Archive for the 'CHICAGO’S CHANGING SCENE' Category

Then and Now, Van Buren-Ashland

1913–Van Buren Street @ Ashland Boulevard, view east

2021–the same location

In 1913 Van Buren Street was one of the Near West Side’s arterial thoroughfares, with its own streetcar line.  The title heroine of Theodore Dreiser’s classic novel Sister Carrie lived on Van Buren a few blocks east of here, in a seedy neighborhood “inhabited by families of laborers and clerks.”

Today this stretch of Van Buren is little more than a frontage road for the Eisenhower Expressway.  But after decades of decline, new construction has begun revitalizing the area.