Ald. Tom Tunney was all smiles Saturday, Nov. 13, as he welcomed Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and other North Side politicians to his 44th Ward and the brand new 23rd District Police Station building. The district is very diverse and includes a large segment of the city's LGBT population.
On Nov. 22, as 23rd District Commander Kathleen Boehmer pointed out, her officers will start their police shift in the oldest still-operating police building in the world ( the Town Hall building at Addison and Halsted is 103 years old ) and move a few hundred feet west to the nation's newest and most state-of-the-art police facility, at 850 W. Addison. The new building is a few blocks east of Wrigley Field, and around the corner from the Center on Halsted.
Dozens of politicians, media and community representatives attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the facility. It makes extensive use of recycled materials, according to Public Building Commission Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi, and is on track to receive the Gold rating as a LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ) for its energy efficiency and recycling targets.
When it comes to building infrastructure, Cabonargi said Chicago is unmatched in the U.S. This was the thirteenth new police facility built in Daley's 21 years as mayor, and the city has also built many new fire stations, schools and other public buildings.
"When you wait, you stop progress," Daley said of the need to build new facilities for the changing world. "I am very proud" of this building, he said.
Ald. Tunney has championed both the saving of the historic old police district facility, and the building of this new structure, which also includes a public parking component. Cabonargi said Tunney's leadership was "pivotal" in planning the new building. There are discussions now about what to do with the old building, Tunney said.
After a presentation about the facility, Daley, Tunney and others went on a tour. They viewed the public art by Todd Palmer, community rooms, the lockup rooms, the physical fitness area, locker rooms, the computer systems, police cubicles, the environmental features, and more.
Ald. Tunney stopped to have his fingerprints taken, sparking laughter from the mayor and others.
Other officials at the ribbon cutting included Chicago Police Department Supt. Jody Weis, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, Ald. Helen Shiller, Ald. Vi Daley, Ald. Eugene Schulter, and state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz.
The $30-million building is 44,000 square feet, and was designed by Wight & Company.
Also please see: The Daley dynasty to end by Tracy Baim www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29481
And: Daley's last GL Hall of Fame www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29482