(Published April 1, 2019)
By Jesse Wright, Staff Writer
Streeterville was undergoing a real estate boom in 2007 and developers were looking toward a bright future when a piece of the past surfaced for the first time in more than a century at the corner of Illinois Street and Grand Avenue.
It was an anchor, and it was 35 feet underground.
Realtor and neighborhood booster Gail Spreen believes it could be a relic from George “Cap” Streeter’s boat—a direct link to the eponymous founder of Streeterville.
“It’s the same style anchor that’s on Cap Streeter’s boats,” Spreen said.
Even if it’s not that exact anchor, it is an historic piece that represents a time when the McClurg and Grand Avenue area was underwater, well before it was under condominiums.
Above ground at last, the old anchor needs a home.
Spreen acquired the anchor in 2011 from the man who owned the property where it was uncovered. She’s hopeful someone will help find a permanent home for the artifact.
“Someday this anchor is going to go someplace where people appreciate it,” she said. “But until we have a location for it, it’s staying with me.”
The anchor is in two pieces and it came with a 35-foot chain attached, covered in rust and barnacles. Spreen said she’d like to see it near the eight-foot statue of Streeter, at the corner of McClurg and Grand near Yolk, where it was found.
“The best case would be where we wanted it, next to Cap Streeter,” she said. “However we’re open to other places that would appreciate it.”