The Great Fire at Chicago


Panoramic view of Chicago showing the city prior to the fire that consumed it.

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Published less than two weeks after the fire that cost over 300 lives, $200 million and 3 square miles, this print is the best effort of the London Illustrated News to show the former beauty of the city. The swath of devastation caused by the blazed is skillfully shaded, providing an ephemeral feel to the literal cloud of smoke that engulfed the city in 1871.

Although the waterworks and University of Chicago campus largely survived the blaze, the courthouse (and much of the area in what is now the Loop) did not. Of particular interest in the splendid view of the city is the construction of the new Four Mile water crib, plus a variety of watercraft.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1871

Author: Illustrated London News

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Condition: A

Condition Description: The print is in excellent condition.