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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Chicago: 1943, 11:35

Chicago: 1943, 11:35

April 1943. South Water Street freight depot of the Illinois Central Railroad at Chicago. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

On Shorpy:
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To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Crerar Library

The gray building was the John Crerar Library at Michigan & Randolph, just north of the city library. Opened May 1921 with "seven stack floors, two reading rooms and commercial space." Library moved to IIT in 1962, then to U of C in 1984, where it is today. Postcard here, in the third row.

An unfamiliar facade

Does anyone know the name of the gray building with arched upper windows in front of the domed Jewelers' building?


Well, it hasn't been a golf course for nearly a decade. The eastern part is now nearly full of apartment buildings. But the part seen in the photo was developed as office buildings in the early 1970s.

New Life for Carbon & Carbide

This landmark is now the Hard Rock Hotel!

Domed Building

The domed building behind 203 N. Wabash is 35 E. Wacker Drive, usually referred to as "The Jewelers' Building." For the first fourteen years of the building's life it contained a 22-story car lift inside its core. Delivery vehicles would enter on Lower Wacker Drive and ride up to jewelry merchants to make safe transfers. The building is featured in scenes from 2005's "Batman Begins", with Batman perched on one of the turrets rising at the corner of the dome's base.

Carbon & Carbide Building

The black (actually green) building to the left of the Pabst sign is the Carbon & Carbide Building, built in 1929 by Burnham Brothers architects. It is beautiful in the sunlight. A few cool facts:

The base is covered in black polished granite, and the tower is a dark green terra cotta accented with gold terra cotta.

According to legend the building was designed to resemble a dark green champagne bottle.

Because of this building's success, its architects were commissioned to design the Cuneo Building two blocks away, which would have been the tallest in Chicago if the Great Depression had not resulted in the project's cancellation.

The color scheme is similar to The Bryant Park Hotel with its dark facade and gold highlights.

The ground floor was originally designed to display products of the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation's subsidiaries whose offices were in the building.

Now...'s a golf course:

Amazing that the signage on 203 N. Wabash is so visible nearly a mile away!

Mmmmmm, 33 Fine Brews...

Blended to Make ONE Great Beer.

SHORPY OLD 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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