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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois • Page 22

Publication:
Chicago Tribunei
Location:
Chicago, Illinois
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Page:
22
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

22 Section 1 Chicago Tribune, Tuesday, October 8, 1996 FROM PAGE ONE Bernardin: In the 14 years since becoming archbishop, he has won over some of his toughest Stabbing: Friends say Michael Grossman said that he and his father did not always get along and that some of their feuds became violent. Continued from Page 1 Richard Grossman was a musician, as well, an accomplished pianist, guitarist and writer who, Larry Grossman said, recorded at least one compact disc of his songs. I Richard also was a benefactor of the Juvenile Protection Association, a private organization in Chicago that treats abused children and their families. "They were a very healthy, beautiful family," said Martha Paulissian, who lives across the street at 2021 Keats. "Just wasted." Although there was evidence the father and son had an explosive relationship, police said they uspect that Richard Grossman's piano playing was the flash point for the rage in his son Thursday night.

"That seems like the catalyst for this whole thing," Highland Park Police Chief Daniel J. Dahlberg said Monday. "That's what got it started." The two allegedly exchanged words. Then, police alleged, Michael Grossman went into the kitchen, picked out a knife and stabbed his father repeatedly in the neck. The fight spilled outside.

When officers arrived shortly before 8 p.m., Richard Grossman was side the house, bleeding heavily. Michael was inside. Hp was taken into rnstnriv a Chicago Historical Society photo A fire of opportunity The view looking north on Clark Street after fire destroyed much of the city presented a vista of destruction and unprecedented opportunity. short time later. With his father still alive, Michael Grossman was 'charged with attempted murder.

His mother arranged tor the honn 4 i i i mat gui ivuuuaei uui ui jau. Authorities increased the charge to first-degree murder when Richard Grossman died Monday while on life support, fSi'- fillip iffcb lit tli Continued- from Page 1 dented opportunity to rebuild an even better Chicago. It was a chance to replace its hodge-podge city scape where factories, stores and housing were jammed against one another with a floor plan for a modern metropolis. Moreover, the speed and enthusiasm with which Chicago-ans accomplished that transformation also gave the city a lasting reputation as a place not content, as Daniel Bumham later would say, to make small plans. On Tuesday, as the city marks the anniversary of the fire, few would disagree that the fire, more than any other event, gave birth to the unique metropolis we see today: a skyline that witnesses the evolution of modern architecture; a lakefront that is the envy of every city in the nation; and a place where the immigrant has been welcomed as perhaps nowhere else.

"I've never heard of another city that so embraced its own destruction," said Carl Smith, a Northwestern University professor who has studied Chicago's reaction to the disaster. The first Sunday after the fire, Henry Ward Beecher, a prominent Protestant minister, preached at a local church. He assured parishioners that the city "could not do without the Chicago Fire." In fact the fire of 1871 wasn't just woven into local legend and lore. It quickly became a theme of American history. Hollywood popularized the story of Chicago and its fire in the 1938 movie "In Old Chicago," staring Don Ameche, Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Andy Devine and Alice Tribune file photo The husk of the Drake-Farwell building and what remains of the courthouse and City Hall (at right) after the fire in 1 87 1 the priests in the Chicago archdiocese.

Continued from Page 1 He established an office devoted to priests'' needs. He defended them when a rash of scandals tarnished their collective reputation. He has listened, sometimes beyond anybody's expectations, to their comments, pleas and complaints. More important he has created a new relationship between the archbishop and the men he relies on to carry the word to Chicago's 2.3 million Roman Catholics. "You will know, also, that I love you because I am Joseph, your brother," Bernardin told the priests, echoing the words he had used in that first service.

That night, some joked that the thunderstorm was an otherworldly message from deceased Cardinal John Cody, who had been more like a cold and distant uncle rather than a brother. As Cody's health had declined and the church's financial troubles grew, frustration among the priests mushroomed. "There was sort of a passive resistance," recalled Rev. Thomas Ventura, pastor of Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity in Winnetka, who has been a priest since 1961.

"People, kind of withdrew from contact outside their parishes." Then Bernardin arrived. The prayer service was not unheard of: Pope John Paul II had held his cardinals in conclave an extra night after his 1978 election so they could pray together. But the service was a far cry from the contact priests had with Cody, usually at obligatory public masses. In that first gathering, Bernardin showed that he was not insensitive to the feelings Cody had left "If there was darkness he let the darkness be represented," said Ventura, recalling the darkened cathedral. "Then there was a light the new archbishop coming in with the candle.

