Chicagos McCormick Place in a photo provided by the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau

NFPA Journal Recounts McCormick Place's Fiery History

The Chicago lakefront showplace will host NFPA's Conference & Expo next month. This photo was provided by the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau.

Safety professionals and millions of other people are familiar with McCormick Place, the convention complex located on Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago. It is a regular stop for the annual National Safety Congress, and the facility will host the National Fire Protection Association's Conference & Expo June 8-11, with 300 exhibitors participating.

There were 1,250 exhibitor booths set up inside McCormick Place when a fire began in one of the booths at 2 a.m. on Jan. 16, 1967, hours before a National Housewares Manufacturers Association show was to open. The fire gutted the facility, upsetting then-Mayor Richard J. Daley and prompting the immediate vow to rebuild McCormick bigger and better than before that typifies Chicago leaders' response to tragedies.

Why the original McCormick Place was vulnerable to fire, how the facility was indeed rebuilt with 40,000 sprinklers installed and reopened in 1971, and how principals in NFPA, Underwriters Laboratories, and Rolf Jensen Associates were involved in the recovery effort are recounted by architect Edward Keegan in an article published in the May/June 2009 issue of the NFPA Journal®. The article includes photos from the fire.

Sessions scheduled to be presented during the NFPA conference include "McCormick Place Fire Protection: Then and Now" (Tuesday, June 9, 8-9 a.m.) by Randolph Tucker of The Rolf Jensen Associates Group, Inc. and a "Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Fire Protection and Detection Systems at McCormick Place" (June 9, 9:30-10:30 a.m.) offered by Daniel Cozzi, assistant director of fire safety for the organization that owns McCormick Place.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Comply with OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements

    Collect relevant incident data and generate accurate OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 regulatory reports, including 300A CSV files for easy electronic submission to OSHA.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus