Posts Tagged 'Near West Side'

Then and Now, Jefferson-Jackson

1956–Jefferson Street @ Jackson Boulevard, view north

2019–the same location

In 1956 this area west of the Loop was populated by factories and warehouses.  Land and rents were cheap.  Gritty, not pretty.

Today many of the old industrial buildings have been replaced by high-rises, while others have been converted into offices and loft apartments.  The West Loop has become one of Chicago’s hottest real estate markets.

—30—

Then and Now, 14th-Throop

 

1952–14th Street @ Throop Street, view west

2019–the same location

A hundred years ago, this neighborhood on the Near West Side was where my German grandfather and Irish grandmother grew up, met, and were married.  By 1952 ethnic succession had transformed the area into part of the city’s Little Italy.  Town homes of the Chicago Housing Authority’s sprawling ABLA projects are visible on the right side of the photo.

In our time gentrification has come to 14th-Throop.  The University Village development has replaced some of the public housing.  On the southwest corner of the intersection, Chicago Tech Academy—a charter school—occupies part of CPS’s onetime Medill School building.  And, of course, today there are lots of trees around.

—30—

Then and Now, Jackson-Ashland

1955–Jackson Boulevard @ Ashland Boulevard, view west

2019–the same location

In the later 19th century this West Side neighborhood was home to many rich families with roots in Kentucky—Ashland Boulevard was named after Henry Clay’s estate in Lexington.  But by the 1950s, the area had gone into decline.  Most of the old mansions had been torn down or cut into smaller units.

Today the area around the onetime “Kentucky colony” is on the upswing.  There are boutique hotels and trendy restaurants.  The Illinois Medical Center and Teamster City have expanded into these blocks as well, with a pedestrian bridge spanning Jackson Boulevard to a new parking garage.

—30—

Then and Now, Madison-Paulina

1929–Madison Street @ Paulina Street, view west

2018–the same location

Before the Milwaukee Avenue subway opened in 1951, ‘L’ trains from Logan Square reached downtown in a circuitous routing.  The older photo shows the Madison Street station on that line.  The Chicago Stadium had just opened a block to the west, greatly increasing patronage.

Today the United Center has replaced the Chicago Stadium.  Most of the surrounding buildings have been leveled for parking lots.  The ‘L’ structure has been completely replaced, and is now used by Pink Line trains on the old Douglas Park route.  There are proposals to open a new station here or nearby.

—30—

Then and Now, Jefferson-Van Buren

1930–Jefferson Street @ Van Buren Street, view north

2018–the same location

In 1930 this spot on the outskirts of downtown was mostly factories and warehouses.  Crossing Jefferson Street is the mainline of the old Metropolitan ‘L’.   The four-track structure funneled trains into the Loop from the Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and Douglas Park branches.  The Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban railroad also operated over these tracks.

Today the area here has been spiffed up.  The ‘L’ is gone, replaced by the subway under Congress Parkway.  The church on the corner is also gone—at least, I think it was a church.  If anyone can identify it with documentation, please let me know.

—30—

Then and Now, Ashland-Jackson

1909–Ashland Boulevard @ Jackson Boulevard, view south

2018–the same location

In 1909 Ashland between Lake Street and 12th Street (Roosevelt Road) was a  Park District street.  That meant the Ashland streetcars jogged a block west and operated on Paulina Street for that one-and-a-half miles, before returning to Ashland.  in the distance in the older photo, the main line of the Metropolitan ‘L’ can be seen crossing over Ashland.

Today this stretch of Ashland has been widened and is now a regular city street, open to trucks and any streetcars which may show up.  The ‘L’ viaduct in the distance of the newer photo is a ramp used for moving non-revenue trains between the Blue Line and the Pink Line.

—30—

Then and Now, Ogden-Washington

1937–Ogden Avenue @ Washington Boulevard, view southwest

2018–the same location

Looking down Ogden Avenue in 1937, the large building in the distance at Monroe Street is a Wieboldt’s department store.  Facing Union Park on the right, at 1549 West Warren Boulevard, is the Viceroy Hotel.  Just visible on the left side of the photo—at what was then 1523 West Ogden Avenue—is the apartment building where Walt Disney lived in 1917 while attending McKinley High School.

The Wieboldt’s store is now condos.  The city has purchased and renovated the old Viceroy Hotel—since there’s now a Viceroy Hotel on State Street, I don’t know what to call that yellow brick building on Warren.  And today a parking lot for Pipefitters Local 597 occupies the site of Walt’s teenage home.

—30—