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Antique Map of Chicago by Mitchell, 1872 - Great Chicago Fire of 1871

1872 Chicago - Showing the area destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Regular price $ 350.00

Unit price per 

By: Samuel A. Mitchell

Date: 1872 (published) New York, NY

Dimensions: 14 x 11.25 inches (35.5 x 28.5 cm)

A historic antique map of Chicago, published after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The map is far more common in its original form with each of the twenty wards colored to differentiate their boundaries. This example was recolored by to illustrate the extent of the fire that ravaged much of the downtown and near north districts of the city, which at the time was almost entirely made up of wooden buildings.

Upon close examination, we find a single block within the burnt district that appears to have been saved from destruction. At the time of the fire, this block belonged to Malhon Ogden (brother to William B. Ogden, Chicago's first mayor) who lived in a Mansion just north of Washington Square. The open space of Washington Square Park slowed the fire’s advance while those inside took everything made of cloth — curtains, carpets, blankets and sheets — and soaked them in well water and cider in the cellar. Then they wrapped the outside of the house like a mummy and waited out the flames.

Soon after the fire, Ogden suffered financial troubles and the trustees of the Walter Loomis Newberry estate saw an opportunity to snatch up some valuable land. They tore down the mansion and erected, as a Tribune article from October 9, 1893 put it, the “magnificent new Newberry Library Building.”

The map is surrounded by Mitchell's vine and leaf border and is richly detailed with street names (many of which have been renamed), important buildings, railway lines, and a water intake tunnel that extends out into Lake Michigan. 

Ref: WBEZ Chicago "These buildings made it through the fire but didn’t survive Chicago’s development," By Paul Durica Oct. 7, 2021

Condition: This map is in A condition with bright colors over a fine lithograph print. Some paper toning is evident, but mostly confined to margins that provide ample room for framing.

Inventory #12364

1932 S. Halsted St. #200 Chicago, IL 60608 | P: (312) 496 - 3622

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