Then and Now, State-Van Buren

1970–State Street @ Van Buren Street, view north

2020–the same location

In 1970 the original State-Van Buren ‘L’ station was still in place.  On the right side of the older photo, we can see two department stores on the east side of State—Sears in the foreground, and Goldblatt’s on the far side of Van Buren.  The west side of State is a mixture of various buildings.  And in front of Sears, one of those “space-age” street lights is prominent.

Fifty years later, both department stores are gone, though the buildings remain.  The Harold Washington Library occupies the west side of State.  The ‘L’ station—now called “Library”—has been moved a half-block west.  Retro street lights line the block, with trees everywhere.

—30—

3 Responses to “Then and Now, State-Van Buren”


  1. 1 JAMES F. O'NEIL September 10, 2020 at 9:16 am

    In the movie The Package, with Gene Hackman, the assassin sets up in an L station. Is this it?
    Where is The Palmer House? Farther north, right?
    The Russian president is getting out of his car there, if I recall.
    (Good movie, too. Chicago sets.)

  2. 2 benson September 10, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Yes, it was. And because of it filming in Chicago, a couple of family friends got to be in it. A friend was cast as an extra, playing a driver standing in parking lot that Gene Hackman acknowledges briefly as he walks. And one of my mom’s oldest friends was the Russian general. In real life, he worked at Marshall Field’s.

  3. 3 Garry September 10, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    I always heard the old State Street lights, which were touted as the brightest in the world as “cobra headed”.


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