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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- July 16, 2001
- Vol. 56
- No. 3
Mary Richardson-Lowry Makes Chicago Builders Remember the Ladies
Unlike other ladies-in-waiting, however, Richardson-Lowry, Chicago's buildings commissioner, could do something. So from now on, thanks to a city ordinance she sponsored, the first in a city this size, all new and substantially renovated buildings must increase the number of women's toilets. Instead of 12 rest rooms for each gender, for instance, a new or rehabbed 6,000-seat outdoor stadium would have 36 men's rooms and 51 women's. "In sports arenas 50 years ago," points out Richardson-Lowry, 43, whose husband, Mark, 45, is an executive at a nonprofit foundation, "the vast number who attended events were male. That's no longer the case." And, she notes, little kids often go with Mommy.
Commissioner since 1998, Richardson-Lowry, who grew up in Los Angeles, decided in January 2000 to amend the city's 44-year-old building code. Her boss, Mayor Richard M. Daley, quickly got on board the rest-room issue. "As a husband and father of two daughters," he says, "I can sympathize." Now if only someone could do something about that unflattering fluorescent lighting.
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