City Beautiful, City Cultural

The City That Works

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Children with thank-you signs at dedication of Welles Park field house and pool, 1970. RJD_04_01_0032_0010_002

Children with thank-you signs at dedication of Welles Park field house and pool, 1970. RJD_04_01_0032_0010_002

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Commemorative paperweight--Lawndale Times Annual Award, 1957. RJD_06_01_0002_0013_001

Commemorative paperweight–Lawndale Times Annual Award, 1957. RJD_06_01_0002_0013_001

 

Ribbon. Mayor's Citizens Committee for a Cleaner Chicago, Annual Cleaner Chicago Parade, Honorary Parade Marshal, undated. RJD_01_04_0007_0007_001

Ribbon. Mayor’s Citizens Committee for a Cleaner Chicago, Annual Cleaner Chicago Parade, Honorary Parade Marshal, undated. RJD_01_04_0007_0007_001

The mayor was very much involved, as is his son, in beautifying the city. So he created urban beautification awards. Every year, they would give plaques to different people who had won awards.

Jerome Butler, City Architect, interview excerpt, July 8,2002

 

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Dr. Paul Dudley White and Richard J. Daley riding a tandem bike to help open a bicycle path on Ogden Avenue in Chicago, 1956. RJD_04_01_0004_0004_013

Dr. Paul Dudley White and Richard J. Daley riding a tandem bike to help open a bicycle path on Ogden Avenue in Chicago, 1956. RJD_04_01_0004_0004_013

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We used to hand sweep the streets at night with a small crew in the downtown streets only. But it was a pretty wide area. Well, all of the visitors would come to Chicago. And these guys with the hand brooms would get between the cars. They’d get all the debris. If you went to New York, you’d see it all over. Well, people would come and they’d see all of this wonderful, cleaned up, downtown area. And they attributed it to being the same throughout it.

James McDonough, Commissioner of Department of Streets and Sanitation, interview excerpt, September 17, 2003

11th Ward Cleanup Float, undated. RJD_04_01_0038_0020_006

11th Ward Cleanup Parade Float, undated. RJD_04_01_0038_0020_006

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Letter to Mayor Daley about the 11th Ward Spring Cleanup Program, 1971. RJD_01_01_0102_0005_023

Letter to Mayor Daley about the 11th Ward Spring Cleanup Program, 1971. RJD_01_01_0102_0005_023

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Cleanup Parades on Chicago’s State Street. Click on the second image to play video.

Jack Brickhouse of WGN interviewing Mayor Richard J. Daley about a Cleanup Parade on State Street, April 12, 1958. RJD_04_01_0019_0012_006

Jack Brickhouse of WGN interviewing Mayor Richard J. Daley about a Cleanup Parade on State Street, April 12, 1958. RJD_04_01_0019_0012_006

 

Video: Excerpt from “Miscellaneous Footage” (no sound), RJD_04_02_0000_0000_049

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State Street in the Loop, ca. 1965

State Street in the Loop, ca. 1965

Well, one man that had a big business on Michigan Avenue came to him and suggested that he’d like to donate money to the city for the beautification and did. So Dick turned to him and he said, “No, the city has the money. I’ll tell you what you can do. We have the flower boxes. The city will donate those to the merchants for the streets. During the four seasons of the year, you businessmen can donate the flowers. That’d be a project for you people.” And they were greatly impressed with that. He didn’t just want the money to do it. He wanted to let them do it. They felt that they were part of the operation….But he always wanted the best.

Eleanor Daley, wife of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, December 17, 2002

 

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Richard J. Daley unveiling McFetridge Dr. sign surrounded by watching crowd, July 14, 1970. McFetridge drive was a causeway into Chicago's "Museum Campus" where the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium are located. RJD_04_01_0032_0009_005

Richard J. Daley unveiling McFetridge Dr. sign surrounded by watching crowd, July 14, 1970. McFetridge drive was a causeway into Chicago’s “Museum Campus” where the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium are located. RJD_04_01_0032_0009_005

Neighborhood Farm Program, page from packet explaining the program, 1975. RJD_01_01_0146_0007_002

Neighborhood Farm Program, page from packet explaining the program, 1975. RJD_01_01_0146_0007_002

 

 

 

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Mayor Daley promoted public artwork. One prominent (and controversial) example was the Picasso sculpture in the Loop. Click on the first image to play video.

 Video: Excerpt from “Richard J. Daley: The Trees He Planted,” written and produced by Joe Howard, Executive Producer Ed Planer. RJD_04_02_0000_0000_016

Scene from the dedication of the Picasso sculpture

Scene from the dedication of the Picasso sculpture, August 1967. RJD_04_01_0026_0007_006

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While Daley was mayor, the city commissioned famed artist Marc Chagall to create a public mosaic downtown. Translation of Chagall’s letter:

I have just received your letter of October 4. I thank you; and I must also express my emotion and gratitude for the warm greeting that you and your city gave me. I want to assure you that it is one of the best memories of my life. My wife joins me in sending to you and Mrs. Daley our most cordial sentiments.

Under Daley's watch, the city commissioned famed artist Marc Chagall to create a public mosaic downtown. Marc Chagall to Richard J. Daley, October 12, 1974. RJD_01_02_0001_0005_002

Under Daley’s watch, the city commissioned famed artist Marc Chagall to create a public mosaic downtown. Marc Chagall to Richard J. Daley, October 12, 1974. RJD_01_02_0001_0005_002