Then and Now, Maxwell-Union

1954–Maxwell Street @ Union Avenue, view east

2020–the same location

Chicago’s most celebrated flea-market was centered on Maxwell Street, stretching from Clinton Street on the east to Blue Island Avenue on the west.  The 1954 photo shows what the 600-block of Maxwell looked like on a weekday, when much of the outdoor market was closed.

Today the 600-block of Maxwell has been obliterated by the Dan Ryan Expressway.  A much-smaller “New Maxwell Street Market” now operates a few blocks north of here.


2 Responses to “Then and Now, Maxwell-Union”

  1. 1 Joe Urbanski June 2, 2020 at 12:46 am

    Maxwell St was still up and running west of Union Ave 700 W after the Dan Ryan / Kennedy expressway was built around 1962.

    The Maxwell St market moved in the early to mid 90s to Canal St south of Roosevelt Rd. after the UIC campus expansion south to 16th St. This location for the market became a problem when the Dominick’s at 14th St. and Canal opened as well as the Pacific Garden Mission being in the same vicinity after moving from State St.

    I think the current Maxwell St market location is DesPlaines Ave north of Roosevelt Rd.

    • 2 J.R. Schmidt June 2, 2020 at 6:41 am

      You’re spot-on about the later history and current location of the Maxwell Street Market. Funny thing about the old market, though. For ever twenty photos of Maxwell Street on a market day, there’d be only one photo of the street on a quiet weekday. That’s why I chose the particular 1954 photo—and it is in color.

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