Chicago Tribune, July 16, 1859
Improvements in the North Division.—Early yesterday morning we had a long walk in the eastern extremity of the city, within the North Division, in search of a breeze and an item. We did not succeed in getting much of a breeze, and failed entirely in getting the particular item we went for; but we did manage to interest ourself in the splendid improvements now going on in that section. Our walk was on Pine street only as far north as Huron, and yet we saw very many splendid residences in rapid course of erection, and which when finished, with the beautiful houses and grounds of that vicinity, will make it one of the most splendid and interesting neighborhoods of the city. On Indiana street, very near to Pine, is building a block of three very fine red brick residences, handsomely finished, and three and a half stories high. At the corner of Pine and Ontario streets a company, comprising Messrs. Eli Bates, Rogers and Norton, are putting up a block, consisting of ten residences. The design is similar to the great marble block on Michigan avenue. They will be three and a half stories high, besides the basements, with the exception of the western corner house, which will be four stories and basement, will be occupied by Mr. Eli Bates, and has a splendid site on Pine street. The fronts are very handsome, and are built of the celebrated Highland Park brick, manufactured here by Charles S. Dole & Co., and which is, to our judgement, fully equal to the Milwaukee brick. The masonry and brick work on these buildings is being done by Messrs. Grant and Knight; the carpentering by Boggs & Son. The cost of the buildings and lots will reach $60,000.
At the corner of Pine and Huron streets are two magnificent residences erecting by Solomon Sturgis, Esq. They are each four story and basement, the western one for Mr. S’s own residence will cost $40,000, and its next door neighbor $25,000. The plastering and building has been done by Messrs. Burk and Wilson.
On Huron street near Pine, Messrs. Grant & Knight are building for W. H. McCormick, Esq., three fine three story houses, with two story brick stables at rear. They are of the Highland Park brick, and erected at a cost of $16,000. The carpentering work is being done by Messrs. Begole & Taylor.
On Illinois street, near Cass, are two three story and basement brick houses, with three story stables in rear; they are for Thomas Hale, Esq. The masonry work is being done by Messrs. Wood & Chown. The cost of these buildings will reach $10,000.
Mr. C. H. McCormick intends at an early day breaking ground for the erection of a first class dwelling on Rush street, between Erie and Huron streets.
Yesterday morning the Sewerage Commissioners, through their agent, Mr. C. Gladding, commenced work on the sewer which is to be laid on Huron street, from Rush to Cass streets, and we believe, the work will be well and promptly done.
Messrs. Grant & Knight are putting up a new and extensive packing house on the North Branch for Messrs. Gerdon S. Hubbard & Co., which, when completed, with machinery and brick chimney, will cost some $20,000. Of what is doing in building business blocks in generally known, but the erection of magnificent residences in retired neighborhoods is a certain sign of the growth in wealth, taste and population of Chicago.
Chicago Tribune, March 13, 1866
The Water Fund.
The Board propose to put off till next year the construction of the new engine house, with standing column, means for which can then be provided.
There is another matter matter which the Board desire to bring before the Council, and which we recommend yo your attention. The Board find that for the location of the new engine house, with its standing column, the present space between the old building and Pine street is too narrow and cramped, so that to accommodate, the new engine and the present ones in one commodious building, it will be necessary to put up the new building on grounds to the east of the present one, removing the old engines there when the building shall be ready for them.
Now to remove these engines will cost some $40,000, and the Board accordingly obtained propositions by which there shall be sold to the city the half of the block of land next west of Pine street for some time $40,000, the intention being to vacate Pine street and remove it further west, in the manner shown in the accompanying. As the city needs enlarged accommodations for its machine shops, coal sheds, etc., the property can undoubtedly be bought now cheaper than hereafter, and as the purchase will do away with the necessity of moving the engines at a cost as already stated of some $40,000, it seems to us desirable that the half block should be bought, and the new building put up on the site of the present one. The payment of the purchase money, it is understood, can be put off until next year. The Board, however, endeavored to secure a strip of land, eighty feet wide, west of Pine street, but failed to do so.
A suitable order authorizing the Board to make the purchase, is appended. It should be added that the owners of the property immediately adjacent, consent to the proposed vacation of Pine street.
