The Harbor Plan of Chicago


Applying Daniel Burham’s principles to the waterways of Chicago.

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This uncommon issue of the Harbor Plan of Chicago was published in 1927 by the Commercial Club of Chicago’s Committee on Chicago Harbor and Port Survey. The committee was invited to assess general improvements to the waterways and port facilities that were previously recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers. It also took the lead in acquiring funding on behalf of the city, though the forthcoming Great Depression would delay or prohibit many of the proposed updates from being constructed.

A preface reflecting on the city’s phenomenal growth and expansion ties the work of The Harbor Plan Committee to that of Daniel Burham, citing the latter’s monumental Plan of Chicago as their inspiration and precedence. What follows is an extensive overview of proposed revisions along Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, including both Calumet and Chicago harbors. Terminals, transportation facilities, wharves and dockyards, and even an early iteration of Meig’s Field are covered in tremendous detail, supported by tables of statistics, charts, and diagrams.

Over a dozen folding maps highlight a variety of themes such as concentration of waterfront occupation, the national rail network, and Cook County highways; plus plans of each of the proposed improvements described therein.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1927

Author: Commercial Club of Chicago

Sheet Width (in): 8.5

Sheet Height (in): 11

Condition: B+

Condition Description: 97 pp. bound in original maroon cloth boards with embossed gilt front. Some minimal separation along each gutter and a bit of moisture has resulted in several pages sticking together. Minor spots of lost image from being 'unstuck' occurs throughout the first third of the book, including in the folding panorama. Includes 2 single page and 13 fold-out maps, all in near fine condition.


1 in stock