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State Street: 1910

Chicago circa 1910. "State Street north from Madison." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Chicago circa 1910. "State Street north from Madison." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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First Day on the Job

Note on lower right the confident looking young man in an ill fitting suit is heading to his opening day as an assistant to an assistant bookkeeper while dreaming how long it's going to take him to become Chairman of the Board.

In between thoughts of the Board he ponders investing in his brother-in-law's new Black and Decker company or his girlfriend's Grinnell Electric Car Company.

Survivors on Three Out of Four Corners

Actually the buildings shown here on three of the four corners of State and Madison Streets have survived, for the most part. At the far right, the old Carson Pirie Scott Store (originally built for Schlesinger and Mayer, designed by Louis Sullivan and built 1899-1904) still stands on the southeast corner. Today it is called the Sullivan Center and it houses a Target. At the far left, on the southwest corner, is the Chicago Savings Bank Building (now known as the Chicago Building), designed by Holabird & Roche and built 1904-1905. Today it belongs to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which uses it as a dormitory called Jones Hall. The building with signs for the Boston Store, on the northwest corner, has a more complicated history. The building shown here (with four bays on State Street) is the Champlain Building of Holabird & Roche (1894). It was demolished in 1915 and replaced by the present structure to make it uniform with the adjoining buildings built for the Boston Store in 1905. On the northeast corner is the former Mandel Brothers Department Store, shown here in a building built in 1875 which will soon be demolished, according to the sign hanging off the building. The present Mandel Brothers building (also designed by Holabird & Roche) opened in 1912. Since State and Madison is the dead center of the Chicago street numbering system, all these buildings bear addresses of either No. 1 or No. 2 on State or Madison Streets. Although the buildings have happily survived, the retail giants of State Street have all gone.


If a building in this photo was going to survive, I'm grateful it was the Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. building, designed by Louis Sullivan, regrettably partially obscured by a transit bus in Street View.

[Also the Boston Co. department store building on the left, which looks remarkably contemporary despite being completed in 1905. After various additions, today known as the State Madison Building or 1 North Dearborn. - Dave]


of the "Seven Sisters" of Chicago Retailing
- Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co.
- Mandel Bros
- Boston Store
fronted on this, The World's Busiest Corner
(The Fair, Rothshild's, and Sigel-Cooper lie
behind, while Marshall Field lies a block ahead)
Today, while it isn't quite so quiet that
"you can a hear a pin drop", the only
place you can buy those pins is at Target.

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