The Chicago Architects Oral History Project, at the Art Institute of Chicago site, is a must for anyone with more than a passing curiosity about Chicago.
Listen to John Cordwell, the lead architect for Sandburg Village, talking to interviewer Betty Blum, about an ad agency’s idea to name the project after poet Carl Sandburg:
Cordwell: A great idea, sure. But then I got cold feet because Carl Sandburg was still alive, and he had rather unusual habits of getting drunk and chasing young women even when he was ninety, you know.
Blum: No, I didn’t know.
Cordwell: Well, he did. It was in the newspapers, for God’s sake. I suddenly thought, Oh, my God, here we’ve named this Carl Sandburg Village and suppose he gets caught in some obscene act with some woman or some immoral act. The partners were all worried about it. I said, “Don’t worry. I know what we’ll do. At the ground-breaking he can lay the first stone there. He’ll lay it with a gold trough, and I’ll take the trough from him and I’ll stab him with it and it will become the Carl Sandburg Memorial Village.” But that never came to pass.