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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Changing Chicago: 1910

Changing Chicago: 1910

Chicago ca. 1910. "Madison Street, Hotel Brevoort & La Salle Opera House." The fad for automobiles seems to be growing. 8x10 glass negative. View full size.

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2 Meters

The first two cars on the left appear to be taxis, with their meters clearly visible.

One Block Farther West

The Hotel Brevoort was at 120 West Madison Street, between La Salle and Clark, so the photographer must be standing just east of La Salle Street, looking east on Madison as Dennis M. says. That would make Clark Street the first intersection we can see, followed by Dearborn, State, and Wabash. There are quite a few well known early skyscrapers clustered together in the foreshortened perspective at the far end of this view, including the Champlain Building (demolished 1916) on the left, and the Chicago Building, the Carson Pirie Scott Store, and the Heyworth Building (all still standing) on the right.

40 more years...

...and it would be razed to make way for St. Peter's Church. Judging by the El track about a block away, it looks like the picture is of it at its 137 W. Madison address, so this would have been taken right before it moved across the street to 110 W. Madison the same year.

Looking East Toward Wabash

A bit hard to sort out the depth, but my resident Chicago expert (my wife!) thinks we are looking at the intersection with Dearborn St., then State St., and beyond that the Wabash Ave. elevated station (part of the "Loop",) which still exists.

In March 2014, Preservation Chicago, an architectural preservation group that releases an annual list of Chicago's seven most endangered buildings, included the Madison/Wabash station on its 2014 list, noting that it is the last original "L" station house on the east leg of the Loop.


In 1910 women were definitely the minority on the streets of any village, town, or city. They were at home nurturing their children, which is unfortunately not the case in 2014.

[You'd think they'd have grown up by now. - 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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