Central Manufacturing District Developments

The first planned industrial district in the entire United States.

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Frederick Prince, a Boston financier and real estate mogul, was the primary owner of Chicago’s massive Union Stockyards in the late 19th century. He also owned the Chicago Junction Railroad, and was concerned that the meatpacking business wasn’t robust enough to maintain the railway’s profitability.

In order to maximize freight charges, Prince organized a district in the western suburbs that would focus on industrial production and manufacturing. Chicago’s Central Manufacturing District (CMD), the nation’s first, opened for business in 1905 and was expanded significantly across subsequent decades.

This map, published anonymously in the early 1930s, shows the various stages of growth along the railroads and I&M Canal. At the time it was issued, major corporations such as Wrigley, Westinghouse, Goodyear, Ford, and Pullman all had significant operations within the CMD. The majority of businesses were able to weather the storm of the Great Depression due to the success of the planned layout, and it was used as a blueprint for further industrial developments across the country.


Map Details

Publication Date: c. 1932

Author: Anonymous

Sheet Width (in): 13.75

Sheet Height (in): 10.1

Condition: B+

Condition Description: Red ink stains in the upper corners and a bit of faint discoloration along the bottom of the sheet.

Out of stock