Posts Tagged 'North Side'

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.

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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.

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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.

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Then and Now, Fullerton-Sheffield

1967--Fullerton Avenue @ Sheffield, view west

1967–Fullerton Avenue @ Sheffield Avenue, view west

2016--the same location

2016–the same location

In 1967 trolley buses were running on Fullerton Avenue, and both ACF-Brill and Marmon-Herrington models are visible in the older photo.  The neighborhood still featured many factories and warehouses, since DePaul University was just starting to expand.

Today the trolley buses are gone.  The DePaul area has become a textbook model of urban gentrification, both pros and cons.  And while the trees are a welcome addition to Fullerton, it does make photography a bit more problematical.

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Then and Now, Clark-Diversey

1958--Clark Street @ Diversey Parkway, view northwest

1958–Clark Street @ Diversey Parkway, view northwest

2016--the same location

2016–the same location

This is the heart of East Lakeview.  Here an old trail to the north split into two parts.  The western branch continued on as Clark Street.  The eastern branch became Evanston Avenue, and later, Broadway—note the bus peeking out at the right side of the older photo.

For a while in the 1970s and ’80s, local merchants here tried rebranding their community as New Town, an obvious attempt to cash in on the popularity of Old Town.  During that time, the old building at the top of the intersection was torn down.  Its modern replacement has since housed a giant Ace Hardware, a Border’s Bookstore, a Walgreen’s, and perhaps other businesses I’ve forgotten.

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Then and Now, Armitage-Bissell

1910--Center Street (Armitage Avenue) @ Bissell, view east

1914–Center Street (Armitage Avenue) @ Bissell Street, view east

2015--the same location

2016–the same location

Our location is one block east of Sheffield.  The North Side ‘L’ began operation in 1900, spurring development in the western part of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.  This section of Armitage Avenue was then named Center Street.  A single-track streetcar line runs on the street, and a ribbon commercial strip is already well along.

As ridership increased, the streetcar line got a second track.  Electric trolley buses later replaced the streetcars, and still later, motor buses replaced the trolley buses.  Today the commercial strip continues to thrive.  The area’s residential side streets boast some of the highest property values in the city.

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Then and Now, Grand-Franklin

1968--Grand Avenue @ Franklin, view west

1968–Grand Avenue @ Franklin Street, view west

2014--the same location

2016–the same location

In 1968 this part of the Near North Side was a rundown area of factories and warehouses, as it had been since the early days of the twentieth century.  Electric trolley buses still ran on Grand Avenue, and there was still an ‘L’ station at Grand and Franklin.

Today, property values in this part of the city have reached a level beyond even the wildest forecasts of 1968.  Some of the old buildings have been repurposed, like the warehouse on the far side of the ‘L’ tracks.  However, there’s been plenty of new construction, including a number of high-rises.   There’s even talk of bringing back the ‘L’ station.

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