Thursday, April 30, 2009

Keep Your Eye On The Rubble

If you blinked, you missed it.  It didn't take long for demolition crews to converge on the old CBS Building in Streeterville after the eye network moved to its gleaming new home at Block 37 in The Loop.

All that's left now is a pit of debris and the cranes emptying it.

For those of you who don't know, this building had quite a history.

  • It was originally the headquarters and stables of the Chicago Riding Club.
  • It then became an ice skating rink.
  • It was then used as a roller skating rink.
  • Then it became the home of WBBM, WBBM-TV and WBBM-FM, along with the Midwest headquarters of CBS News and CBS Newspath.
  • This was where the Donahue talk show was produced for a time after it moved out of WGN-TV's north side studios.
  • This is where the Siskel & Ebert movie review show was first produced.
  • But most importantly -- in 1960, this was the location of the world's first televised presidential debate.  It was between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.  It is a debate that is still studied by journalism and media students to this day for many reasons that are beyond the scope of this humble blog.

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