Original Town of Chicago
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 the Chicago's West Loop showing much of the "original town" of Chicago, its many factories, railroad depots and lines, and much of what would become the 90/94 interstate.
The map is color-coded by the most common type of building material such as brick (pink), wood (yellow), and stone (brown). While this map was published after the great Chicago Fire of 1871, many of the buildings are still made of wood as this particular area escaped the wrath of the flames.
The large, bold numbers represent the "block number" and the smaller numbers differentiate individual lots from one another. Small numbers in a circle indicate the elevation of the street, two line side-by-side delineate sewer lines, and small circles with a cross denote the location of fire hydrants. Streets that are uncolored indicate that they have not been paved and are likely dirt or gravel. Circled letters throughout the map correspond to a list of divisions with the names of several land owners at the bottom of the map.
Many of Chicago's early manufacturing and industrial buildings are noted within the map, including the Link Belt Machinery Co., a wagon manufactory, mining machinery manufactory, an iron foundry, lumber sheds and saw mills, a bread and cracker bakery, and "Falk's Milwaukee Beer Depot," to name a few. This was an advantageous location for such companies as the top portion of the map is dominated by railway depots and lines for the Chicago, Milwaukee and St, Paul Railway. Today, much of Union St. (aptly named) has been replaced by the 90/94 interstate highway which is used by over 300,000 vehicles on a daily basis.
Condition: This map is in A condition with bright and bold color on relatively clean paper and original linen backing. Some light soiling is apparent in the lower right corner. Pencil markings can also be found, but this is not regarded as a condition issue as this was a working map for some time.
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