Then and Now, Congress-Clark

1956--Congress Parkway @ Clark, view east

1958–Congress Parkway @ Clark Street, view east

2015--the same location

2015–the same location

The downtown portion of Congress Street was originally a narrow little lane running the two blocks from Michigan to State.  When the Congress (Eisenhower) Expressway was constructed in the early 1950s, the right-of-way east of the river was opened up by demolishing or truncating existing buildings.  The result was Congress Parkway, a major arterial highway, utilitarian but hardly aesthetic.

Attempts to beautify Congress Parkway have been going on for sixty years.  Though we haven’t yet achieved Daniel Burnham’s vision of the street, we’ve made some progress.



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