Bicycle Diaries: No bikes allowed within

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No bikes allowed within

but we've come
a long way baby

The Chicago Journal, 8 July 1895, reports that Attorney John H. Breckinridge lost a court case that would've allowed him to bring his Penny-Farthing into The Fort Dearborn Building, on the southwest corner of Clark & Monroe. The attorney for the building's owner, The Galena Trust and Safety Vault Company, claimed that such a task [as lugging the large-wheeled bike into the elevator and up 12 floors] would overexert him, and if he is delicate, as is averred, it would be very greatly to injure his health.

While basing the case on the grounds of humanity, the building owner's attorney also cited the complaints for numerous tenants. They claimed in signed affidavits that neither the elevator nor the corridors were spacious enough for the conveyance of the aforementioned bike. Judge Payne, despite being somewhat of a wheelman himself, immediately decided the case in favor of The Galena Trust and Safety Vault Company:

Poetic justice for Mr. Breckinridge was not long in coming, however. Two years later the The Galena Trust and Safety Vault Company defaulted on the the $600,000 building's rents and taxes. Citing hard times and a lack of tenants, Judge Tuley placed The Fort Dearborn Building in the hands of a receiver. Perhaps a more bike-friendly owner would have prevented this???

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