Chicago

Vintage: Railway in Chicago (1940s)

Vintage: Railway in Chicago (1940s)

Chicago is the most important railroad center in North America. More lines of track radiate in more directions from Chicago than from any other city. Chicago has long been the most important interchange point for freight traffic between the nation’s major railroads and it is the hub of Amtrak, the intercity rail passenger system. Chicago ranks second (behind New York…
Vintage: Queen Elizabeth II in Chicago (1959)

Vintage: Queen Elizabeth II in Chicago (1959)

The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, were on a 15,000-mile, 45-day tour along the seaway visiting all Canadian provinces, four of the Great Lakes and making a 14-hour stop in Chicago. This was their only American stop and was the first visit of a reigning British monarch to the Windy City. The royal couple’s hectic visit took them to…
Historic B&W photos of Chicago (19th century)

Historic B&W photos of Chicago (19th century)

In the 19th century, Chicago became the nation’s railroad center, by 1910 over 20 railroads operated passenger service out of 6 different downtown terminals. In 1883, the standardized system of North American time zones was adopted by the general time convention of railway managers in Chicago. This gave the continent its uniform system for telling time.
Vintage: Chicago – South Water Street

Vintage: Chicago – South Water Street

South Water Street was the city’s primary wholesale produce market until it was relocated in 1925 for the construction of Wacker Drive. Jammed all day long with oxcarts, wagons and horse-drawn carriages and weather-beaten men with rough hands and stained aprons and filled with the din of a cryptic language that few outsiders understood, the area, about 8 to 10…
Interview with Abstract Architecture photographer Steve Geer

Interview with Abstract Architecture photographer Steve Geer

In early 2014 I began to photograph Chicago cityscapes reflected in various shiny surfaces. I thought of Lewis Carol’s famous children’s book “Alice through the Looking Glass,” and to get a little inspiration I decided to reread his wonderful text. On the other side of the looking glass, Alice finds a world that is familiar and yet not quite right.…
Historic photos of The Chicago  ’​L ’

Historic photos of The Chicago  ’​L ’

The first ‘L’ began revenue service on June 6, 1892, when a small steam locomotive pulling four wooden coaches carrying a total of 27 men and 3 women departed the 39th Street station and arrived at the Congress Street Terminal 14 minutes later, over tracks that are still used by the Green Line. via Chicago Tribune
Vintage: Open-air bazaar in Chicago

Vintage: Open-air bazaar in Chicago

Maxwell Street first appears on a Chicago map in 1847. It was named for Dr. Philip Maxwell. It was originally a wooden plank road that ran from the south branch of the Chicago River west to Blue Island Avenue. The earliest housing was built by and for Irish immigrants who were brought to Chicago to construct the first railroads. It…
Vintage: Chicago’s 1919 race riot

Vintage: Chicago’s 1919 race riot

The riots began after an incident at a South side beach where an African-American teenager was killed, setting off five violence-filled days where dozens died and hundreds were injured. The rioting wasn’t quelled until Gov. Frank Lowden sent in 6,500 state militia troops to draw a line between the white and black districts. In the end, 23 African-Americans and 15…
World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893

World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893

The World’s Columbian Exposition was a World’s Fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World in 1492. The Exposition was an influential social and cultural event and had a profound effect on architecture, sanitation, the arts, Chicago’s self-image, and American industrial optimism. Most of the buildings of the fair…
Vintage: Graf Zeppelin flying over Chicago in 1929

Vintage: Graf Zeppelin flying over Chicago in 1929

Ferdinand von Zeppelin was a German general and later aircraft manufacturer, who developed the Zeppelin airship. The design was patented in 1895 in Germany and 1899 in the U.S. Designed to carry passengers, the airship began commercial operations in 1910 through the company Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG (DELAG). By the middle of 1914, the craft had made over 1,500 flights and carried…
Chicago’s first Hollywood premiere in 1940

Chicago’s first Hollywood premiere in 1940

Rain did not prevent thousands of Chicagoans from gathering on State Street on the night of Oct. 24, 1940, to catch a glimpse of Hollywood movie stars as they arrived for the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s film, “North West Mounted Police”, starring Gary Cooper and Madeleine Carroll. It was Chicago’s first Hollywood premiere and was held at both the…
Grant Park in Chicago

Grant Park in Chicago

The city officially designated the land as a park on April 29, 1844, naming it Lake Park. When the Illinois Central Railroad was built into Chicago in 1852, it was permitted to lay track along the lakefront on a causeway built offshore from the park. The resulting lagoon became stagnant, and was largely filled in 1871 with debris from the…
Gangsters & Grifters

Gangsters & Grifters

Created from the Chicago Tribune’s vast archives, Gangsters & Grifters is a collection of photographs featuring infamous criminals, small-time bandits, smirking crooks, pickpockets, hoodlums, and wise guys at shocking crime scenes. These vintage glass-plate and acetate negatives were taken in the early 1900s through the 1950s, and have been largely unseen for generations. That is because most have never been…