Board of Public Works: J. G. Gindelt, Fred. Letz, O. J. Rose.
The section of Pine street which was moved west, was renamed Tower place in 1882. Today it is Tower Court.
Pine Street, now Michigan Avenue, looking north from Erie Street after the fire of 1871. The tower of the Water Works withstood the flames in this neighborhood. Stereoview by P. B. Greene.
Near North Side
Chicago Daily Telegraph, February 25, 1881
SPECIAL ASSESSMENT NOTICE.
Notice is hereby given to all persons that the City Council of the city of Chicago, having ordered that Pine street, from the north libe of Michigan street to the south line of Huron street, be curbed with curb-stones (excepting where curb-stones are already set between said points), said curb-stones to be of a quality equal to the best quality of Athens stone, not less than four feet long, three feet deep, and five inches in thickness, with top edge full and square, each stone to have a straight base the whole length, and to be firmly bedded upon flat stones, each stone to be brush-hammered on the top surface and twelve inches down from the top; and that said Pine street, from the north line of Michigan street to the south line of Indiana street, to the south line of Ohio street, and from the north linbe of Ohio street to the south line of Ontario street, and from the north side of Ontario street to thew south line of Erie street, and from the north line of Erie street to the south line of Hurons street, be filled to within eleven inches of the grade of the pavement, and wooden blocks to be six inches lonh and from four to eight inches in diameter, cut from sound live cedar posts, said blocks to be set on end upon a flooring of two-inch common hemlock plank, thoroughly swabbed on both sides with coal tar, said upon a bed of sand three inches deep, the spaces between the blocks to be filled with clean dry lake shore paving gravel, compactly rammed down by means of a paver’s tamping iron prepared to fit the joints, so that all parts shall be thoroughly rammed, said spaces and the surface of the pavement to be hooded with a paving compound on equal to Barrett & Arnold’s best quality, using not less than one and one-half gallons to each square yard, fine roofing gravel to be swept over the entire surface, so as the completely fill any spaces where the gravel may have settled, the entire surface to be again flooded with said composition, using not less than one-half gallon to each square yard, and immediately covered with fine roofing gravel to the depth of one inch, said pavement to be laid to conform to the grade of said Pine street, between said points, have applied to the County Court of Cook County for an assessment of the cost of said improvement according to benefits, and an assessment thereof having been made and returned to said court, the final hearing thereon will be had at the March term of said court commencing on the fourteenth day of March, A.D. 1881.
All persons desiring may then and there appear and make their defense.
FREDERICK A. BRAGG,
Chicago, February 21, A.D. 1881.
Robinson Fire Insurance Map
Inter Ocean, March 30, 1892
Forty acres of the choicest residence property in Chicago, embracing 10,400 feet of frontage on parks, boulevards and connecting streets, of a total value of more than $8,000,000, have been purchased and otherwise acquired by Chicago and outside capitalists by concerted action.
The land is bounded as follows:
- On the west by Pine street, on the south by Pearon street and what is to be Water Works Park, on the eat and north by the extension of the Lake Shore drive. About one half of the property is now under water. It is rapidly being filled in, however, and will all be ready for improvement in the course of a few months.
The securing of this great tract of land has been the work of many months. Every now and then a transfer has gone on record, showing that something was happening. Others will follow. One, involving the sale of $350,000 worth of the property noted, will be filed for record tomorrow. Two weeks ago The Inter Ocean published an article detailing the operations of the Pine Street Land Association, a syndicate formed to purchase and sell land in this locality. It is this syndicate, another since formed, and private parties acting with these three associations, that have secured control of the property described.
Some Weeks Ago
the North Park Board, acting with owners of property having the riparian right on lake shore frontage between Oak and Indiana streets, completed negotiations whereby the Lake Shore drive was to be extended in a southeasterly direction, on a line about 1.000 feet east of the then shore line. By the terms of the agreement between the park board and owners, the board acquired 202 feet of right of way, wit the riparion right outside of the outer line. The property owners, in addition to donating the right of way, agreed to the following:
- To do all the filing between the shore line and the outer line of the drive and construct the breakwater; to pay an assessment of $100 per running foot for the surface improvement of the drive, and deed fifty feet in width, from Oak to Pearson street, for the widening of Pine street.
For these concessions the board, on its part, deeded to the property owners the right of the State if Illinois to be submerged land between the inner line, thereby perfecting titles in this territory. The board further agreed to maintain the drive as a part of Lincoln Park; to improve as a park the land lying between the water-works, and the drive; to boulevard Pine street as far south as the water-works, and to improve certain property opposite Oak street as a part of the drive.
By These Agreements,
reference to the map to the map will show that a tract of land containing about forty acres is isolated absolutely from anything but the choicest surroundings. Parks and boulevards bound tye land on all sides. That the best use might be made of this property and everything objectionable nature be barred, what amounts to one management has secured control of the entire property.
Two syndicates have been formed to handle property in this territory with the Chicago Title and Trust Company as trustee. A third is in process of formation. An executive committee handles the affairs of each syndicate, and these committees will act together in whatever relates to the improvement of the land.
Such land as is not owned by the syndicate is principally owned by General Charles Fitz Simons and Henry N. Cooper, who are members of the executive committees and largely interested in the syndicates.
The ownerships in the tract, representing the result of all recent purchases and trades, are as follows:
- Oak street, between Pine street and the drive—Pine Street Land Association, 253 feet; Henry N. Cooper, 328 feet; Charkes Fitz Simons, 348 feet.
Walton place, between Pine street and the drive, south front—Pine Street Land Association, 409 feet; Charles Fitz Sinons, 250 feet; Henry N. Cooper, 398 feet.
Block bounded by Walton and Delaware places, Pine street and the drive—Parker & Co., exclusive agents.
Delaware place, north frontage—Pine Street Land Association and Lake Shore Drive Association, 1,345 feet.
Chestnut street, south frontage—Henry N. Cooper, 1,465 feet.
Chestnut street, north frontage—Charles Fitz Simons, 841 feet; Colonel Laing, 333 feet; H. N. Cooper, 833 feet.
Pearson street fronting on Water Works Park, 1,410 feet, owned by H. N. Cooper.
The ownership of Lake Shore drive, corners as follows:
- Charles Fitz Simons, Oak and Chestnut streets corners; Lake Shore Drive Association, Delaware place corners; Henry N. Cooper, Walton place and Chestnut and Pearson streets corners.
Never before in the history of any American city has such an opportunity been offered as that now before the management of this property. Forty acres of a absolutely the choicest residence land in the city will be brought into existence as virgin territory. With no present improvement, either good or bad to hinder development, the opportunity offers to create a residence district which will be the pride of the city. Among the features which the management of the property should introduce will be such restrictions as will completely bar every thoroughfare to trade traffic. There should be no alleys. A uniform building line should be established for every frontage. No house should be built to cost less than a minimum sum. No cross streets should be allowed. For the convenience of residents one or two paved lanes mighht be run through the center of the long blocks. All streets should be asphalted, and all other street improvements should be uniform.
It may be stated that while the management of this propert has not fully formulated a scheme of improvement, the importance of preserving the high character for the land is recognized. Prompt action will be necessary, particularly in regard to whatever restrictions are to be placed on purchasers. A number of persons desiring to purchase lots for building have been asked to wait until the plan of improvement
Has Been Decided Upon.
No sales will be closed until all details have been perfected, but from present inquiry it is doubtful if any land will be unsold three months from now. The values of the property when improved with houses of the cost designated by such as have expressed a wish to purchase will be largely above and $10,000,000.
These operations present an object lesson in Chicago values that should educate any doubting Easterner. The land a few years ago was comparatively valueless. It would still be of minimum worth were it not for the amicable arrangement with the Park Board. This means warring interests have been harmonized, and titkes, elsewise defective, perfected.
Inter Ocean, January 21, 1894
The widening of Lincoln Park boulevard or what has been known as Pine street, from Pearson to Oak streets, is now well under way. The street was formerly sixty-six feet wide, and the owners of the vacant property lying east donated a strip fifty feet wide to be used in extending the width of the roadway. It was necessary to purchase two houses, 50×70 feet, facing on Pearson street; also a small corner at Chestnut and Pine streets, for which $58,000 was paid. The assessment for the payment of these purchases was spread over a large territory extending north to North avenue. The plan of the boulevard contemplates a driveway fifty-six feet wide, a parkway and sidewalk on both sides of the driveway, each ten feet wide.
Chicago Tribune, May 10, 1894
The Government Map of Shore of Lake Michigan and Harbor Soundings Made in 1892.
The irregular line is the shore line as fixed by government engineers of whose map the above is stated to be a fac-simile, except the words “Reclaimed Area” have been inserted. The shore line shown is a considerable distance east of Pine street.
Chicago Chronicle, December 19, 1896
Rush street is not yet lost to Yerkes. Pine street has been favorably recommended for a boulevard by a committee of the council, and the ordinance will in all probability be passed. But the fight to include Rush street in the same ordnance and thus keep the Yerkes line off both streets was made in vain. This action was taken because the ordinance as referred did not include Rush street and the committee would not institute legislation.
Dudley Winston, ex-Judge Prendergast, Cyrus H. McCormick, E. H. Hoyt, Henry W, King, C. H. Adams, Henry J. Willing, Harry G. Selfridge and James J. Casey were among those who attended the committee meeting, After the original ordnance had been read Alderman Manierre introduced a substitute providing for boulevarding Ohio and Rush streets in connection with Pine street. This found favor with Henry W. King and Cyrus H. Adams admitted that the motive for boulevarding Rush street was to head off Yerkes. He said Rush street bridge was the only one between the two divisions of the city now free of car tracks. Alderman Manierre admitted that Pine street was logically that for a boulevard, but believed his substitute would please all concerned.
Alderman Harlan opposed both ordinances for the reason that he thought the plans improper, yet he would fight Yerkes to the end. Ex-Judge Prendergast spoke in favor of the Pine street boulevard only and was opposed to burdening Pine street property owners with the troubles of those of other thoroughfares. On Alderman Harlan’s motion the substitute ordinance was tabled. An amendment to extend Pine street boulevard south to Indiana street was lost, and on Alderman Hartwick’s motion went through with his support and that of Aldermaen Plotke, Milne, Weisbrod and Finkler, Aldermen Harlan and Manierre opposing.
Chicago Tribune, December 5, 1897
Charles T. Yerkes: “I will now explain what I would do with the river. I would build a culvert large enough to take the water of the river from the mouth to the end of the two branches; I would cover the river to the extent of 150 feet, making a grand boulevard extending from the lake to the utmost ends of the North and South Branches. The river is about 250 feet wide; thus there would be left fifty feet on each side of this boulevard that I would throw into the lands abutting it.”
Chicago Tribune, January 6, 1905
Long existing only in the minds of public spirited citizens, one of the ambitious hopes for “greater Chicago” assumed definite form yesterday when the joint committee from the south park and Lincoln park boards and the city council approved plans for a connecting link between the north and south side boulevard systems at an estimated cost of $4,500,000.
Of this sum the committee sanctioned an expenditure for the purchase of land and buildings fronting Michigan avenue, Pine street, and Lincoln Park boulevard, reaching $3,934,534, this being the appraisement given such needed property by special committees which made their report at the meeting.
Other plans of the committee, still under consideration, include the construction of a boulevard bascule bridge 100 feet wide, spanning the river east of the Rush street bridge between Michigan avenue and Pine street, to cost approximately $500,000, and also elaborate landscape gardening as a feature to the boulevard itself.
Many Buildings Must Go.
On the south side of the river the most important work will be the condemnation and razing of those buildings standing on the east side of Michigan avenue, between the river front and the Randolph street viaduct, and reaching back to Central Place. The buildings thus to be razed are as follows. beginning at the south end:
- 102-104 J & B Moos, five stories.
98-100, Arbuckle Bros., five stories.
92-96, Sprague, Warner & Co., four stories.
88-90, William Wrigley Jr. & Co., four stories.
86 the Hamburger company, four stories.
80-84, Kimbark block, five stories.
74-78, E. L. Mansure company, five stories.
68-72, Thomson & Taylor, seven stories.
62-64. J. H. Bell & Co., five stories.
60, W. F. McLaughlin & Co., four stories.
54-58, Diamond Match company, four stories.
50-52, Wittich, Hall & Co., four stories.
46-48, H. B. Franklin & Co., four stories.
32-44, Bowyer block, four stories.
24-30, R. J. Ederer, four stories.
18-22, Curtiss-Williams company, four stories.
2-16, vacant property.
Goodrich docks, between Dock street and water front.
North Side Houses to Go.
Extending diagonally from the north terminus of the bridge, the boulevard will cut through dock and factory property to Michigan street, and through successive rows of two and three story brick flats and boarding houses between Michigan and Ohio streets.
Between Ohio and Ontario streets it will necessitate the destruction of the large three story brick residence owned by Miss Carrie Mears and two large brick houses fronting in Ontario and extending south to the alley, one belonging to the estate of B. F. Adams, and the other owned by Mrs. John Newell.
Extending between Ontario and Erie streets it will traverse a vacant lot owned by the Newberry library and the ground now occupied by the Prendergast flats, four stories high, and of modern construction.
Many Residences in the Way.
Continuing north toward Huron street, from the northwest corner of Erie street, it will traverse the present site of the stone house owned and occupied by Henry Sheldon and the dwellings of his neighbors at the following numbers:
- 100—Dr. S. J. Walker.
104—Mrs. William M. Scudder.
108—Charles Dyer Norton.
Talking a fresh start at the northwest corner of Huron street, the boulevard extension will call for the destruction of the old Perry H. Smith Mansion, now owned by Alfred Cowles, and for the houses of the following persons, south of Superior street:
- 118—Mrs. Elizabeth Bennett.
120—Sidney F. Andrews.
122—Willis S. McCrea.
For half block north of Superior street the boulevard will be content with the demolition of a row of small brick dwellings, and then the Kinzie apartment building at Chicago avenue.
Perry H. Smith Mansion
Northwest corner of Pine Street and Huron Street
Before Council in a Month.
The plans for the big improvement will be presented to the city council within a month with a recommendation that the necessary ordnance be passed to authorize their being carried into effect as expeditiously as possible.
It is estimated by Henry G. Foreman, chairman of the committee, that it will be at least three years before the “connecting link” is completed.
Property to be Cleared.
As seen on paper the condemned district included all property lying east of Michigan avenue to Central court, from Randolph street to the river, and all that lying fifty-nine feet west of Pine street and Lincoln Park boulevard, from Illinois street to Chicago avenue.
Between the north terminus of the boulevard bridge and Illinois street the amount of property to be condemned is considerably larger, owing to the diaginal route. The value of the property, however, is comparatively small.
As completed, the boulevard between Randolph street and the river will be 230 feet wide, extending from the west boundary of Central court and 125 feet wide from the north terminus of the bridge to Chicago avenue.
How Boulevard Will Look.
South of the river the boulevard will consist of a central driveway seventy-five feet wide, lined on either side by a plat twenty-five feet wide, planted with grass and trees. West of this will be the present Michigan avenue, and to the east, Central court, both of which will be relegated to the use of traffic vehicles.
On the north side of the river a similar division of the boulevard will be made into driveway and grass and tree plats, but no provision will be made here for traffic. The bridge will be 100 feet wide.
Michigan avenue, Pine street, and Lincoln Park boulevard
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
In this section the plan is to cut in 59 feet west from the present west line of Pine street and Lincoln park boulevard, leaving the eastern line of the thoroughfare as it now stands. In this part the new boulevard will have a total width of 125 feet.
Plan of Chicago, Daniel H. Burnham, Edward H. Bennett, 1909
CXIII. CHICAGO, PLAN OF MICHIGAN AVENUE FROM TWELFTH STREET TO THE RIVER, AND ITS EXTENSION ON PINE STREET TO CHICAGO AVENUE.
The proposed double roadway is designed to accommodate the immense volume of traffic which will be attracted to the Lake front. The west roadway for shopping traffic and carriages waiting for the crowds attending public functions; the eastern roadway carries traffic through the business section without interference from stationary vehicles. The boulevard proposed is raised above the three streets north and south of the River (as shown in illustration CV), thus creating an artery free from heavy teaming traffic at its crossings from the North to the South Sides. A double-deck bridge accommodates the north-and-south traffic-teaming below, and light vehicles above.
Chicago Tribune, July 11, 1911
Diagram of North and South Boulevard Connection. showing width of street North and South of the River and the zone of the proposed Improvement indicating all intersecting thoroughfares.
Rush Street Bridge #4 in 1910 showing the congestion and the necessity to build a bigger bridge to link the North and South sides.
