Posts Tagged 'North Side'

Then and Now, North-Sedgwick

1972–North Avenue @ Sedgwick Street, view east

2017–the same location

For decades, there were proposals to widen the two-lane portion of North Avenue.  In 1970 the city began expanding the segment between Clark and Larrabee Streets.  Buildings on the north side of North were leveled or truncated.  When I took the 1972 photo the street widening was well along, and new construction already underway.

Expanding North Avenue to four lanes involved restringing the trolley bus wires over the street.  A year after this was done, CTA junked all its electric buses and removed the wires.  It would be an interesting research project to find out who got the contract to restring those wires, and who got the contract to remove them a year later.

—30—

Advertisements

Then and Now, Sheridan-Surf

1936-Sheridan Road @ Surf Street, view north

1936-Sheridan Road @ Surf Street, view north

2017-the same location

2017-the same location

In the 1936 photo, our location just north of Diversey shows the effects of the Great Depression.  Vacant lots along Sheridan Road await multi-story apartment buildings, which haven’t been constructed.  The booming 1920s are definitely over.

Today this stretch of Sheridan is filled with high-rises.   And the double-deck buses of yesterday have been replaced by modern articulated buses—shorter in height, but longer in length.

—30—

Then and Now, Eddy-Southport

1908–Eddy Street @ Southport Avenue, view east

2017–the same location

Our location is a short block south of Addison Street.  This part of Lakeview was still thinly settled in 1908.  However, the Ravenswood branch of the North Side ‘L’ had just been extended through the area, with a station at Southport.  New construction was already starting to pick up.

In 1914 a baseball stadium for the fledgling Federal League opened a few blocks east of here.  Though the Federal League didn’t last, the ballpark still stands, and has given the neighborhood a new name—Wrigleyville.

—30—

Then and Now, Devon-Western

1934--Devon Avenue @ Western, view west

1934–Devon Avenue @ Western Avenue, view west

2016--the same location

2017–the same location

The shopping district around Devon and Western began to take off during the early 1920s, with various retail stores, restaurants, a couple of banks, and the usual business mix springing up as the decade moved on.  However, the Great Depression brought a halt to new construction.  A few vacant lots are visible in the 1934 photo.

In 2017 the vacant lots are long gone from the Devon Avenue strip.  Once a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, the area is now the center of the city’s Indian, Pakistani, and other South Asian communities.

—30—

Then and Now, Dearborn-Hubbard

1953–Dearborn Street @ Hubbard Street, view south

2017–the same location

Dearborn Street just north of the river was home to factories and warehouses in 1953.   The gabled Chicago Varnish Company building is visible down the block at Kinzie Street, while beyond it is the narrow 1870s bridge over the river.  And in 1953 Chicagoans were still getting used to one-way streets, as evidenced by the car parked facing the wrong way.

The 1960s brought a new Dearborn Street Bridge, the new Marina City complex, and the beginning of transformation for this area.  Most of the old industrial buildings are gone or have been converted to other use—the onetime varnish factory now houses Harry Caray’s Steakhouse.  Though the neighborhood has definitely improved, I do miss that funky “DO NOT ENTER” sign hanging over the street on the light pole.

—30—

Then and Now, Ritchie-Goethe

1919--Ritchie Court @ Goethe Street, view north

1919–Ritchie Court @ Goethe Street, view north

2017--the same location

2017–the same location

In 1885 Potter Palmer built a mansion at 1350 North Lake Shore Drive.  Following his lead, most of Chicago’s wealthy elite abandoned Prairie Avenue and settled on the Near North Side, with the area becoming known as the Gold Coast.  A turret from Palmer’s “castle” can been seen in right background of the older photo.

Palmer’s mansion was replaced by a high-rise apartment building in 1950.  Many of the old Gold Coast mansions and townhouses have met a similar fate, though a few still survive here on Ritchie Court.  All these years and all these changes later, Mr. Palmer’s neighborhood remains the city’s toniest.

—30—

Then and Now, Michigan-Ohio

1928--Michigan Avenue @ Ohio Street, view north

1923–Michigan Avenue @ Ohio Street, view north

2017--the same location

2017–the same location

With the opening of the Michigan Avenue Bridge in 1921, the avenue north of the river began to be transformed.  Marshall & Fox’s Lake Shore Trust and Savings Bank, on the northeast corner of Michigan and Ohio, has just been completed in the 1923 picture.  Most of the buildings here are still small, and the Water Tower is clearly visible in the distance.

Today’s Michigan Avenue has become the Magnificent Mile.  Now tall buildings dwarf the Water Tower.  That landmark bank building still stands at Ohio Street, though it has been converted to retail use.

—30—