By: Elisha Robinson
Date: 1886 (dated) New York
Dimensions: 20.25 x 29.75 inches (51.5 x 75.5 cm)
A large scale map of part of Chicago including parts of the North and West Loop, the main branch of the Chicago River as well as part of the South and North Branch, all of the River North, Streeterville, the Gold Coast, Old Town, and part of Lincoln Park.
The map is color-coded by the most common type of building material such as brick, wood, and stone. Since this map was published after the great Chicago Fire of 1871, most the other buildings had been rebuilt with brick and limestone as opposed to wood. Additional explanation of symbols predominantly applies to the other more location-specific maps of the atlas.
The map shows the land managed by the Chicago Dock and Canal Company which had previously received government funding to develop the entrance to the Chicago River from Lake Michigan for a well positioned hub of industry, shipping, and manufacturing. This area included several railway depots, canal slips, and factories such as Cyrus McCormick's Reaper Factory that supplied settlers on the expanding western frontier with top-of-the-line farming equipment of the era.
The map also includes an early appearance of Lake Shore Drive, which was built earlier in the decade at the behest of local business tycoon Potter Palmer (of which the Palmer House Hotel is named). Mr. Palmer wanted a road along the lake that would conveniently connect his mansion constructed 1882–1885 at 1350 N. Lake Shore Drive with the central portion of the city. As with many things in Chicago's history, if you know the right people and have enough power and influence, you will usually get your way.
Condition: This map is in B condition with prior paper damage including loss of paper along the corners and edges, as well as any tears, filled in a reinforced through linen backing. Evidence of prior damp staining is apparent, but not distracting to the eye.
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