Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Officer and a Kook

I went to a wine tasting, a charity affair for the United Way, in Tribune Tower with a friend who works for the paper. We found ourselves in the original suite of offices of Col. McCormick, who was publisher when the building was completed in 1925.

Col. McCormick was not only wealthy and courageous (a decorated veteran), he was also a dedicated newspaperman (an original sponsor of the Medill School of Journalism) and one of our first right wing nut jobs. For example, he opposed FDR and was isolationist during WWII. He also opposed prohibition and was outspoken in his criticism of "gangsters," back when that was a common job description in Chicago.

Every one of his stands was controversial and Col. McCormick managed to piss just about everyone off during his time at the helm of the Tribune. He knew it, and had escape routes built into his office. There are secret doors behind the paneling, just like in an Agatha Christie novel, some that lead to staircases that eventually led down to the street level.

It was paranoid and impractical, but completely cool and I'm glad I got to see it.


  1. Anonymous9:48 AM

    I'm totally getting a job in a building like that. Haha.