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Become a member and receive career-enhancing benefits

Our top priority is providing value to members. Your Member Services team is here to ensure you maximize your ACS member benefits, participate in College activities, and engage with your ACS colleagues. It's all here.

Become a Member
Become a member and receive career-enhancing benefits

Our top priority is providing value to members. Your Member Services team is here to ensure you maximize your ACS member benefits, participate in College activities, and engage with your ACS colleagues. It's all here.

Membership Benefits
ACS
Past Highlights

55 East Erie Street

Back in the mid-1950s, it became clear that the demands for office space could not be satisfied by the buildings that the American College of Surgeons (ACS) occupied on Erie and Rush. The four buildings: 660 N. Rush, 54 E. Erie, the Nickerson building, and the Murphy Memorial building, were either at capacity or not suited for office space. As a result, a Building Committee was appointed by the Board of Regents in October 1956 with Loyal Davis, MD, FACS, as its chairman.1

Photo of 55 E. Erie Street in October 1963. Courtesy of The Gibson Studio of Chicago.
Photo of 55 E. Erie Street in October 1963. Courtesy of The Gibson Studio of Chicago.

Efforts were made to raise substantial funds for the projected building through contributions made by Fellows of the College. However, it became clear that relying on contributions alone would not be enough. In 1959, after reconsideration and consultation with the Board of Governors, the Board of Regents reluctantly decided to impose a $200 assessment fee, the equivalent of about $1,750 today, as a condition of Fellowship. The Regents accepted an estimate that as many as 3,000 Fellows might resign rather than pay the fee.4 href=''>

Watercolor painting of 55 E. Erie in 1989. Painted by Fred Semmler.  Photo by Michael Tropea.
Watercolor painting of 55 E. Erie in 1989. Painted by Fred Semmler. Photo by Michael Tropea.

The architect selected for the new building was the Chicago firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. A model of a seven-story building was produced showing floor to ceiling glass between narrow columns of exposed reinforced concrete. After consideration by the Building Committee and the Board of Regents, the plans were approved in March 1959,

By the mid-1990s, the ACS faced the same issue it did back in the mid-1950s. The College was outgrowing its current office space due to expansion in the Cancer and Trauma departments, and in 1998 moved to 633 N. St. Clair Street, 350 yards east of 55 E. Erie Street.

References

  1. Board of Regents minutes, October 1956, ACS Archives.
  2. College Properties, 12th edition, 1996, ACS Archives p.19, p23.
  3. “U.S. Inflation Calculator,” Coinnews Media Group, updated January 14, 2020, https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/.
  4. College Properties, 12th edition, 1996, ACS Archives, p. 20.
  5. Board of Regents minutes, March 1959, ACS Archives.