Then and Now, Wacker-Jackson

1937--Market Street (Wacker Drive) @ Jackson, view north

1937–Market Street (Wacker Drive) @ Jackson Boulevard, view north

2015--the same location

2016–the same location

In 1937 the first downtown street east of the Chicago River was still Market Street, a narrow thoroughfare of no particular interest.  The only tall building along Market was the Civic Opera House, visible in the distance at Madison Street.

Market Street was widened and double-decked in the early 1950s, becoming the north-south portion of Wacker Drive.  The Civic Opera House is now only one of several tall buildings along Wacker, including the onetime tallest-in-the-world, the onetime Sears Tower.



3 Responses to “Then and Now, Wacker-Jackson”

  1. 1 benson September 19, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    John, maybe you’ve touched on this in the past, and if so, I apologize, but I would love to see a more detailed post on the double decked streets, (Wacker, Lower Michigan, Grand etc) and their history, how they came about, anything along those lines.

    • 2 J.R. Schmidt September 25, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      The first part of Wacker Drive was built by Mayor Dever in the 1920s, and I did touch on it in my book, The Mayor Who Cleaned Up Chicago. But I suggest you try one of the many books on Chicago public works.

  2. 3 Brian September 20, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Hi John, great post. Im real interested in how Franklin/Quincy looked prior to the Tower being built

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