Then and Now, Sedgwick-Division

1947--Sedgwick Street @ Division, view north

1947–Sedgwick Street @ Division Street, view north

2014--the same location

2014–the same location

In 1947 this part of Chicago was a scruffy industrial area.  The building on the right of the earlier photo is the original Lane Tech, which by then had become Washburne Trade School, and eventually Cooley High School.  Just beyond the school was another neighborhood landmark, the Oscar Mayer sausage factory.

Today Cooley and Oscar Mayer are gone, trees line both sides of Sedgwick, and the area is being revitalized.


2 Responses to “Then and Now, Sedgwick-Division”

  1. 1 kyle l January 8, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Did lane tech/cooley high take up the whole parcel between Sedgwick and the ravenswood connector? also, did division street have a streetcar at that time? The Sedgwick streetcars look to be ending/beginning at division.

    • 2 J.R. Schmidt January 9, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      The high school building backed onto the ‘L’ line. You can see it in the 1975 movie Cooley High–a great film, which one critic called “the Black American Graffiti.” Division Street did have its own streetcar line. However, the streetcar in the picture was operating on the Taylor-Sedgwick-Sheffield line. Notice the tracks in the photo. At Division, southbound cars continued down Sedgwick as far as Chicago Avenue, before swinging over to go south on Orleans. However, the northbound cars ran on Orleans all the way to Division, before moving onto Sedgwick. I have no idea why the routing worked this way. And a few years later, when the public housing projects expanded, portions of Sedgwick between Division and Chicago were closed off.

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