Fifty years ago this week, steelworkers fastened the final girder to the tallest building in the world:
Placement of the beam — painted white and signed by thousands of Sears employees — ended nearly three years of construction that required Porzuczek and other ironworkers to climb up and down the steadily rising tower, wearing up to 70 pounds of tools around their waists.
The 110-story skyscraper at 233 S. Wacker Drive was topped out May 3, 1973. It ended the Empire State Building’s four-decade reign as the world’s tallest building and transformed the West Loop into a glittering office corridor.
“Along with the Standard Oil Building, it set the tone for the entire market,” said Goldie Wolfe Miller, who spent decades leasing downtown buildings. “All of a sudden, we became a mecca of first-class quality office buildings.”
The 443-meter Willis Tower lost its crown as world’s tallest in 1998, when it was surpassed by Malaysia’s Petronas Twin Towers, and the American title in 2014 when New York City’s One World Trade Center was completed. After decades of construction in Asian countries, it’s now the 23rd tallest in the world.
Superdawg, another Chicago institution turns 75 this month:
Whether it’s been for date nights, parties or just a quick snack, Superdawg has served generations of Chicagoans.
The iconic drive-in celebrates 75 years of business this month. The owners said they are maintaining its legacy by staying true to the original recipes, getting to know regulars and treating employees like a big family.
“Every day is special,” said Lisa Drucker, who co-owns the drive-in with her husband, Don Drucker, and her brother, Scott Berman.
Lisa Drucker and Berman’s parents, high school sweethearts Maurie and Flaurie Berman, created Superdawg in 1948, taking over the lot at 6363 N. Milwaukee Ave. and turning it into a destination for locals and tourists.
Happy birthday to both.
I finished a couple of big stories for my day job today that let us throw away a whole bunch of code from early 2020. I also spent 40 minutes writing a bug report for the third time because not everyone diligently reads attachments. (That sentence went through several drafts, just so you know.)
While waiting for several builds to complete today, I happened upon these stories:
Finally, a school district food service director ordered more than 11,000 cases of chicken wings worth $1.5m over the last three years, which the State's Attorney says never got to the kids.
And now, since the temperature has risen from this morning's -17°C all the way up to...uh...-11.4°C, I will now walk the adorable creature who keeps nosing me in the arm as I type this.
Today is the 100th anniversary of Howard Carter poking his head into the 3,000-year-old tomb of Egyptian King Tutankhamen:
After World War I, Carter began an intensive search for Tutankhamen’s tomb and on November 4, 1922, discovered a step leading to its entrance. Lord Carnarvon rushed to Egypt, and on November 23 they broke through a mud-brick door, revealing the passageway that led to Tutankhamen’s tomb. There was evidence that robbers had entered the structure at some point, and the archaeologists feared they had discovered yet another pillaged tomb. However, on November 26 they broke through another door, and Carter leaned in with a candle to take a look. Behind him, Lord Carnarvon asked, “Can you see anything?” Carter replied, “Yes, wonderful things.”
Thus began a monumental excavation process in which Carter carefully explored the four-room tomb over several years, uncovering an incredible collection of several thousand objects. In addition to numerous pieces of jewelry and gold, there was statuary, furniture, clothes, a chariot, weapons, and numerous other objects that shed a brilliant light on the culture and history of ancient Egypt. The most splendid find was a stone sarcophagus containing three coffins nested within each other. Inside the final coffin, made out of solid gold, was the mummified body of the boy-king Tutankhamen, preserved for 3,200 years. Most of these treasures are now housed in the Cairo Museum.
Skip ahead 50 years or so into my childhood when two brilliant bits of comedy emerged as the King Tut exhibit traveled through the US. The first needs no introduction, but gets one anyway:
The second came from architect and author David Macaulay, who imagined a future archaeologist finding a late-20th-century American "tomb" in the year CE 4022. If you can find a copy of Motel of the Mysteries, read the Howard Carter story and then Macaulay's take on it. It still cracks me up.
Even with Chicago's 1,642 judges on the ballot ("Shall NERDLY McSNOOD be retained as a circuit court judge in Cook County?"), I still got in and out of my polling place in about 15 minutes. It helped that the various bar associations only gave "not recommended" marks to two of them, which still left 1,640 little "yes" ovals to fill in.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the world...
