May 09, 2011

Street Bio's & Changes

The Continuous 
when street signs were black & yellow
Ravenswood Avenue was named after thriving community of Ravenswood that was once within the Township/City of Lake View, now segmented within several neighborhoods such as North Center, Uptown, 
Lincoln Square, and Lake View.
This post is related to two other and more comprehensive posts. LSD: Lake View's View is a history about the roadway north from the park, Lincoln Park, and how Lake Shore Drive affected our neighborhood. ReNamedSheridan Road is a tale of the direct relationship to North Lake Shore Drive. 
... But first this post!
Some Background
(click to enlarge any article/image)
Road design is considered part of highway engineering. Structural road design is the science of designing a road for its environment in order to extend its longevity and reduce maintenance.
Road construction requires the creation of a continuous right-of-way, overcoming geographic obstacles and having grades low enough to permit vehicle or foot travel and may be required to meet standards set by law or official guidelines.
The assertion that the first pathways were the trails made by animals has not been universally accepted, since in many cases animals do not follow constant paths.  Others believe that some roads originated from following animal trails.  
A fine example of this is the ‘Lewknor Trailway ’ (ancient trail in England) as a type of road origination, where man and animal both selected the same natural line (pic below).
Apparently, by about 10,000 BC, rough pathways were used by human travelers.
The Lewknor Trailway 
in Icknield Way, England
This post is about the stories of major roadways in Lake View that gained the attention of writers and editors of the Chicago Daily Tribune Newspaper (via Chicago Public Library) that I felt interesting or in some cases the only articles to be found online about particular roadway.  
The Major Roadways within Lake View 
that are mentioned in this post will be the following:
Clark Street
Halsted Street
Belmont Avenue
Lincoln Avenue
 Broadway Avenue
 Lake Shore Drive
Sheridan Road
 Diversey Parkway
  Lake View Avenue 
Let's begin with Clark Street
General George Rogers Clark
(related to the Broadway segment)
This roadway was originally known as Green Bay Road in the 19th century primarily due to its roadway connection from Chicago to the Wisconsin border.  Native Americans would used the high elevation pathway to protect themselves from the wetlands to the east and the bountiful woodlands to the west. A good example of the elevation difference can be found at the corner of Clark Street and Irving Park Road viewing Irving Park Road eastward and downward. This roadway first name was named after the General who assisted in the acquisition of the Northwest Territories from the British Empire as well as an American patriot, George Rogers Clark. According to a 1869 map Green Bay Road was called Graceland Road north of Diversey Road (Parkway).
Clark Street could have been renamed both in 1916 and 1932 south of Diversey Parkway to Broadway Avenue due to its less than respectable past, at the time. Broadway Avenue was renamed in 1913 from Evanston Avenue. 
The article below mentions the importance of Clark Street prior European settlement
(click to enlarge article)
Interesting enough and currently, North Clark Street from Diversey Parkway to Barry Avenue will be entering an evolution in design with structural changes due to it’s apparent “ugly features” beginning in 2013. 
Read more on the evolution of design per DNA info
 The first attempt to change the name of 
Clark Street to Broadway 1916 
(click to enlarge article)

 The second attempt to rename Clark Street was probably mostly due to the Valentine Massacre 1932 
(click to enlarge article)
An editorial on Clark Street 1932 
(click to enlarge article)
Lincoln Avenue
Originally known as Little Fort Road in the 19th century primarily due to its roadway connection from Chicago to Town of Little Fort (Waukegan) was much like Green Bay Road (Clark Street) this roadway served a high elevation pathway for Native Americans before European development.  When the 16th president was assassinated in 1865 the full name of the roadway was changed to honor this Illinois political stepson.  According to University of Chicago 1872 digital map the name of the street was changed to its current name. It was still named Little Fort Road as late as 1869 according to this mapThe Lincoln/Ashland/Belmont area prior to the 1960’s was one of the largest commercial districts in the city – the Mag Mile of its day.
The old commercial district - aerial view
Belmont avenue (right to left) Ashland Avenue (top to bottom) Lincoln Avenue (diagonal)
A mall was planned 1959

