By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2016 Journal GlobaLinks)
PLAINFIELD, Illinois (JGL) – Arcadio Joaquin, Jr. has been pacing back and forth the Daley Plaza courtyard for more than four decades to represent his legal clients at the Richard J. Daley Center,
which houses part of the Cook County Circuit Court, in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
Unconsciously or subconsciously, Attorney Jun Joaquin must have been trying to figure out what kind of gift did Pablo Picasso give to Chicago for gratis whenever he passes by an untitled architectural landmark by the Daley Plaza courtyard that some say is a bird or something.
When he had a chance to talk to one of its builders, Engr. Robert “Bob” S. Crooks of C. F. Murphy Associates and now a resident of Wheaton, Illinois, Jun told Mr. Crooks “that the architectural highlight you built at Daley Plaza must be a woman.”
A “WOMAN” IN HIS HANDS?”
Stunned and speechless, Engineer Crooks was so thrilled with the observation of Jun that despite Jun’s pre-occupation with his law books, Attorney Joaquin still has time to contemplate on the beauty of his surroundings, particularly the odd-looking Cor-ten weathering steel 50-foot (15-meter) sculpture usually called “The Picasso” that was completed in 1967.
“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. But anytime a work of art would stir interest from the viewer, it is a success, whether the comment is good or bad. Otherwise, the art is a failure for not drawing any interest at all,” Mr. Crooks said.
For Jun’s feat, Engineer Crooks promised to give Jun a miniature replica of The Picasso, which the former gave to Jun during an annual post-Philippine Independence luncheon event hosted by Jun and his wife, Dr. Alice Joaquin held last Saturday, July 11, in their home in Plainfield, Illinois, 38 miles southwest from Chicago.
Jun was introduced to Mr. Crooks by Crooks’s Filipina house help, Maricel Abbagu.
Mr. Crooks took up civil engineering from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania) and worked for U.S. Steel Corporation, where he was regional engineer bridges and buildings for 16 states.
He was the one who proposed high-rise framing system that became standard for Chicago, Minneapolis and Denver, Colo. He was deeply involved in the design of most buildings, including John Hancock, Sears (now Willis) Tower, American Dental, Daley Center and United Airlines Terminals at O’Hare Airport.
It was an engineer from Skidmore and Merrill, a very famous engineering company in Chicago, who went to see Picasso in Europe and requested him to make a sketch of a sculpture that was constructed by the Daley Plaza.
With the sketch in hand, the engineer provided it to American Bridge Division of the U.S. Steel Corporation in Pittsburg, PA and fabricated about six sculptures, one of them was the Picasso sculpture at Daley Plaza.
Jun said he will forever treasure the molded miniature sculpture given to him by Engr. Crooks. “I will keep it, take good care of it and cherish it,” Jun said.
It was in 1976 when Jun passed the Illinois bar exam and has since become a general law practitioner. Born in Bangui, Ilocos Norte 75 years ago, Jun passed the Philippine bar in 1964 and became a trial lawyer for law firm ROSS, SELPH & CARRASCOSO in Manila while exclusively handling cases of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco); American President Lines; U.S. Lines; Maersk Line, First National City Bank of New York, Cummins Diesel, International Harvester, all merchant vessels entering the Philippines, which were insured by the Lloyd’s of London, Tabacalera, Caltex and Air France. Jun was later hired by Meralco as one of its lawyers.
He is married to Alice, a general medical practitioner, from Marilao, Bulacan.