The Plan in the News

“See New Chicago, Gem of America”
Excerpt from Chicago Daily Tribune, October 27, 1906

The future Chicago is to be made one of the most artistic cities in this country—one of the world’s show places, esthetically considered.

Comprehensive plans for the development of the city along architectural lines, with beautiful public places and driveways, a connecting north and south boulevard, an outer parkway extending the entire length of the city along the lake front, and in time an outer park system, will be prepared under direction of the Merchant’s Club.

Daniel H. Burnham, the veteran architect, who recently has prepared plans for the United States government for Washington, D.C. and Manilla, and also for the city of San Francisco, will have general supervision of the work. He has donated his services and intends to make the Chicago plan in its entirety the masterpiece of his life.

“Plans for a City Beautiful; Chicago Not Last in the Race”
By Dexter Marshall
Excerpt from Chicago Daily Tribune, January 6, 1907

One of the most interesting races the world has ever known is being run by the cities in the United States, a race the running of which will involve the expenditure of untold sums of money and consume years of time, instead of minutes. But at the finish the cities will be transformed almost beyond recognition, and they will be so much better and more desirable places to live in that no one will begrudge either the time or the money expended.

Humanly speaking, there will never be a finish, since this race is for greater beauty, and there will have to be a radical change in the temperament of the composite people we call Americans before the desire to excel along lines the cities are now pursuing will be satisfied.

“Explain Details of Great Chicago”
Excerpt from Chicago Daily Tribune, July 4, 1909

At last, after nearly three years of continuous and arduous labor on the part of a few citizens, members of the Commercial Club, the plans for “Beautiful Chicago,” Urbs in Horto—a city set in a garden—as our civic motto says, have been perfected. They represent the composite production of many minds, a scheme whereby the city may be transformed in due course of time from a conglomerate urban mass into an aesthetically ideal, symmetrically perfect, commercially economical metropolis.

“First Surveys for Proposed Rebuilding of Chicago Have Been Made”
By Rodney Gilbert
Excerpt from Chicago Daily Tribune, October 16, 1910

Chicago, the city beautiful, is no longer a mere dream. The surveyors, the advance agents of reform, are out with their transits, estimates are being made, and the first great step in the transformation of the city is about to be undertaken.

“Urges the Need of a City Plan”
By Charles H. Wacker
Excerpt from Chicago Daily Tribune, December 14, 1910

At the time of the civil war only 3 per cent of the population of the United States lived in cities, while at present 33 per cent are living in cities and 10 per cent in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

The problem confronting the last generation was to provide gas, electric light, and pure water in the rapidly growing cities, and the problem confronting the present generation and the next is to provide light, air, and beautiful surroundings to the multitudes swarming to the cities.

The industrial development of the age, the expansion and perfection of means of communication, the invention of farm machinery, which upon the farm in a marked degree has replaced manual labor and at the same time vastly increased the possibilities for making land productive—these developments are among the underlying natural causes for the concentration of the population in cities.

Nature has richly endowed us with possibilities for making our city the best, healthiest, and most beautiful of cities, if we only get together and adopt a plan for the development of the existing natural conditions and possibilities surrounding us. Such a plan, however, should not enter into or attempt to arrange details of administration of our city, which details must be left subject to such changes as the development that will take place from generation to generation may demand.

A city without a plan is like a ship without a rudder. Bearing this in mind, it seems entirely superfluous to tell the business men and the citizens generally that we should have a plan. There is no doubt at all in my mind that with a better understanding of our project they will all realize the absolute necessity of planning for the future growth and expansion of a city that has grown in seventy-five years from a village and a couple of thousand frontiersmen and traders to a metropolitan city of nearly two and a quarter million people.

Articles © Chicago Tribune Company. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Content last updated: October 31, 2009

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