TO MAKE A PERFECT CITY–Take one-half of the culture of Boston and one-half of the energy of Chicago. Mix thoroughly and allow to soak for a while in an atmosphere of civic righteousness. Serve hot or cold, according to taste.– Recipe of John F. Fitzgerald [1863-1950], mayor of Boston, Mass.
“Mayor Fitzgerald of the effete east,” grandfather of John Fitzgerald Kennedy had arrived in “the metropolis of the west” with an entourage to purchase bronze doors for a bridge over the Charles. He further “marveled at [Chicago's] energy and industry, its length breadth and thickness, and its poorly paved streets.” He went on to say:
“We of Boston have the civilization of 250 years behind us,” he said,“while you are a new people and still in your constructive period. If we could give you half of our culture for a similar amount of your industry and energy what a happy combination it would be.”
The above article, titled "Bostonian Gives Ideal City Recipe," comes courtesy of the excellent Looking Backward: A Chronicle of Boston History and references a Chicago Tribune article dated June 12, 1907. What is even more interesting is why Fitzgerald came to Chicago to purchase the bronze doors - the city's skilled immigrants:
"They make good citizens and have much to do with Chicago's success," he declared. "They are skilled workmen and they are employed in places we could not fill with American born youth. The result is they make it possible to obtain here in the United States what it would be necessary to go abroad for were it not for this immigration. Chicago has been blessed with this influx of foreigners, and that is what has made us come here for bronze doors and other similar things which are not obtainable in Boston."
UPDATE: Why Chicago Made Doors and Boston Made Textiles
Photo credit: John Francis Fitzgerald, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress