Then and Now, Montrose-Natchez

1960–Montrose Avenue @ Natchez Avenue, view east

2020–the same location

The view here is looking east toward Narragansett Avenue, from the top of the “Continental Divide” ridge. When I took the first photo, the south side of Montrose was an unincorporated area, site of the Chicago State Hospital. The north side of the street was part of the Village of Harwood Heights, and still had many vacant lots. This was the location of the notorious Wagon Wheel roadhouse.

Sixty years later, Montrose has been reconstructed and widened, with curbs, sidewalks, better landscaping, and modern street lights. The onetime hospital grounds was annexed by the City of Chicago, and Wright College now occupies this part of the property. The Harwood Heights side of Montrose is fully built-up. The Wagon Wheel is long gone, without a historic marker.


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