It was a very powerful symbol" Among some of the younger priests, that moment made believ-. ers. "There was just an absolute euphoric feeling unlike anything I had ever experienced," said Rev. Jerry Boland, who had been ordained in 1981. Boland, chairman of the archdiocese's presbyteral council and executive director of the priest placement board, ran through the rain thinking, "This is going to be great." In the ensuing years, there were other signs of Bernardin's commitment Usually personally available for crises, Bernardin created the position of vicar for priests in 1984.

Ventura, who' was the first vicar, said Bernardin told him he did not want to forget the 95 percent of priests who did not face crises. Bernardin worked not only with the official organization, the presbyteral council, but with the independent Association of Chicago Priests. As the 1980s ended, Bernardin began planning a series of 10 overnight retreats that would allow each priest to meet with him in a smaller group. But before the retreats began, Bernardin faced revolt In 1990 after he announced some closings, dissident priests marched to the chancery and staged a sit-in. Rev.

Michael Ivers, pastor of St Agatha Church, was one of the pro-, testers. He hadn't simmered down a few weeks later when he was invited to one of the retreats and asked to talk to Bernardin In front of 90 other priests. "I told him that I was really upset with him about the closing of Quigley South and I thought that it was racism at work," Ivers recalled. "I told him I had lost respect and trust in him." After the discussion, Bernardin beckoned Ivers aside. For some prelates, Ivers' remarks would have been grounds for reprimand, punishment or worse.

Bernardin had one comment "I want you to know that I'm going to do everything I can to win back your trust" Shortly after that, Bernardin named Ivers to the priest placement board. Ivers warned him that he would continue to disagree. "He said, 'It would be easy for me to surround myself with people who agree with me, but that would not be in the best interests of the Ivers said. On Monday, Bernardin expressed his concern for his priests one more time, promising to look for ways to enrich their spiritual life. "That will be my final legacy to you," he told them.

And while there are critics among Chicago's 1,849 priests, Boland said Bernardin's illness has drawn the clergy together. "There's more and more awareness of how graced these 14 years have been," he said. Brady, who won an Oscar for her role as Mrs. O'Leary. Chicagoans were more than eager to play roles in an urban morality tale.

The day after the fire, John Stephen Wright was accosted by a local "doubting Thomas" who sarcastically asked what he thought of the city's future. A pioneering businessman, Wright had been Chicago's greatest booster and boaster, always predicting great things for it "Chicago," Wright calmly their tenants long-term leases. That impediment to development was removed when a fire, broke out about 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct 8, 1871, in the southwestern corner of the city. Historians can't be sure about the commonly accepted version of the story that the fire began in Mrs.

CLeary's barn. Years afterward, a newspaper reporter of the day claimed to have invented the tale of the cow kicking over a lantern. Still, it is clear that the conflagration began somewhere in the vicinity of the O'Leary residence on DeKoven Street near Clinton Street on a site now fittingly occupied by the Chicago Fire Department's training facility. William Brass, co-owner of the Chicago Tribune, hopped aboard the first available train, determined that Eastern businessmen and bankers would know that Chicagoans intended their city to rise again like a Phoenix from its ashes. "Go to Chicago now!" Bross proclaimed.

"Young men, hurry there! Old men, send your sons! Women, send your husbands! You will never again have such a chance to make money!" Bross must have been an effective salesman, as the ambitious of all classes started heading West drawn to Chicago. Workers went to hire onto construction crews rebuilding the city, giving Chicago a reputation as a place where anyone willing to work wouldn't lack for a job. So when waves of European immigrants shortly started arriving on America's shores, they piled upon trains bound for Chicago by the hundreds of thousands. Chicago's determination to make a virtue of tragedy also drew a whole generation of young architects, whose designs were destined to. make modern architecture virtually synonymous with Chicago's architecture.

Newly arrived in Chicago, John Root and Daniel Burnham, who would form a celebrated architectural partnership, met in 1872 on one of the hundreds of construction sites that then marked Chicago's burnt-out district. Miller noted that the young Burnham, looking at the city's ashes, saw not so much the city that had perished but the far more livable city with which it should be replaced. "Burnham saw the city reduced to its abstract condition, a kind of Platonic ideal of what Chicago should become," Miller said. Later, Burnham would incorporate that vision into his famous Plan for Chicago, a detailed blueprint for the city's development But long before that Chicagoans took advantage of the disaster. For example, to make room for the city's reconstruction, tons of fire debris were carted to Lake Michigan and used for land filL Having taken that first step in the emergency of the fire, the idea was established that the natural beauty of Chicago's lake front should be preserved.

