DePaul University named its academic building at 14 E. Jackson Blvd. the Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Building in recognition of the many contributions to the city and university by Chicago’s first couple.
A dedication ceremony involving DePaul administrators, trustees and community leaders and members of the Daley family took place at the building on DePaul’s Loop Campus on Dec. 21. DePaul trustees approved the naming last spring.
“DePaul is proud to claim Mayor Daley as an alumnus and to be the first to name a building in the city for the current mayor and his wife Maggie, in recognition of their passion for and commitment to education, urban revitalization and the arts, which have helped transform Chicago into a world-class city,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul president. “Mayor Daley’s leadership and Mrs. Daley’s advocacy have had a dramatic impact on building an educated workforce, rejuvenating downtown and the neighborhoods, and nurturing arts and culture in Chicago. Quite simply, both Mayor and Mrs. Daley have had a lifelong love for Chicago, and have given the full measure of their energies to its people. We are proud to mark their faithful service with this symbol of respect and gratitude.”
Mary Dempsey, chair of DePaul’s Board of Trustees and commissioner of the Chicago Public Library system, who will participate in the ceremony, said: “In a recent global survey of the world’s best cities, Chicago was ranked sixth. It is hard to imagine Chicago being in such an enviable position were it not for the efforts of Mayor and Mrs. Daley.”
Mayor Daley is a “Double Demon,” having received both his undergraduate and law degrees from DePaul. His father, the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, also was a DePaul College of Law alumnus, as is the current mayor’s brother, Michael. One of Mayor and Mrs. Daley’s daughters, Elizabeth, is working on an advanced degree in psychology at DePaul. One of the Daleys’ nieces, Elizabeth Daley Ullem, previously taught in DePaul’s College of Commerce.
Mayor Daley also serves as the honorary chairman of DePaul’s $250 million “Many Dreams, One Mission” fundraising campaign. The centerpiece of the campaign is a goal to raise $100 million for student scholarships.
“The histories and the commitments of the Daley family and DePaul University have long been interwoven,” Holtschneider said. “Both are strongly committed to Chicago and its residents.” Holtschneider noted the especially dramatic impact that the mayor’s administration has had on revitalizing neighborhoods and downtown. “The creation of Millennium Park, launch of the downtown theatre district, rebirth of the State Street and Michigan Avenue retail districts, and rejuvenation of neighborhoods across Chicago during the mayor’s tenure have made the city stronger. It also has bolstered DePaul’s long-standing commitment to be an educational anchor in the Lincoln Park community, as well as the efforts by DePaul and more than two dozen higher education institutions to build a vibrant learning and living community downtown-where the South Loop is now the largest ‘college town’ in the Midwest, with more than 65,000 students.”
“Maggie Daley’s passionate commitment to education has been equally transformative,” Holtschneider added. “She was the seminal force in the creation of the nationally recognized After School Matters initiative, which offers students from underprivileged backgrounds opportunities to explore the arts, science, communications and technology, among other programs.” In the past year alone, After School Matters provided more than 25,000 learning opportunities in 715 programs. “Mrs. Daley also has played a key role in other important educational, civic and charitable initiatives, such as chairing the board of the Cultural Center Foundation and serving as the driving force behind the creation of The Francis Xavier Warde School-a Catholic school affiliated with Old St. Patrick’s Church that now serves a diverse population of more than 800 students on the near west and north sides of Chicago,” Holtschneider observed.
Although several facilities, including the Daley Center and Daley College, have been named after the mayor’s father, this is the first building in Chicago named for Richard M. Daley and Mrs. Daley.
“DePaul University is a key part of Chicago’s world-class education system, and the development and growth of its Loop campus has been a major catalyst for the creation of Chicago’s education corridor here in the South Loop,” Mayor Daley said.
“Because Chicago continues to build a diverse and robust economy, DePaul graduates are able to start their careers here, stay in the Chicago area to build their lives and raise their families,” he said. “It is my hope that for many years to come this building will serve the students of DePaul University as they continue their education and work towards making Chicago an even better place to live.”
Maggie Daley said: “Our young people have so much spirit, talent and passion. We must continue to provide them with a quality education to help channel their energy into taking charge of their futures. My wish for the Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Building is that it will always open the doors of opportunity for students, cultivate positive self-esteem and help transform how our young people think about themselves and their potential.”
DePaul acquired the 97-year-old office and retail building in 2008. It was known for decades as the Lytton Building and it previously housed one of State Street’s most storied retailing pioneers. The building was completed in 1913 and designed by the prominent Chicago architectural firm of Marshall and Fox (the firm’s other work includes numerous other Chicago landmarks including The Drake Hotel).
Since its acquisition, DePaul has invested $37 million to revitalize the exterior of the ornate terra cotta building and interior spaces, including complete renovation of 10 full floors of the facility into classroom, lab and office space. The vibrant academic center houses a wide variety of programs, including DePaul’s College of Communication, School of Public Service and School for New Learning, which specializes in helping adult students achieve degrees, as well as a number of College of Law clinics. State-of-the-art production, performance and technical spaces for the College of Communications and College of Computing and Digital Media are also housed in the facility. The building has a number of tenants, including numerous retailers along State Street and Jackson Boulevard. The 18-story, 384,000-square-foot structure is one of six historic buildings that DePaul owns and operates in the South Loop.
DePaul has been a steady presence in both the South Loop and Lincoln Park communities for decades, long serving as an anchor in these neighborhoods, including during previous periods of decline. In downtown Chicago, where DePaul has had a presence for nearly a century, DePaul jump-started revitalization of the South Loop in the early 1990s when it acquired and undertook a $70 million renovation of the long-vacant former Goldblatt’s department store, converting it into the DePaul Center, a vibrant mix of classroom, office and retail space located across the street from 14 E. Jackson Blvd.