Posts Tagged 'West Ridge'

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.

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Then and Now, Devon-Kedzie

1945--Devon Avenue @ Kedzie, view east

1945–Devon Avenue @ Kedzie Avenue, view east

2015--the same location

2015–the same location

The streetcars in the 1945 photo are at the northern end of the Broadway-State line.  Most older streetcars could be operated from either end.  When a car reached the end of the line, it remained parked in the middle of the street.  To change directions, the roof-top trolley poles were switched and the passenger seats flipped.  Then the driver—called the motorman—moved his control handle to the opposite end of the car, and was ready to change tracks and head back in the other direction.

Buses replaced streetcars here in 1947.  In the decades since, the commercially-zoned vacant lots along Devon have been filled up.

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