I admit it. I cried last night knowing that I’d be coming into work today for the last time to a cube with my name on it. I am being moved out of my beloved Tribune Tower. Our company has split and Publishing did not end up with the real estate. Starting next week Technology will work from our printing plant. I know that a building is not a living breathing thing with a soul that matters for eternity but this move makes me grieve.
I grew up with the Sunday Trib and listening to WGN. Working in the Tower is special. It just is.
Seeing John Williams and Spike O’Dell in the cafeteria getting breakfast...not many people can say they did that. The legend, Milton Rosenberg-check, radio personality stand in Bob Greene-check, columnist, Rick Kogan-check, the then senator Obama-check, Mayor Daley-check (well technically he was across the street in front of Wrigley) but this location is amazing.
You run into movie stars, rock stars (Dee Snider just last week) or even Jessie Jackson... Well maybe a lot of people run into Jesse but you get what I mean.
Every couple days running into John Kass in the lobby or outside, I have to admit...it's cool. He doesn't know me but recognizes my face, the way you do when you walk the same halls with someone for 15 years. I saw him on the dock Wednesday on his way in and on my way out to lunch. He had a suit on and I wanted to say "looking sharp, John" but the words got stuck in my throat and all that came out was a muffled "hi".
For years I gave small impromptu tours of the building to friends and family. I loved taking people to the 12th floor conference room with a hidden bathroom and shower room. It was there that I watched Transformers and Oprah filming. I took them to Colonel McCormick's office on 24 with another hidden bathroom and fireplace and wood paneled walls and breathtaking views. Over time and management changes I've lost access to those treasures but I still walked into the magnificent lobby every day.
I once was told my blood runs "Tribune Blue"... but there is a "Tribune" no more.
As I sit at my desk for the final time (more like cross leg on my desk because my chair is now gone), I look at my dry erase board with a message from my friend and co-workers daughter (when she was here last year) and my mood improves because according to Ava, I am a helpful, nice, beautiful, kind, lovely, cool person that is sweet and awesome too!
Yet…I linger…because when I leave here today, I no longer belong here and that kind of hurts.
In case this is my final tour, I'll share a few pictures here. Sorry it has to be the short tour. I'll walk you to my desk.
The grand entrance
The lobby entry
One of the Tower elevator hallways we walk through
The detailed elevator doors with the company name and characters from Aesop's Fables
Quick detour up that elevator to the 22nd floor deck. Credit to management in the last few years that they opened up this treasure to all employees.
One last look before we head back down that elevator.
Quick stop by the one stone (that I know of) that is not embedded into the outside of the building
Quick glance at the hallway to the cafeteria where bronze replicas of front pages of the past line the wall.
We take the elevators down to the lower level where I've been sitting the last 5 or so years. This was once where the paper was printed. They did a gut rehab and made it a trendy industrial modern workplace leaving the concrete exposed and inserting glass conference rooms.
One of my favorite pieces of the past is this original door from when it was basically a factory.
Another cool feature is a spot where they embedded a piece of the original tracks that carried the massive paper rolls to the machines. The only original piece is the main joint in the middle.
On LL2 just before the C conference room, we arrive at my now empty desk. Well almost empty. I still have that sweet gift from Ava.