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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Chicago: 1901

Chicago: 1901

Chicago circa 1901. "The lakefront from Illinois Central Station." Panorama of two 8x10 glass negatives. Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Current View

I was fortunate to live in building on site of old Illinois Central Station and have this view of same locale looking north during my two years in Chicago.

General Logan

Was a focal point of the 1968 demonstrations during the Democratic Convention.

Montgomery Ward Building

As Michael R says regarding the Montgomery Ward building, "the steep sloping roof was lopped off long ago." Here is a photo showing what is the top of the building today.

Chicago: 1901

That statue of the soldier is General Logan, the Civil War Officer who worked to have the 30th Day of May honor Military Dead as "Decoration Day" / "Memorial Day".

All Gone, Up to a Point

Every building shown here lining the west side of South Michigan Avenue has been demolished and replaced with bigger and usually better buildings - up to the point just beyond the "Studebaker Bros." sign. Then we see three great buildings in a row, all still standing: 1) the first portion of the Congress Hotel (originally the Auditorium Annex, Clinton J. Warren, 1892-1893), 2) the Auditorium Building (Adler & Sullivan, 1887-1889), and 3) the Fine Arts Building (formerly the Studebaker Building, Solon S. Beman, 1884-1885). The slender tower in the distance belongs to the Montgomery Ward Building (Schmidt, Garden & Martin, 1897-1899); it, too, is still standing, but its steep sloping roof was lopped off long ago.


Does anyone know how they kept large expanses of grass like this mowed back in 1901?

[See this earlier comment.]

Lakeshore Delta

If you Google-Maps "901 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60605" you can see that all the Lake Michigan waterfront visible in this photograph was filled-in and is now occupied by the Buckingham Fountain, 6 tennis courts, 16 baseball diamonds, South Columbus Drive, and even South Lakeshore Drive.

Kimball Time

Oh my! It's K minutes to B o'clock! I better hurry or I'll miss my train.


An interesting piece on the Kimball family if you are so inclined.

Henry George

Fascinating to find a 5-cent cigar named after Henry George (1839-97), founder of "Georgism" and author of "Progress and Poverty." He proposed the "single tax"--based on the theory that land, and thus rents, should be common property. Given that, shouldn't tobacco products be free?

Holy landscaping!

That area is filled with trees and concrete walks now!

Three agents

From the Ministry of Silly Walks, on the west side of the Michigan Avenue, lower left.

[Their apparent stance is an optical artifact.]


Ironic that CP Kimball's carriages and harness products would soon be obsolete with the advent of the automobile. Fast forward 110 years, and Kodak just announced they will file Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to digital photography making their own products obsolete.

Illinois Central Station

Are there any pictures of the Illinois Central Station available? I assume that this picture was taken from near the top of the clock tower looking north towards the lakefront.

[Also from the DPC:]

Would you really want to drink

the "Best Kidney Water on Earth"?


That is one seriously gorgeous statue in the middle of the park.
Anyone have any info on that? Perhaps another photo?

[It's the Logan Monument.]

Thanks, Dave. Love the photos up close!


Interesting that one of the signs says "Kodaks Cameras and Supplies" and not "Kodak Cameras and Supplies."

[Shorpy abounds with signs advertising "Kodaks," meaning Kodak cameras. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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