Photo Essay: Chicago Then & Now

Central | Maxwell | North Side | South Side
« Return to article

4530 S. Wabash Ave.

2004, new location: 1855 S. Indiana Ave

Built in 1836 and reputed to be Chicago's oldest remaining house, the Clarke House was from 1941 to 1977 the home of Bishop Louis Henry Ford -- yes, that Bishop Ford -- and the St. Paul Church of God in Christ. In 1977 the building was moved to 1855 S. Indiana Ave. in the Prairie Avenue District. Various church buildings are now located on this stretch of Wabash. Curiously, the new structure echoes various architectural elements of the original building.

3218 S. Wabash Ave.

Several blocks of Wabash Avenue here are now IIT's new McCormick Tribune Center, designed by Rem Koolhaas. As was often the case when I found myself with no remaining reference points other than an address, my reckoning here is guesswork.

3254 S. Michigan Ave.

This mansion belonged to John Cudahy, a successful meatpacker at the end of the 19th century.

4038 S. Wabash Ave.

Cushman noted that this frame house "leans at an alarming angle but still affords shelter to negro families." The lot is now vacant, but one can still see the front step of the greystone to the south.

4059 S. Dearborn St.

This lot and several acres around it are now a grassy field behind Edward Hartigan Specialty School.

3117 S. Wabash Ave.

Cushman was surprised that this building was still occupied in its decrepit state and after all its neighbors had been razed. The plot is now an IIT dormitory.

2944 S. Michigan Ave.

The Sidney A. Kent House was built in 1883. Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root were the architects.

2626 S. Michigan Ave.

Northwest Corner of 29th Street and Wabash Avenue

Formerly St. Xavier's Academy.

600 E. 33rd Place

The 100-acre Lake Meadows complex was a postwar urban renewal project led by the Illinois Institute of Technology and Michael Reese Hospital, which were nervously watching the Douglas neighborhood crumble around them. In 1952 ground was broken on the five 12-story towers of Lake Meadows, designed to cater to house middle-class whites and African Americans. When Cushman visited in 1950, these apartments were being demolished.

3240 S. Rhodes Ave.

Cushman would visit this block several times over the next 10 years, culminating in demolition in 1950 to make room for the Lake Meadows urban renewal project.

1801 S. Prairie Ave.

William Wallace Kimball, owner of the world's largest piano and organ manufacturer, built this mansion in 1873, two years after the Great Fire. The U.S. Soccer Federation made the Kimball House its national headquarters in 1991.

1808-1812 S. Prairie Ave.

The home on the left was built for George Wheeler, a grain elevator owner and rail executive. The home on the right belonged to Stanley Field, nephew of Marshall Field and for 56 years the president of the Field Museum. Both mansions were demolished in 1968. The land is now a garden and the current location of Clark House. Displayed on the fence are signs telling the history of the "Lost Houses of Prairie Avenue." There has been a recent renaissance in the neighborhood, however, and dozens of mansions and luxury townhomes are under construction.

2010 S. Prairie Ave.

"Once a mansion, now a lunch room ..." and now a loading dock for a piping factory. The eight-story factory to the north has been rehabbed into luxury condos.

2220 S. Dearborn St.

The site of Al Capone's headquarters is now a parking lot for the Harold Ickes Homes.

Back to Gapers Block