved a few blocks west along the river several years ago to the building that was the annex to the Merchandise Mart. Even that building is becoming history.

THIS WEEKEND IS when the newspaper is leaving the location for a site in the West Loop. At 30. N. Racine Ave., they’ll be out of downtown altogether.
What will become of Alamo, Comiskey Park bricks?

While the Chicago Tribune reported Friday that they, too, are leaving a riverfront site. As part of the many actions of corporate restructuring, they sold their nearly century-old building to a Los Angeles developer who envisions turning the tower on Michigan Avenue into retail and luxury residences.

The newspaper confirmed they’ll be moving sometime early in 2018.

They will be relocating to the Prudential Building – which may be just a few blocks south of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. Which could give their newsroom a prime site overlooking the Millennium Park.

BUT I CAN’T help but think that the Chicago River is going to be a little less active with two such prominent residents moving away from their riverfront locations. Even though I understand that riverfront land is so precious and valued from a real estate standing that it probably makes more sense to sell it off and take the money – rather than use it for newsroom space.

One other thing does amuse me about this particular photograph. Notice off in the background that the Hancock Center building is under construction. Which means if one had turned around and looked to the south, the Sears Tower would be non-existent. Chicago’s “twin” towers (only Trump thinks Chicago has three towers, with his building completing the trio) were not yet to be.
Lake St. location won't be the same as Lower Michigan Ave.
I do have one question, though. That is the main site of the famed Billy Goat Tavern, which used to draw a significant share of its business from reporter-type people (I myself have had too many drinks there throughout the years, although it has been a couple since I last ventured to Lower Michigan Avenue) for a “cheezbugga” and a beer) from its proximity between the two newspaper buildings.

Now, that clientele will be gone. Where will they move to, to ensure their future in 21st Century Chicago?


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