Then and Now, Blue Island-18th

1912–Blue Island Avenue @ 18th Street, view southwest

2019–the same location

Blue Island Avenue follows the path of an old trail southwest from downtown.  As a major thoroughfare, the avenue was served by horsecars, then cable cars, then electric streetcars.  By 1912 the area around Blue Island-18th was the heart of Chicago’s Czech community, known as Pilsen.

A century later many sections of Blue Island have been closed off.  The block south of 18th in the photo is now a parking lot.  Mexicans have succeeded Czechs as the most visible group in Pilsen. with the obelisk in the newer photo part of Plaza Tenochtitlan.


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