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Daley vs. Daley

For much of the past half century, a mayor named Daley has towered over Chicago. We compare the reigns of father and son, assessing their triumphs and failures, their impact on the city—and what their enduring dominance at the polls says about us

(page 8 of 12)


“Dick the Builder” at the groundbreaking for McCormick Place in 1968

PUBLIC WORKS AND BIG PROJECTS
From Concrete to Wrought Iron

The 94th-floor observation deck of the John Hancock Center affords one of the best views of Chicago. At 1,000 feet high, it also offers a bird’s-eye view of some of the greatest hits from the two Mayors Daley. Peer down due east, along the shoreline, and you’ll find the James W. Jardine Water Purification Plant (Daley I) located next to a revitalized Navy Pier (Daley II). Looking south, there’s the Aon Center and the Sears Tower (both Daley I), and the glistening new Trump International Hotel and Tower (Daley II), currently 90 stories high, but rising to 92 by the time it’s completed next year. Also visible is a sliver of Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion (Daley II). Beyond the Loop, there’s the new Soldier Field (Daley II), as well as McCormick Place (Daley I) with its baby sister, McCormick Place South (Daley II).

From the southwest windows, there’s more—including IBM Plaza (Daley I), Chase Tower (Daley I), the United Center (Daley II), and the Stevenson and Dan Ryan expressways (Daley I). Looking north, you’ll see the Kennedy Expressway (Daley I) and, off in the distance, O’Hare (Daley I), which seems like just a speck from the top of “Big John,” as the Hancock (Daley I) is affectionately called.

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