Chicago’s Convention Center Hits Hard Times

McCormick Place used to be the preeminent convention venue in the United States.

And, even before, I remember my father’s attending conventions in Chicago.

We lived in Easton, Maryland, during the 1940’s into the early 1950’s before we moved to Salt Lake City. I remember my mother, sister Janet and I seeing Dad off at the Easton Airport. He was flying out in what we would now consider a two engine propeller-driven puddle hopper, but it looked like a big plane to me. Piedmont Airlines, I think.

McCormick Place was built, burned down, was re-built, expanded and expanded again.

At some point those cagey folks in Los Vegas and Orlando figured out that people didn’t go to conventions just for the convention. It could be a taxpayer subsidized vacation.

Now, the chickens have come home to roost.

The McHenry County Community Foundation, as recent week’s readers will remember, is pushing for a multi-facility convention center – baseball stadium – county fair grounds – children’s museum – fire fighting museum – not-for-profit office building.

And McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler has promised no tax dollar will be spent.

Showing how hard that goal is to accomplish is a Wednesday Chicago Tribune article entitled,


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