Charles H. Wacker

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Charles Wacker in the Chicago Eagle, July 18, 1896.

Charles Henry Wacker (29 August 1856 – 31 October 1929), born in Chicago, Illinois, was a second generation German American who was a businessman and philanthropist. His father was Frederick Wacker, a brewer, who was born in Württemberg Germany.[1] He was Vice Chairman of the General Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and in 1909 was appointed Chairman of the Chicago Plan Commission by Mayor Busse. As Commission chairman from 1909 to 1926, he championed the Burnham Plan for improving Chicago. This work included addresses, obtaining wide publicity from newspapers, and publishing Wacker's Manual of the Plan of Chicago (by Walter D. Moody) as a textbook for local schoolchildren.

Prior to serving on the Commission, Wacker was a Chicago brewer and the director of the 1893 Columbian Exposition held in Chicago.

As a businessman he was part of a consortium of Chicago brewers who underwrote the methods that facilitated the commercialization of refrigeration machines.[2]

Wacker Drive, built as part of the Burnham Plan, and Charles H. Wacker Elementary School are named in his honor. The name Wacker is also attached to other institutions in Chicago, such as the Hotel Wacker.

Charles H. Wacker was educated at Lake Forest Academy (class of 1872) and thereafter at Switzerland's University of Geneva.



  1. ^ Alfred Theodore Andreas, History of Chicago from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, Vol. III -- from the Fire of 1871 until 1885. A.T. Andreas Publishers: Chicago. 1886, p. 578 Google Books
  2. ^ Eds. Grossman, James R., Keating, Ann Durkin, and Reiff, Janice L., 2004 The Encyclopedia of Chicago, p. 92. The University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-31015-9

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