A General View of the Rich and Growing Business Section of Chicago


Chicago’s Loop in the early 20th century.

1 in stock

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The city of Chicago buzzes with economic activity in this bird’s eye view of the Loop, published in the October 28, 1905 issue of Harper’s Weekly. Smokestacks as far as the eye can see are churning out black smoke – a reference to industrial activity, rather than the association with air pollution commonly understood today. Additional plumes hover over the river, on which boats of all sizes are traveling to the north branch, south branch, and out to Lake Michigan.

The image also captures the city’s transportation systems and early 20th-century architecture with clarity and detail. Horse-drawn carriages, streetcars, and street railways all operating in chaotic unison, surrounded by giant edifices of brick, stone, and glass. One in particular, on the east bank of the south branch, just below the Lake Street swing bridge, can still be seen today at 180. North Wacker Drive.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1905

Author: Butler Brothers

Sheet Width (in): 17.9

Sheet Height (in): 12.75

Condition: B+

Condition Description: Wear along vertical centerfold including archival tape on the verso, a few tiny holes/tears, and two small spots where the image is missing (top and bottom).


1 in stock