Finally, Chicago gets a new brewery taproom on Thursday when Hop Butcher to the World opens in Half Acre's former Lincoln Avenue space, just over 2 km from my house. Cassie and I might find out on Saturday whether they let dogs in, assuming the forecast holds. (And there it is: a post that literally checks all the boxes for Daily Parker categories!)
Here are some short thoughts that add up to longer thoughts today:
Finally, from 2021, the Calgary Real Estate Board (no kidding) extols the virtues of the conversation pit.
I'm starting to adapt my habits and patterns to the new place. I haven't figured out where to put everything yet, especially in my kitchen, but I'll live with the first draft for a few weeks before moving things around.
I'm also back at work in my new office loft, which is measurably quieter than the previous location—except when the Metra comes by, but that just takes a couple of seconds.
I actually have the mental space to resume my normal diet of reading. If only I had the time. Nevertheless:
Finally, does anyone want to go to New York with me to see a play about Robert Moses starring Ralph Fiennes? Apparently tickets are only $2,000 a pop...
Even though it seems the entire world has paused to honor HRH The Queen on the 70th anniversary of her accession, the world in fact kept spinning:
Blogger Moxie Marlinspike wrote about their first impressions of web3 back in January. I just got around to reading it, and you should too.
- On the same topic, a group of 25 security professionals, including Grady Booch, Bruce Schneier, and Molly White, wrote an open letter to Congress advocating for serious regulation of cryptocurrencies.
- What's Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's strategy in Ukraine? Wait us out. (It helps that he gives no thought to anyone's life but his own.)
- Closer to home, Jelani Cobb writes about "the atrocity of American gun culture."
- The US Navy's last conventionally-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Kitty Hawk, has arrived in Brownsville, Texas, for dismantling. Apparently Chicago didn't want an aircraft carrier museum for some reason.
- Chicago has bungalows, L.A. has dingbats, Amsterdam has canal houses, and Dublin has over-basement row houses.
- Bloomberg suggests the Elizabeth Line could prompt a whole re-map of the London Underground.
Oh, and plastic recycling doesn't work, and probably can't.
And here, a propos of nothing, is a photo of St Boniface Cemetery I took this morning:
The temperature at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters bottomed out at -16.5°C around 8am today, colder than any time since February 15th. It's up to -8.6°C now, with a forecast for continued wild gyrations over the next week (2°C tomorrow, -17°C on Monday, 3°C on Wednesday). Pity Cassie, who hasn't gotten nearly enough walks because of the cold, and won't next week as her day care shut down for the weekend due to sick staff.
Speaking of sick staff, New Republic asks a pointed question about the Chicago Public Schools: why should their teachers be responsible for making life normal again?
The Washinigton Post asks, what will people do with the millions of dogs they adopted when they (the people, not the dogs) go back to work?
The lawyers for Cyber Ninjas ask, who's going to pay their fees after the grift-based organization shut down abruptly?
And North Michigan Avenue asks, will any more pieces of the Hancock Center fall off the building?
And I ask, will Cassie ever let me sleep past 7am?
I just started Sprint 52 in my day job, after working right up to the last possible minute yesterday to (unsuccessfully) finish one more story before ending Sprint 51. Then I went to a 3-hour movie that you absolutely must see.
Consequently a few things have backed up over at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters.
Before I get into that, take a look at this:
That 17.1°C reading at IDTWHQ comes in a shade lower than the official reading at O'Hare of 17.8°, which ties the record high maximum set in 1971. The forecast says it'll hang out here for a few hours before gale-force winds drive the temperature down to more seasonal levels overnight. I've even opened a few windows.
So what else is new?
So what really is new?
But Sprint 52 at my office, that's incredibly new, and I must go back to it.
As the last workday in October draws to a close, in all its rainy gloominess, I have once again spent all day working on actually coding stuff and not reading these articles:
Finally, a 97-year-old billionaire has given $240 million to UC Santa Barbara on the condition they build a 4500-room dormitory so awful (think Geidi Prime) the school's consulting architect resigned.