A new name for the Chicago Cultural Center? | Bleader

A new name for the Chicago Cultural Center?

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  • John Picken

Bridgeport alderman Jim Balcer introduced legislation at yesterday's City Council meeting that would rename the Chicago Cultural Center for the late Eleanor "Sis" Daley. Balcer told the Sun-Times that he's acting on a request from the Daley family.

But the first time this idea came up, Sis Daley quashed it herself.

Back in 1972, when her husband, the first Mayor Daley, was ignoring calls to preserve the building and threatening to tear it down, Sis had spoken up for it. She's commonly credited with saving it at that juncture. But when the Tribune's John Kass suggested, years later, that the Cultural Center should therefore be renamed for her, she nixed it:

"Thank you so much, but no thanks . . . Chicago is a better name for that building . . . and it means more to all sorts of people," she said.

(The background on all that was the subject of this column I wrote nearly two years ago, when there was talk of naming the building for Sis's daughter-in-law, Maggie Daley.)

Sis was right then, and she's still right. The Cultural Center, built more than a century ago, paid for by the citizens, and famous as the People's Palace, has the only name it needs.

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