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The University and the City
A Centennial View of the
University of Chicago
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Field Colombian Museum, Jackson Park, undated

Field Colombian Museum, Jackson Park, undated. The Fine Arts Building for the World's Colombian Exposition continued in use as the first home of the Field Colombian Museum, later renamed the Field Museum of 6atural History. When the Field Museum moved to a new site at the south end of Grant Park, the building was refurbished and reincarnated as the Museum of Science and Industry.

 

Carson Pirie Scott & Company advertisement, Cap and Gown, 1905.

Carson Pirie Scott & Company advertisement, Cap and Gown, 1905. Andrew MacLeish joined the firm of Carson Pirie Scott in 1866. Active in the Fourth Baptist Church, MacLeish had been a trustee of the Old University of Chicago and was one of the original trustees that met to organize the new university in 1890.

 

President Max Mason and Mr. and Mrs. William A. Wieboldt, Wieboldt Hall groundbreaking, 1925.

President Max Mason and Mr. and Mrs. William A. Wieboldt, Wieboldt Hall groundbreaking, 1925. The Wieboldt Foundation provided funds for a building to house the University's modern language departments.

The Civic Spirit

An Era of Institution-Building
Taking over his father's lumber business, Martin A. Ryerson shared Hutchinson's vision of the ideal city and worked closely with him through much of his life. An avid collector and student of art, he served as vicepresident of the Art Institute and of the Field Museum and also supported the Chicago Orphan Asylum, the Sprague Memorial Institute, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Poetry magazine. Ryerson had funded the physics laboratory for the University, and his highminded approach to science was expressed in his speech at the dedication of the Yerkes Observatory in 1897, when he encouraged "the cultivation of science for its own sake" at a time when so much energy was expended on "the improvement of material conditions."

University fundraisers sometimes had to compete with counterparts from other organizations. In a sense, though, each institution lent prestige to the others, as each benefited the city as a whole. William R. Harper sought close associations with other educational organizations in the city. Some affiliated directly, such as Rush Medical College, the Chicago Manual Training School, and many years later the John Crerar Library; some discussed mergers or cooperative ventures but remained independent, as did the Armour Institute of Technology and Theodore Thomas's Chicago Orchestra. Others maintained close ties through individual trustees or faculty members, as did the Art Institute and Field Museum. Interaction among the city's educational and cultural institutions strengthened them individually and collectively, as each developed a unique identity and purpose.

Merchandisers and Advertisers
Early settlers in Chicago foresaw its geographical potential as a center for trade. Farmers needed supplies from the East and a way to deliver their goods to the proper markets. Chicago was a connecting point for both land and water transportation routes and soon became a hub of retail and wholesale merchandising, as well as a collection point for grain, cattle, and lumber from throughout the Middle West.

University benefactors founded and ran many of Chicago's great retail establishments, including Marshall Field's, Carson Pirie Scott & Co., Mandel Brothers, Wieboldt's, Goldblatt's, Walgreen's drug stores, mailorder giants Sears, Roebuck and Montgomery Ward's, as well as hardware and railroad supply companies. "Not known as a great giver," Marshall Field donated land and sold additional parcels for the original site of the University and later initiated a challenge grant that raised $1,000,000 in endowment. Thomas W. Goodspeed, who was responsible for much of the University's fundraising, said that "the University did an equally great service for Mr. Field," opening his eyes to the benefits of philanthropy and leading to other gifts, especially for the creation of the Field Museum.

Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck & Co. during its meteoric rise at the turn of the century, became even better known as a philanthropist, believing in "giving while you live" rather than establishing permanent trusts. He sponsored schools for African-Americans in rural areas throughout the South and raised money for YMCA buildings in urban areas, as well as aiding the University of Chicago, the Associated Jewish Charities, and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Adolphus Clay Bartlett moved to Chicago in 1863 and took up the hardware business. His main philanthropic interest was the Chicago Home for the Friendless. He became a close friend of William Rainey Harper and a trustee of the University. Bartlett donated funds for the men's gymnasium on campus named for his son, and another son, Frederic Clay Bartlett, painted the interior murals depicting a medieval tournament.


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