Photo Essay: Chicago Then & Now

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The Chicago River at Michigan Avenue

A construction crane can be seen in Cushman's photo, suggestive of the massive changes to that would transform the Chicago River over the next 40 years, changes that show no sign of subsiding. Only three buildings from Cushman's photo are now identifiable: the Lasalle-Wacker Building, Marina City and the Sun-Times Building, whose demolition started not long after I took my photo. By 2007 the Trump International Hotel and Tower will have risen -- and risen and risen, to a staggering 1,276 feet -- in its stead.

435 N. Michigan Ave.

Wrigley Building, Hotel Intercontinental and Tribune Tower: an interesting perspective in that it excludes any of the neighborhood's massive changes.

Wacker Drive and Clark Street

Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue

Dearborn and Randolph Streets

I'm amused that both Cushman and I captured someone crossing the street carrying a light-colored bag in their right hand. Just about everything else at this intersection has changed, but at least one thing remains the same.

55 W. Randolph St.

When Cushman visited in 1963, ground had been broken on Daley Civic Center, which would be Chicago's tallest building from its completion in 1965 to the 1969, when it was eclipsed by the John Hancock Center. The 46-story Morrison Hotel, located at the geographic center of the Loop, is seen at the left of Cushman's photo. When it came down in 1965 to make room for Bank One Plaza (née First National Bank Building), it set a record for tallest building to be demolished.

Michigan Avenue and Huron Street

The Old Pumping Station on the east side of Michigan Avenue is still there, currently occupied by the Looking Glass Theatre, but it is obscured by trees. One notable addition since Cushman's 1966 visit: the John Hancock Center. It was completed in 1969.

800 N. Michigan Ave.

632 N. Dearborn St.

The former home of the Chicago Historical Society is now the Excalibur nightclub.

Southwest Corner of Dearborn and Erie Streets

Rush and Chestnut Streets

In 1966 the corner of Rush and Chestnut was a "go-go" lounge. By 2004 the building had come down and been replaced by an upscale furniture boutique, but it, too, is set to come down to make way for a new luxury condominium tower.

Corner of State, Cedar and Rush streets

The "Solomon-Cooper Drugs" sign remains, but Adolph's is now Domaine, and the old skyscrapers are obscured by new ones.

100 N. State St.

State and Washington Streets

Michigan Avenue from Randolph Street

The Michigan Avenue streetwall is relatively intact. The biggest changes may be in the buildings that tower behind it, such as CNA Plaza.

100 S. Michigan Ave.

1100 S. Michigan Ave.

The Skyline, from Adler Planetarium

This was one of the hardest shots to match up, so complete has the skyline transformed in 63 years. The only reference points I had were the breakwater and the steps of Adler Planetarium.

Navy Pier, from Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium

Grant Park

505 N. Clark St.

675 N. Rush St.

Originally the mansion of "Harvester King" Cyrus McCormick, the site is now the 40-story Omni Chicago Hotel. McCormick was a teetotaler and agricultural industrialist who was instrumental in rebuilding Chicago after the Great Fire, but a strike at the McCormick Reaper Works led to the Haymarket Square Riot in 1886. He edited the Chicago Times for several years, and the Tribune's legendary editor Robert R. McCormick, "The Colonel," was his great-nephew. The McCormick Harvesting Machine Company would eventually become Navistar.

878 N. Clark St.

977 N. Rush St.

Canal and Taylor Streets

316 W. Erie St.

Cushman noted that the building has slipped from its "moorings," and the sign reads, "THIS BUILDING DANGEROUS CONDITION." The location is now a Coyote Ugly bar.

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