Tuesday, March 8, 2016

O'Hare Airport Predecessor

Ted Avesing posted
[AirwaysNews also has this photo.]
I've been passing up some pictures of O'Hare itself, but this picture and some of the comments struck me as worthy of a posting.

Ted's comment: "Aerial view of Douglas Factory and Airport, October 1945."

This factory was built in Orchard Place to build the C-54 Skymaster transport aircraft. There used to be an orchard here before the plant was built. If you look at your luggage tag, you will see that O'Hare is designated ORD because of the original Orchard Place name.

The city bought the land from the government in March, 1946 and annexed a strip of land along Higgins to connect it to the city in 1956. But it got in trouble with the Illinois Supreme Court in 1959 for the  "shoestring" annexation.
Daley didn’t wait for the court to take up the Higgins annexation.  He reached a deal with Rosemont to swop the Higgins strip for a 185-foot wide strip along Foster Avenue, on Rosemont’s southern border. Now the matter really was settled. (wbez)
The original strip was as narrow as 33 feet in some spots. I wonder why 33 feet is too narrow, but 185 is OK.

Update:
David M Laz posted
Ch Town WWII The assembly line in the Douglas Aircraft plant in Park Ridge, Ill., where wings are attached to the fuselage of big C-54 cargo planes. The plant was 15 percent ahead of schedule in June 1944. — Douglas Aircraft, Chicago Tribune historical photo, July 7, 1944

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