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'Daley' isn't going anywhere

Regional AuthorityMillennium ParkRichard M. DaleyRod BlagojevichU.S. Cellular FieldWater Tower

Mayor Richard M. Daley may be leaving office next spring, but his name won't be out of sight anytime soon.

Like politicians everywhere, Daley was never afraid of putting his name in prominent places.

From the Old Water Tower to U.S. Cellular Field, from Millennium Park to Humboldt Park, plaques and engravings bearing Daley's name will remain long after the man himself has left office.

"You will find literally dozens of plaques throughout the city with the mayor's name," said Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman Brian Steele. "The new libraries, the new schools, the new bridges, the new public buildings … you will certainly continue to see him in every area of the city."

Some signs bearing Daley's name, like the one for the Illinois International Port District atop a 41-story grain elevator near Lake Calumet — which still includes former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's name — also figure to linger after the mayor steps down.

Others, such as those at construction sites or on the side of the city's "Graffiti Blasters" trucks are more likely to fade away as a new mayor begins to claim credit.

By next year, another mayor's name will likely be on signs welcoming the thousands of visitors who come to town over the Chicago Skyway or through O'Hare International and Midway airports each day.

On Thursday, college freshmen Alex Parrish and Anna Toman examined a plaque from Daley's 2004 dedication of Millennium Park "as a gift to the people of Chicago" that prominently displayed the mayor's name.

"It's informative," said Toman, 18, who is new to Chicago. "It's part of history."

Or, as an employee of the Daley Center (named after the mayor's father) said as she stood near a 2002 plaque bearing Richard M. Daley's name, "It's kind of like set in stone."

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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