Posts Tagged 'Near West Side'

Then and Now, Randolph-Clinton

1954–Randolph Street @ Clinton Street, view west

2017–the same location

In 1954 this area just west of the C&NW railroad terminal was mostly warehouses and factories.  Randolph Street had been converted to one-way traffic recently.  Though streetcars have ceased operating here, the old two-way tracks have not yet been covered over.

The West Loop has been revitalized over the course of six decades.  Many old buildings have been torn down and replaced.  However, this particular block remains intact—for now.

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Then and Now. Madison-Ogden

1947–Madison Street @ Ogden Avenue, view west

2017–the same location

Chicago’s first stock yards opened near the triple intersection of Madison, Ogden, and Ashland in 1848.  After the animals moved south a few years later, a commercial district grew up in the area.  The 1947 photo is dominated by the Wendell Bank Building in the triangle between the three streets.  The building was later headquarters of the Turtle Wax Corporation, and sported a giant turtle statue on its roof.

Today the Wendell Bank Building has been replaced by a mini-park, and the other buildings in the older photo are also gone.  However, the Billy Goat Tavern now has an outpost on the southeast corner of Madison and Ogden, a few blocks east of its original site.

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Then and Now, Monroe-Canal

1948--Monroe Street @ Canal, view east

1948–Monroe Street @ Canal Street, view east

2015--the same location

2016–the same location

In 1948 Monroe was still a two-way street, and streetcars still ran on it.  A viaduct carried Monroe over the open-air approach tracks to Union Station.  The neighborhood was dirty and rundown.

Six decades later, nearly everything in the earlier picture looks different—even the bridge house has been painted white.  The buildings of South Riverside Plaza now line the west bank of the river.  But at ground level, trains still run to and from Union Station.

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Then and Now, Madison-Clinton

1946--Madison Street @ Clinton, view east

1946–Madison Street @ Clinton Street, view east

2015--the same location

2015–the same location

The pillared Chicago & North Western Railway terminal dominates the older photo—when it opened in 1911, this was the second-biggest train station in the country.  Beyond it is the high-rise headquarters building of the Chicago Daily News.  Streetcars run on both Madison and Clinton, with a repair crew in the foreground, fixing the overhead wire.

In 2015 the Ogilvie Transportation Center has replaced the C&NW terminal, the Daily News headquarters is an office building, and the streetcars are gone.  But another repair crew is busy at the intersection!

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Then and Now, Fulton-Wood

1950--Fulton Street @ Wood, view east

1950–Fulton Street @ Wood Street, view east

2015–the same location

Our location is two blocks west of Ashland Avenue.  In 1950 the neighborhood was in transition, with factories replacing many of the old cottages and apartments.  The ‘L’ trains had been running here since 1896 on a circuitous route from downtown to Logan Square.  The tracks from the abandoned Fulton-21st streetcar line had not yet been paved over.

CTA rerouted its trains through the new Milwaukee-Dearborn subway in 1951. Though the ‘L’ structure here was eventually torn down, the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” is still in place just to the north.  Today this stretch of Fulton is all industrial.

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Then and Now, Roosevelt-Western

1904--12th Street (Roosevelt Road) @ Western, view east

1904–12th Street (Roosevelt Road) @ Western Avenue, view east

2014--the same location

2015–the same location

Chicago’s Near West Side experienced explosive growth after the Great Fire of 1871.  By the early 20th Century it was the city’s most densely-populated area.  As the 1904 picture shows, 12th Street had become a major commercial artery.  Electric streetcars had recently replaced horsecars, running all the way out to 40th Avenue (Pulaski Road).

Today 12th Street is Roosevelt Road.  Many of the older buildings along this strip are gone, and to the east, the Illinois Medical District continues to expand.  Gentrification is underway.

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Then and Now, Throop-Congress

 

1928--Throop Street @ Congress, view north

1928–Throop Street @ Congress Parkway, view north

2014--the same location

2014–the same location

We are one block west of Racine Avenue.  In 1928 this was the location of both the power house and repair shops for the Metropolitan ‘L’ and its branches.  The four-track elevated structure—which also carried CA&E interurban trains—split into two sections here to run around those buildings.

The Congress (Eisenhower) Expressway was cut through the area in the 1950s.  Enough space was provided in the expressway median to accommodate four tracks. But by the time CTA trains began operating there in 1958, CA&E was out of business, and only two tracks were needed.  Today, the large warehouse building a block north on Throop Street has been converted to residential use.

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