Then and Now, Kimball-Belmont

1954--Kimball Avenue @ Belmont, view north

1954–Kimball Avenue @ Belmont Avenue, view north

2016--the same location

2016–the same location

During the 1920s Kimball Avenue was widened, as part of a planned extension of the Chicago Park District’s boulevard system.  But the Depression put the project on hold, and it was never implemented.  The street was still an under-used arterial at the time of the older photo.

The 1960 opening of the Northwest (Kennedy) Expressway transformed this stretch of Kimball.  Buildings were demolished and the street widened yet again, to accommodate traffic going to and from the expressway.  Since 1970 there’s also been a subway under Kimball, with the Blue Line’s Belmont station just out of the picture.



10 Responses to “Then and Now, Kimball-Belmont”

  1. 1 Garry April 18, 2016 at 12:33 am

    If you turned the camera on the 1954 photo, wouldn’t it show the huge I.S. Berlin printing plant?

    • 2 J.R. Schmidt April 18, 2016 at 5:05 am

      Though my memory is fuzzy, I believe the I.S. Berlin plant at Kimball-Belmont actually went up just after the nearby buildings were leveled for the expressway. I can’t really tell if that’s I.S. Berlin peaking out through the trees on the right side of the older photo. Of course, that beautiful building didn’t last very long. I took a picture of it being torn down; but for some reason, I never put a date on the picture.

  2. 3 Ad Dawg April 18, 2016 at 2:59 am

    On what North-South Main street was the old Riverview Amusement Park located?

  3. 5 benson April 18, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I don’t get to the city as often as I did, but the newspaper stand on the left, certainly a vanishing/vanished staple of the past. I remember getting copies of the Sun-Times for 7 cents.

    I had several relatives that lived a little to the west of that intersection, but I remember it as always being crowded with cars. Also remember a great Polish sausage shop just a few blocks west on Belmont.

    • 6 J.R. Schmidt April 19, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      I remember when the Sun-Times papers were hung in a canvas sack around the light-pole, and you bought them on the honor system—you just slid your seven cents into a slot in the sack. Unfortunately, not enough people were honorable enough for that practice to continue. BTW, there’s still a little old-fashioned news stand operating on the far NW Side, at Northwest Highway and Oliphant, a block from the Edison Park Metra station.

  4. 7 Mike April 19, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    That is I.S. Berlin just behind the trees on the right. The plant opened in 1949 and was demolished in ’77.
    I was only three when it was demolished, but I remember that clock tower as plain as day. At night, when the clock was lit, it looked like a light on the amp of my father’s hi-fi in the living room and I used to point out the similarities to my parents.

  5. 8 Cheryl McClure Evans May 13, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    My grandfather Archie McClure worked for this company a many years, i used to go to work with him on Saturdays and loved it. I remember when the company had picnics and we went had so much fun wow i miss those days. Mr. Berlin was very nice to all of us and my grandfather really loved and respected this great man.

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