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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 23, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 3

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-01-23/ed-1/seq-3/

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Three lawyers came before the
lease committee of the board of edu
cation and talked about a land deal
on the spot where the highest-priced
land in Chicago is today.
Read this story and you will know
one reason why the public schools of
this city are short one million dol
lars, school teachers short of pay and
school children short of advantages
they ought to have.
The people of Chicago are going to
make or lose tens of millions of dol
lare on this land deaL
The three lawyers are Donald L.
Morrill, Frank G. Gardner and Rush
C. Butler. They are doing the talk
ing for the owners of buildings in
the block between State and Dear
born and Madison and Monroe
The land is school land, owned by
the board of education, set aside by
the government of the United States
for the benefit of the public schools of
Chicago. Because the greatest
crowds of shoppers in any city in the
world pass the- corner of State and
Madisoa it is the 'most valuable block
for retail business in America.
These owners of buildings want the
leases changed. Just what they want
is not as yet clearly made publicly
known. They did not offer their prop
ositions in writing. Exactly what
they said will not be known for a day
or two iill the official record of the
lease committee is written up, which
will be "today or Monday," It was said
at board of education office today.
Leases run out May 8. The law
yers are feeling out the board of ed
ucation members on whether in the
new leases the board is willing to fix
the land rental for 99 years.
Charles P. Peterson, member of
the-lease committee and treasurer of
the board of education, said today:
"Att'y Butler argued for a long
term lease with progressiye valua
tions, but no clauses for providing
for future revaluations. If such a
lease is given for 99 years he prom
ised that the Crilly building would
be replaced with a new $1,000,000
skyscraper. He said that at present
they can't get needed money at the
bank on a lease with a revaluation
"I can understand clearly that a
lease without a revaluation clause' is
more valuable and more definite for
getting loans at a bank. I believe,
however, that at the present time it
would not be good public policy to
grant such leases for school lands.
"The attorneys who came before
our committee represented all the
school land leaseholders in the State-Madison-Monroe-Dearborn
block be
sides other schol land lessees in the
Margaret Haley, business agent oil
the Chicago Teachers' Federation,
spoke before the Chicago Political
Equality league at the Congress hotel
this afternoon, saying;
"I want the people of Chicago to
watch every move in this attempt to
change the leases. If there had been
no secrecy and corruption in connec
tion with the school land leases in
the last there would be easily a mil
lion dollars more revenue yearly com
ing to the public schools of Chicago.
"The Boston store got its leace for"
one-third actual value. The value
was fixed in the least at $32.40 a foot
while land alongside of it was ex
changed in real estate transactions
for from $80 to $110 a front foot.
"The Chicago Tribune got a Tease
on a valuation which robs the publics
schools of one-half the rental they
would derive under a properly esti
mated valuation. The Tribune cor
ner is valued in its lease at $60.75 a
front foot while the land just across
the street on which the Hartford bldg.
stands was valued at that time at
$118.93 a front foot The Tribune
lease provided for no revaluation,"

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