"Because of the unique way it responded to its fire, Chicago became famous as a place where ideas were tested in action," Miller said. "Long, before Carl Sandburg put it just that way, Chicago was celebrated around the world as a city of big shouldersa city that knew how to turn even catastrophe into The path of the Great Chicago Fire 0 12 1 I It is not known how the fire started on Oct. 8, 1871, but the first flames are believed to have come from a cowshed on the city's replied, standing amid the rubble of Wabash Avenue, "will have more men, more money, more business, within five years than she would have had without the fire." In the autumn of 1871, Chicago was a city of about 334,000. By 1880, its population had grown to 503,185. Within a few months of the fire, Chicago attracted more than $25 million in new foreign capital, as European investors poured money into a city that had been leveled from about Taylor Street on the south to Fuller-ton Avenue on the north, from Halsted Street on the west to Lake Michigan on the east Chicago lost 1,750 buildings when four square miles of the city burned.

It rebuilt so quickly that by 1875, tourists were complaining that there was little evidence left of the burning. Eager to be back in business, Chicago's movers and shakers replaced most of the downtown commercial structures within a year and a half. By the 1880s, however, the volume of business was so great that wrecking balls were knocking down that first generation of post-fire buildings. "Chicago has always been a gleam in a speculator's eye," said Ross Miller, a University of Connecticut professor who has studied Chicago's rebuilding. "The fire handed the city's businessmen an opportunity they scarcely could have dreamed of Southwest Side.

The fire V. Park Hospital. Pjolice said Michael was at For- est! Hospital on Monday, although it yas not clear how long he had been there or what, if any, treatment he was getting. Dahlberg said that investigators were unsure why he was at the hospital. Michael Grossman now sits in Lake County Jail, his bond revoked.

"His mind must have snapped," said Larry Grossman, trying to explain what had happened between his brother and nephew. ''Like I said, who knows what happened?" Highland Park police said they were called to the well-kept brick Tudor home close to a dozen times over three years for a variety of problems and disputes. The 1992 divorce between Richard and Susan Grossman and the fighting it produced accounted for a number of the calls. 1 In July 1992, the father was arrested on a charge of battery and the mother was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct, according to Highland Park' police. What ultimately happened with the criminal charges is unclear, however.

Officers were called because of disputes over custody of the couple's three children, according to police, and for fights between father and son. In July 1993, for instance, the police were called because the two were fighting over keeping a cat. Though Michael's father had Custody, Michael sometimes lived with his mother in Lake Forest, and some friends described him as! troubled. He withdrew from Highland Park High School in May, before the end of his junior year, according to Jane Gard, the principal. Tris year he started at Lake Forest High School, with his father paying a higher out-of-the-district tuition.

Michael was quiet, his friends said, and he told them that he and his father did not always get along. He told some that their arguments sometimes turned vio-lent, though it seemed his two sisters, Kimberly and Joanna, were able to steer clear of family trouble. Monday, the black 1997 Chevrolet Camaro that his father bought him was sitting in their driveway, a symbol of his father's generosity. There was a sense that Michael Grossman was trying to move past the troubles he had at Highland Park High School. Friends said he tried to distance himself from his old crowd and, perhaps, was trying to find an arrangement with his father they both could live with.

"He said his Highland Park friends were bad influences," said one former friend, who spoke on' condition his name not be used. "Look at him now." Oct 9 Paytime -fr-V The fire bums to FullerJofK I destroyed property valued at $200 million in a 4-square- mile area. I i nvcnuci ii lama uuiingiutc ,1 night, and the fire burris out. Present-day unicago snoreune 4-iUX iOct 9 3:30 a.m. Vaterwork 5 burning at Chicago and Michigan wenues.

Neighboring Water I Tower is one of a few buildings to survive, A JLtwas an answer to their prayers." When John Wright, the -unshakable booster, got here in IBSTTEhfcago had less than a Oct 9 2:30 HH Fire spreads ti -hundred residents. By 1871, its River and to Noi riff- j. mi The heart of the city is burning. Ctt 8 Tfe fire spreads across tfie South Branch.iheading population had multiplied three thousand fold. Yet on the Near North Side through what is now the Rush Street entertainment district and the Michigan Avenue shopping rialto well-to-do-citizens kept chickens and vegetable gardens.

Chicago's downtown realtors were especially frustrated in 1871, Miller noted. With the volume of business rapidly growing, fortunes were waiting to be made by replacing existing structures with bigger ones containing more rental space. But many property owners were stymied, having granted Van Buren Lake I Michigan northeast. Hamson Flariies ate seen com ng Sources: Chicago Historical Society, "The Great Chxiago Fire" by David Ibwe from the p'Learys' barn on West DeKoven Street. Chicago Tribuna Roosevilt zro:.

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