Chicago Examiner, October 11, 1911
The Rush street bridge carries more traffic in a single day than does the famous London bridge in the City of London. Traffic on the Rush street bridge in a single day is 10 per cent heavier than on London bridge. This fact is proven by a traffic census taken under the direction of Captain Healy of tbe Chicago Police Department at the request of tbc Chicago Plan Commission.1
Charles H. Wacker. chairman of the Chicago Plan Commission, said yesterday:
- When I made the statement al the public bearing on the Michigan avenue connecting link before the Board of Local Improvements last July that traffic was more congested in and around Rush street bridge than at any single spot in the world, somebody laughed. The London and Chicago police traffic census reports both represent a day of twelve hours. The two reports show another significant fact. There is 38 per cent more traffic on the seven streets intersecting Michigan avenue immediately north and south of tbe river than is shown in the London report for the eight principal points of entry into London. The Chicago police traffic census also shows 9,725 vehicles of all descriptions passing over the Rush street bridge in twelve hours, as against 9,575 vehicles on Fleet street.
These figures prove conclusively that there is only one practical way to make the connecting link and at the same time relieve congestion, while preserving Michigan avenue as a business thoroughfare, and that is to separate traffic, as proposed by the double level system in plan of tbe Chicago Plan Commission.
Excerpted from Chicago Tribune, October 31, 1914
The first “Yes” to be marked with a cross on the little ballot will authorize a $2,800,000 issue of city bonds.
The money will be used to pay the city’s share of the cost of widening Michigan avenue, from Randolph street to the river; of building a double-decked bridge over the river from Michigan avenue to the present blind end of Pine street, and for the widening of Pine street and Lincoln parkway as far north as Chicago avenue. The whole job will cost $8,000,000 more than half of which will be paid by property owners who are directly benefitted.
Any voter who doubts the necessity of this improvement is invited to watch for a few minutes the present intolerable congestion at Rush street bridge.
Over that old and hideous structure constantly pours a congested double stream of automobiles, heavy trucks, with horses straining up the steep incline, delivery wagons, and all manners of vehicles. It is probable that a year is lost every day by unavoidable blockades at one side or the other.
The new double decked bridge will double the capacity of the roadway afford uninterrupted access for teams to the railroad freight stations, and allow lighter traffic to flow quickly back and forth on the upper level.
The Michigan avenue improvement will be the biggest step ever taken in the transformation of Chicago from an overgrown country town into a world metropolis. It will open a new vision of beauty to every citizen.
It will make necessary a great amount of work, will insure the erection of such splendid buildings as the new Crerar library—for which a site has been bought on on the northwest corner of Michigan avenue and Randolph street—and, in connection with other great public works, should insure plenty of employment in Chicago for the next year or two.
XII. CHICAGO. PROPOSED BOULEVARD TO CONNECT THE NORTH AND SOUTH SIDES OF THE RIVER; VIEW LOOKING NORTH FROM WASHINGTON STREET.
The boulevard is raised to allow free flow of east-and-west teaming traffic under it, and both Michigan Avenue and Beaubien Court are raised to the boulevard level. The raised portion throughout its entire length, from Randolph Street to Indiana Street, extends from building line to building line. It is approached from the cross streets by inclined roadways or ramps; these may be changed to the east side or omitted.
Painted for the Commercial Club by Jules Guerin.
First published as Plan of Chicago, Daniel H. Burnham, Edward H. Bennett, 1909, and reprinted in the Chicago Tribune, October 31, 1914.
Chicago Tribune, November 3, 1914
The Widening of Pine Street
Looking South, about 1915
Chicago Tribune, December 5, 1937
This photograph, taken in April, 1922, from the Wrigley building, discloses a scarcity of skyscrapers, automobiles, and pedestrians along North Michigan avenue (formerly Pine street) between the river and Lake Shore drive. The Tribune plant is shown in the right foreground, reached from Michigan avenue by a pedestrian bridge. Tribune Tower wasn’t completed until three years later—in March, 1925. The Wrigley building and the Drake hotel were both finished in 1920—the year the Michigan avenue bridge was opened to traffic.
1For comparison, the population of London in 1910 was 4,997,741, while Chicago’s was 2,185,000.