(click to enlarge article)
A permanent delay on the planned Mall 1960 

Lake Shore Drive

1942 photo - Calumet412
Also a more extended version in another post
This roadway began as a personal and political engineered driveway for one of the wealthiest Chicagoan of the 19th century, Palmer Potter. Originally, this roadway or drive began from his mansion near Oak Street in early 1880’s. This roadway would in the 20th century reach both north and south along the lakefront by the end of the 1950’s. In fact, LSD might have been called Potter Drive if not of the city opposition to it by city officials who had a dream concept of a roadway along the lakefront as early as 1867 – to be leisurely and scenic roadway for public use. In fact, and title of an article below may have given its present name. The public officials of the Township of Lake View planned the 
North-Lake Shore Drive extension north of the park, Lincoln Park, as early as 1886. It was called North-Lake Shore Drive by the early 1890’s. The governance of LSD, as well as the park, was in the hands of Lincoln Park Board of Commissioners whose authority was given by the State of Illinois. The Commission’s initial plan was already in place to extend LSD and the park, Lincoln Park, to Evanston Township and beyond.  
The 'dream roadway' along the lakefront 1857
(click on article to enlarge) 
The roadway's planned beginnings by 1867
(click on article to enlarge)
The Expansion of the Drive 1888
Lake View Township planned an extension of Drive from Lincoln Park, the park. At the time the park was jointly administered by the City of Chicago and the Township/City of Lake View. There was a disconnect of the Drive south & north of the park. At the time roadway called 'Breakwater Carriage Drive and Sidewalk' would link the two roadways, one to the south & one to the north of the park. From this narrow strip of roadway Lake View Avenue would then be used to connect travelers to the township.
North-Lake Shore Drive 
was to renamed Sheridan Road  1891
Sheridan Road
     1898 photo - Sulzer Regional Library
This is the location when the roadway turns west beyond Grace Street. A mid-west storm destroyed the original LSD. 
The article below tells a tale of destruction 
along the lakefront 1929
(click article to enlarge)

Lake Shore Drive renamed along the lakefront 1931
Sheridan Road 
and its relationship to LSD
This roadway had its beginnings as the scenic drive along the lakefront in the 19th century, to be known at the time, as North-Lake Shore Drive north of the park. This segment of roadway that began from Palmer Potters mansion and extend to Evanston Township had a bit of ego name change. In 1888 a legendary general died. This general was not only a Civil War hero for the Union forces but commander of the relief efforts (marshal law period) after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Philip Sheridan.  City officials honored him in 1889 by changing the name of the street to Sheridan Road from Diversey Parkway to the Wisconsin border to Milwaukee by 1928. This newly named roadway would connect the City of Chicago with military units of Fort Sheridan located in North Shore area.  Fort Sheridan (currently the Town of Fort Sheridan) was a federal installation that commonly served to funnel troops from the fort along Sheridan Road to Chicago’s industrial areas of the city to end labor disputes by force or the show of force in the late 19th century.
Interesting enough in 1932 the segment of Sheridan Road from Belmont Avenue to Grace Street changed back to its original name (minus the ‘North’ part of it) to simply Lake Shore Drive by wealthy residents that resided in the towering buildings along the lakefront as of the 1920’s. The residents wanted to entice the federal administrators (WPA- LSD extension 1936-1942) who were planning a new and landfilled LSD along the water’s edge to use the existing roadway along the lakefront from Belmont Avenue to Montrose Avenue.  The residents failed and the outer LSD was created leaving beyond the inner LSD as a separate roadway. 
North-Lake Shore Drive was renamed 
 Sheridan Road 1889
The roadway north had some private property issues to confront with particularly from Addison Avenue 
to Grace Street in 1891

