Unity Building and Dearborn Street, Chicago c. 1906

Clarence Darrow's mentor, John Peter Altgeld, became very wealthy through real estate. He had the 16-story Unity Building built in 1891. Clarence Darrow wrote in his 1932 autobiography "The Story of My Life" that: "During his period of prosperity Altgeld had erected a building sixteen stories high; one of the most expensive and elaborate of the time. It was one of the first of the "sky-scrapers" within what is now "the Loop" in Chicago. He had put into this building all his assets, around six or seven hundred thousand dollars; and had encumbered it by a mortgage of two millions or more. He was always charitable and generous, and saw and did things in a big way. When he became governor and went to Springfield, Ill., the capital of the State, he was not able to give much time to his financial affairs. When he pardoned the anarchists many of his best tenants of the big 'Unity' left the building, and it was refilled by young lawyers, radicals and idealists, many of whom could not pay their rent. Any one not able to pay office rent moved to the Unity Building. So Altgeld was obliged to default in his interest, and the bondholders showed him no mercy. In fact, they wanted him to fail. It would be a fine lesson in showing the punishment of evil and the triumph of virtue." Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-71891.