Then and Now, 95th-Leavitt

1974–95th Street @ Leavitt Street, view east

2020–the same location

During the 1930s, 95th Street became part of the bypass route around Chicago for U.S. !2 and U.S. 20.  This stretch of 95th had already been zoned for business.  But it wasn’t until 1945, and the end of World War II, that the heavy auto traffic here sparked commercial development.  By 1974 the street was filled with postwar buildings.

Today a few of those postwar buildings have been replaced by newer construction.  Other changes include retro street lights. overhead traffic signals, and longer left-turn bays in the median parkway.


6 Responses to “Then and Now, 95th-Leavitt”

  1. 1 Garry June 22, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    The furrier also changed names.

  2. 3 Joe Urbanski June 22, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    The light pole signs have “Beverly Hills” on them. Noticed that back in the 60s but, nobody ever called the neighborhood “Beverly Hills” but just “Beverly”. Wonder who was trying to push “Beverly Hills” like in the state of California. I believe the “Beverly Hills” signs have been removed since then.

    • 4 J.R. Schmidt June 23, 2020 at 7:33 am

      Actually, the Chicago neighborhood came first. During the 1890s, the Rock Island Railroad named its station at 91st Street “Beverly Hills.” The city in California did not adopt that name until about ten years later. Whether the California Beverly Hills was named after the Chicago Beverly Hills—or whether it was named after Beverly, Massachusetts—is open to dispute. But we can say for sure that the Chicago neighborhood was NOT named after Jed Clampett’s adopted home town. (Of course, Chicago’s Fifth Avenue is a different matter!)

      • 5 Garry June 23, 2020 at 4:13 pm

        Which Fifth Ave.?
        The one on the West Side or the one that’s now Wells St.?

      • 6 J.R. Schmidt June 24, 2020 at 7:52 am

        I’m talking about Colorado Avenue on the West Side, which was changed to Fifth Avenue in the early 20th century. Our current Wells Street started out with that name in the 1840s. When the street became rundown in the later 19th century, the city thought it was not a suitable memorial for Captain Wells, a hero in the Fort Dearborn battle. So Wells Street then became Fifth Avenue—until it was cleaned up, and was then changed back to Wells. Whew!

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