An editorial indicates plans
 to extend the roadway to Milwaukee 1893
Sheridan Road connected from 
Lake Forest to Fort Sheridan 1900
The monument of General Sheridan 
is planned in 1907
and finally dedicated in 1924
(click to enlarge)
 Sheridan Road Renamed 1932 
Belmont Avenue
In 1861 Civil War general named Grant had his first encounter with Rebel forces along the Mississippi River near the village of Belmont, Missouri. The confrontation was called the Battle of Belmont and a loss for the Union forces. The rebels lost more men but won the battle.  Lake View Township officials thought to still honor their Illinois native stepson anyway. This street could have had two prior names to it. According to a 1929 Tribune article the street nearest the lakefront would have been called Chase Avenue after an influential businessman who lived at the end of the roadway and at the very edge of the lake itself. In 1869 North Avenue was mentioned on a map (zoom) and according to a 1887 township map the street was called Davis Street. 
1936 photo - IDOT
The intersection of Belmont and Odder Drive at the time
Before the Great Depression of 1929 Lake Shore Drive, the originally one, ended just south of Belmont Avenue by the harbor.  Months before a major Mid-West Spring storm hit with a water force that crumbled sections of the existing LSD along the entire lakefront as well as the new harbor – Belmont Harbor in the new official neighborhood of Lake View. By 1936 federal plans were implemented to rebuild LSD along the water’s edge and build an overpass bridge along Fullerton and Belmont Avenues and Diversey Parkway. The Belmont Overpass Bridge was constructed in 1942 that allowed LSD traffic to move beyond Belmont Avenue to Montrose Avenue … the end of the line at the time for the new and improved roadway – at Clarendon Bathing and Municipal Beach. 
A freighter sank of Belmont Avenue 1920
(the crib was located adjacent to Montrose Avenue)  
Belmont Avenue could have been 
renamed Chase Avenue 1929
Belmont Avenue has three different perspectives 1982  
(click to enlarge)
 page 2
Diversey Parkway
Michael Diversey
Diversey Parkway was to be a boulevard that would have formally linked all grand parks in Chicago into the BBoulevard Park System in a form of a loop within the city limits of its time. But, it never materialized due to existing building structures near the lakefront, taxation for the improvement of the roadway, and business interests both in the City (former township) of Lake View and the City of Chicago.
Michael Diversey was awarded the honor by Lake View Township officials with this street recognition shortly after his death in 1869. Chicago is a drinking town and beer was king particularly for the mostly German speaking residents of Chicago and Lake View Township.  Not to say other immigrates did not get their ‘drink on’ but the Germans, as wells as the Irish in the south-side of City of Chicago, loved their only day off – Sunday.  One of the first breweries was owned by the one of the first mayors of Chicago, William Ogden. 
Mayor Ogden sold the business to both Michael Diversey and William Lill (notice the names of streets) after 1841. According to a local historian,  the brewery “was the most extensive establishment of its kind in the West” thanks to Michael Diversey and his partner William Lill both of French origin.
This 1892 article indicates a name change from street to boulevard so to complete the link of Boulevards & Parks
This 1898 article indicates a plan to landfill 
an extension of Lincoln Park-the park to Diversey Street
Street of Flowers & Gardens 1901
(click to enlarge article)
This 1926 article is a 'open letter' 
from a Mr. O. Cook to Mayor Dever requesting that the World Fair of 1933 be located north of Diversey Parkway
This 1940 article mentions that 
Diversey Boulevard and Ashland Avenue 
as the worst intersections in the city 
(click article to enlarge)

Halsted Street
According to an 1895 Chicago Daily Tribune article this roadway is described as “None so long, none so varied, in the aspect of human life ... There is not street of any city with it be compared. It is incomparable.”  The street, currently known as Illinois Highway 1, runs from Grace Street in the Chicago neighborhood of LakeView to Lincoln Highway in Chicago Heights where the name changes periodically but the Highway number 1 remains and ends at the Ohio River on the Illinois border.
The following links will give the reader an idea of the social importance to this roadway and to the connecting fabric to Chicago:
Apparently, the street was named after William H. and Caleb O. Halsted were New York State brothers and Philadelphia bankers who invested in real estate in Chicago in the 1830’s (along with their financial buddy and first mayor of Chicago and former New Yorker, William B. Ogden) in an area that is surrounded by the Chicago River, Goose Island.
This 1906 article below tells a tale of a cosmopolitan street like no other in the city 

(and its relationship to Clark Street)
This roadway has had many names such as Lake View Plank Road & Lake Shore Plank Road (zoom the map) and sometime later Evanston Avenue.  Broadway Avenue name change occurred during a mass street name change by Chicago city officials at midnight August 13 1913. 
1900ish photo - Calumet412
Streetcar on Evanston Avenue toward Diversey Boulevard
Originally, Evanston Avenue was to serve as a route connection to Township of Evanston until the citizens of the new city/and township of Evanston in 1892 voted itself ‘dry’ from booze. Apparently, (the new) District of Lake View’s (annex to Chicago in 1889) salon-keepers, a dominate force in Lake View for the last couple of decades, did not wish Chicagoans to think their ‘Evanston’ was also think ‘dry’... hence strongly supported a name change to a famous theater district in New York City. Literary name changes had been the rage in Lake View for a while with such streets as (Washington Irving) Park Road, (Nathaniel Hawthrone) Place, and later in the 20th century Stratford (hometown of William Shakespeare) Place. I am assuming the first name, Lake Shore Plank Road, was coined in the 19th century due to proximity to original lakefront that was in most cases a couple hundred yards for the roadway.  The ‘plank’ could be defined as a long, thin, flat piece of timber to be used to place over dirt and mud of an existing pathway.

