The building that looks like a glass ski slope or a huge hot dog stand located across from Chicago’s City Hall was named for Governor James R. Thompson.
People call it the Thompson Center.
Land on which it sits used to be occupied by the Civic Center Bank and the Sherman House.
Both had interesting political connections.
Civic Center Bank stock was involved in financial shenanigans (read the political names in this court motion for more about the Civic Center Bank) uncovered by the late Sherman Skolnick. What he found resulted in two Illinois Supreme Court Justices (Associate Roy J. Solfisburg, Jr. and Chief Justice Ray Klingbiel) resigning. (A third resigned for “health” reasons, as I remember.)
The Sherman House was owned by the Teamsters Pension Fund.
And the State of Illinois bought both properties.
And built a new headquarters across the street from the old State of Illinois Building.
Now comes the head of the Chicago Federation of Labor, Jorge Ramirez, agreeing to a suggestion by Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper that the Thompson Center should be turned into a casino.
A friend of mind describes government as a way those in control can reward friends and campaign contributors.
If the Thompson Center is turned into a casino, more friends and campaign contributors will be rewarded, of course, but some small number to taxpayers will become winners, too.
Unfortunately, it will not have a 20-foot sign on its facade warning, “Losers.”
The Sun-Times article notes that the building is 28-years old and needs renovating.
When it was built, a crucial element was cut to save money. The windows were supposed to be double-paned, but the second, energy-saving layer of glass was eliminated in one of the worst false economies in Illinois governmental construction history.