Archive for the 'CHICAGO’S CHANGING SCENE' Category

Then and Now, Troy-Roosevelt

1910–Troy Street @ 12th Street (Roosevelt Road), view north

2019–the same location

In 1902 the Metropolitan ‘L’ extended its Douglas Park branch through North Lawndale.  Four years later, Sears opened its giant mail-order complex to the north, at Homan and Arthington.  By 1910 this block just east of Kedzie Avenue was already fully settled and residentially mature.

Today North Lawndale is bouncing back after decades of decline.  Here buildings on the west side of Troy Street have been cleared to make way for the Lawndale Terrace town homes and apartment tower.  As a result, with the alley between Kedzie and Troy gone, the utility poles now line the street.

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Then and Now, Yates-92nd Place

1938–Yates Boulevard @ 92nd Place, view north

2019–the same location

In 1938 the Chicago Park District had plans to extend its system of parkways into the city’s southeast side.  The Depression had already delayed the project, but now this quiet residential street was slated to become Yates Boulevard.

World War II further delayed the extension of the parkway system here.  The plan was eventually abandoned.  Today this is Yates Avenue, a one-way local street.

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Then and Now, Drummond-Seminary

1910–Drummond Place @ Seminary Avenue, view west

2019–the same location

Here we are a few blocks southeast of the Lincoln-Diversey-Racine triple intersection.  The block is fully built up in 1910, but there’s only a single horse-drawn buggy visible.  Maybe everyone has gone over to Lincoln Park.

In 2019 most of the old buildings are still in place, while the neighborhood continues to be one of the city’s finest.  And now the street is packed with horseless carriages.

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Then and Now, Jackson-Lockwood

1937–Jackson Boulevard @ Lockwood Avenue, view east

2019–the same location

Our location is just west of Laramie Avenue.  In 1937 the blocks shown in the older photo were owned by the Chicago Board of Education and were still vacant, even though most of the surrounding area had long been developed.  In the distance on Jackson, the spire of Resurrection Catholic Church is visible.

The school board finally sold its land after World War II, and today those blocks are filled with 1950s-era yellow brick apartment buildings and ranch homes.  However, the church has been demolished.

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Then and Now, 56th-Everett

1920–56th Street @ Everett Avenue, view west

2019–the same location

Here we are on the northern boundary of Jackson Park, just east of Hyde Park Boulevard.  In 1920 the first Hotel Windermere, originally built to serve visitors to the Columbian Exposition, dominates the scene.  In the distance is the Illinois Central viaduct.   No automobiles are visible, not even a Model-T Ford.

Ninety-nine years later, the old Windermere has been demolished, rebuilt, expanded, then partially demolished again.  The remaining Hotel Windermere East is now on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Illinois Central still runs through the neighborhood, and the descendants of the Model-T line both sides of 56th Street.

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Then and Now, California-Milwaukee

1967–California Avenue @ Milwaukee Avenue, view north

2019–the same location

This is the view north from the California ‘L’ station at Milwaukee Avenue.  In 1967 this was the next-to-last stop before the Logan Square terminal on what was then the  Milwaukee Branch of the West-Northwest service.  Electric trolley buses were in their last days of operation on route #52 Kedzie-California.  The buildings here were small, old, and run-down.

Today the ‘L’ trains on the Blue Line run all the way to O’Hare.  Electric trolley buses are gone from the streets of Chicago.  The neighborhood around the station has lots of renovation and new construction.

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Then and Now, Blue Island-18th

1912–Blue Island Avenue @ 18th Street, view southwest

2019–the same location

Blue Island Avenue follows the path of an old trail southwest from downtown.  As a major thoroughfare, the avenue was served by horsecars, then cable cars, then electric streetcars.  By 1912 the area around Blue Island-18th was the heart of Chicago’s Czech community, known as Pilsen.

A century later many sections of Blue Island have been closed off.  The block south of 18th in the photo is now a parking lot.  Mexicans have succeeded Czechs as the most visible group in Pilsen. with the obelisk in the newer photo part of Plaza Tenochtitlan.

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