April marks the 40th anniversary of CBOE and the options industry. As part of our month-long anniversary celebration, we’ve invited the CBOE community to share their memories of CBOE and four decades of options trading. These are their stories…
One of my fond CBOE memories happened Saturday, October 6, 1979. I received a call from Ed Davis (Vice President of Facilities) that the CBOE offices were on fire and I should turn on the live TV coverage. After seeing the view down LaSalle Street with flames shooting out of the 22nd floor windows, I immediately headed to work and found fireman still fighting the fire in the Board of Trade building. Ed and I went to our 7th floor offices to plan how we would reopen the market on Monday morning.
I was a little surprised the Chicago FD let us walk up the stairs of a burning building. When we got to 7 we walked to the trading floor entrance and immediately noticed a flood of water coming down a stairwell near the Trading Floor Datacenter. We broke into the coatroom on 7 and grabbed as many trading jackets as we could carry and started building a dam to redirect the cascading water away from the Quotron Data Center back into a stairwell. The dam of jackets actually worked! But, as we started to congratulate ourselves, we remembered that the Main Data Center was on 9 and near the same stairwell that had a flood of water running down a dozen flights of stairs. Fortunately, we were both young and started running up and down the wet stairwells carrying trading jackets so we could build another dam on 9. After several frantic trips, we stopped the water from approaching the main frames.
I’ve completely blocked out what happened Monday morning when the members asked for their trading jackets.
-Phil, CBOE staff for 38 years
Be sure to visit the CBOE 40 hub daily as new CBOE Memories stories will be added throughout the month.