Residents of Evanston Avenue have a issue 
with public transportation? 1894
At midnight August 13, 1913 
Evanston Avenue became Broadway
Broadway is called Gay & Festive 1913
(click on article to enlarge)
photo taken 1945 
In the day most corner buildings posted the street address along the edge of the structure such as this one that was located at 4800 N. Broadway 
formerly 2135 Evanston Avenue. 
A Theater on Broadway 1913
Battle for Broadway and vs Clark Street Part III - 1916
(click on article to enlarge)
Battle for Broadway and vs Clark Street Part III - 1927
Battle for Broadway and vs Clark Street Part III - 1932
The Lake View Presbyterian Church marked its' 50th birthday in 1934 with a six day celebration. This article tells a tale of horse drawn rigs and squirrel rifles. This church has been a hallmark of Broadway since 1885.
Lake View Avenue
This street was once part of the territory of the Township and City of Lake View from 1857-1889. This street once ranged from from Fullerton to Belmont Avenues in the 19th century.
1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 
indicating then existing shoreline
Those Brown Signs
The alderman of the 44th ward -
Tom Tunney unveiling the sign 
2010 photo - Tom Tunney-Facebook
The installation of 'Dewey Herrington Way' at Broadway and Aldine. Mr. Dewey was a honorary citizen of Lake View who as referred to as the  'Mayor of Broadway' and founder of the Lake View East Chamber of Commerce as well as a voice for LGBTQ community in Chicago.
Roadways turn to Alleyways
(click on images to enlarge)
This segment of this post is referenced from a WBEZ article about alleys in Chicago. According to WBEZ, "Chicago is the alley capital of the country, with more than 1,900 miles of them within its borders." I found interesting was how some streets began as roadway and then later in time turned into alleys within Lake View according to these Sanborn Fire Maps.
Frontier Street
a view of the area in 1894 using Sanborn Fire Map
a view of the area in 1923 using Sanborn Fire Map
a view of the area in 1950 using Sanborn Fire Map
The street sometime after 1950 disappears from the roadway landscape and becomes an alley per this Google map view.
Kohlsaat Avenue
a view of the area in 1894 using Sanborn Fire Map
It would appear that this street was meant to expand
a view of the area in 1923 using Sanborn Fire Map
The street becomes an alleyway
a view of the area in 1950 using Sanborn Fire Map
The former street now an alley with more development
Vault Sidewalks
by Carl Beien via Original Chicago-Facebook
 3000 block of N Lincoln Avenue in 2017
history of elevated streets and their sidewalks
My Street:
Stratford Place
I was lucky to discovery a lot of information on my street with the assistance of Chicago Public Library newspaper section. Maybe you will as well. Click on the title link to that post and view/read what I discovered.
What's in a Name?
Renaming/Numbering Streets
In 1889 four townships joined the City of Chicago doubling its geographical size. They were Lake View and Jefferson to the north and Hyde Park and Lake to the south. Each township had its own system of house/business address as well as different names at the border of each township. This was a mess for businesses and the postal department as well as government agencies with the City of Chicago.
In November of 1889 ...

image - Forgotten Chicago
image - Chicagology
According to site called Chicagology, 'About ten years ago it was thoroughly discussed by the Council and various schemes devised for the application to all the streets of the system of 100 numbers to the block. The great difficulty encountered was the fact that as the lake shore and the two branches of the river do not run due north and south some streets begin numbering much sooner than others do. An attempt was made to get; around this by establishing base lines from which the cross streets might be numbered east and west. After working at the job for a long time the Aldermen gave it up. They would have been more, persistent had there been any pressure on the part of their constituents for a change. There was none. Indeed, the pressure was the other way. The proposed reform would have necessitated the renumbering of tens of thousands of houses at a cost of a dollar or two apiece. This looks like ft small sum, but property-owners have often complained bitterly in the past when called on to make these trifling expenditures.' 
postcard - Encyclopedia of Chicago
 image - Forgotten Chicago
486 N Robey Street and 1115 N Damen Avenue
*some homes still reflect two addresses* 
According to a site called Forgotten Chicago the issue actually began earlier, ‘the disorganized assortment of numbering systems stemmed from the grid established after the first survey in 1830. Although attempts were made in 1880 to smooth out the numbering patterns south of Roosevelt Road, the grid remained confusing and became even more so after Chicago annexed surrounding areas.
Edward Brennan proposed his [numbering] system in 1901. After 8 years of discussion and planning, the Brennan Numbering system began to be implemented on September 1st, 1909. On this date, the entire city was converted to the new system except for the central business district (south of the main branch of the river, north of Roosevelt Road, and east of the south branch). The central business district was converted on April 1st, 1911.' Read more...
I discovered a Chicago Library tool for change of addresses that I use religiously for this blog. You will need a library card number to access. Also, this document about street name changes is helpful, as well.

Post Notes: View and zoom in on this 1869 map and a somewhat involved 1887 map from the David Rumsey Collection and Historic Map Works. Discover some early names of your street.

Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!

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