Chicago’s Lake Front Parks – View of the Proposed Improvements, Looking South Along Michigan Avenue


“And when the work is done, Chicago will have perhaps the finest waterfront and driveway of any city in the world.” [Verso]

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This tremendous view looking south at Chicago’s lakefront in the late 19th century shows an idealized representation of the construction atop the former lagoon created by the Illinois Central train trestle. Text on the verso describes the legal wrangling and ultimate Supreme Court decision that allowed for such development, which was ongoing at the time of publication. In the foreground is what appears to be the prominent turreted walls of the Libby Prison Museum, with an early depiction of the Field Museum (constructed to house exhibits from the Columbian Exposition) and Lake Shore Drive.

“Work is now in progress on the Lake Front Park proper, which extends eastward from Michigan Avenue, between Park Row and Randolph Street, containing about two hundred and twenty acres, nearly one hundred and seventy acres of which are being reclaimed from Lake Michigan; and as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made a narrow band of park will be built southward along the lake shore to Jackson Park, a distance of more than five miles.” [Text on verso]

The view was drawn by H.G. Maratta and published in the April 3, 1897 issue of Harper’s Weekly

Map Details

Publication Date: 1897

Author: Harper's Weekly

Sheet Width (in): 21.5

Sheet Height (in): 15.25

Condition: A

Condition Description: Creased along vertical fold lines and lightly toned and somewhat brittle from age. 1" separation along the bottom centerfold has been repaired on the verso with archival tape. Near fine overall.


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