Longtime Chicago Tribune reporter John McCarron laments the passing of John W. Baird, who died a week ago at 98 after leading his family’s Chicago-based brokerage Baird & Warner for decades. McCarron, who had cultivated a close reporter-source relationship with Baird over the years, remembered him as a soft-spoken visionary who helped reinvigorate downtown Chicago.

“He seemed from another era, John Baird, like those creaky, round-topped, cream-over-green (Chicago Transit Authority) coach cars we rode to the Loop (the commercial center of Chicago),” McCarron wrote.

McCarron describes how Baird, with other Chicago luminaries, worked to establish residential lofts downtown in the early ’70s and ’80s. More recently, Baird helped secure the success of a hike-and-bike trail that, when completed, will wind 3 miles through neighborhoods just west of Chicago’s downtown.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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