The Vintage Chicago Channel
Vintage Chicagoland Photos, Postcards, and More

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Chicago Coliseum in 1912

 Crowd outside the Chicago Coliseum in 1912

A photo of the crowd for the 1912 Republican National Convention, outside of the Chicago Coliseum, located at Wabash Avenue and 15th Street, posted on Flickr by The Library of Congress.

According the Wiki entry for the Coliseum, it hosted five consecutive Republican National Conventions from 1904 through 1920. At the 1912 convention, former president Teddy Roosevelt failed in his attempt to wrest the nomination from the incumbent, William Howard Taft. Roosevelt ran on the "Bull Moose Party" ticket, splitting the Republican vote and ensuring the election of Democrat Woodrow Wilson.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Chicagoan Magazine, 1928 - 1935

cover of 1928 issue of The Chicagoan Magazine

Published from 1926 to 1935, The Chicagoan was pretty much a direct lift of The New Yorker, which preceded it by 16 months, in design and style. The University of Chicago Library recently digitized most of the magazine's entire run. You can read more about the magazine in this blog post from the library, and here's the fully searchable site for the digitized magazine.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

1983 Campaign Commercial for Mayor Jane Byrne

A 1983 re-election ad for Mayor Jane Byrne:



Elected in 1979 as Chicago's first female mayor, Byrne lost the 1983 Democratic primary to Harold Washington, who would go on to win the general election and become Chicago's first African-American mayor.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Maxwell Street in 1941

1941 Russell Lee photograph of Chicago's Maxwell Street

Shoe shopping on Chicago's Maxwell Street, in a 1941 Russell Lee photograph for the Farm Security Administration's photography program. You can download a free high-resolution version of this photo from the Library of Congress.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Old Chicago Amusement Park

Old Chicago Amusement Park

I'm not sure of the year, but at some point in the mid-1970s, my family visited a friend of my dad's from his Army days and he took us all to "Old Chicago," the indoor amusement park in Bolingbrook, IL. It might well have been 1975, the year the short-lived park opened. (According to its Wikipedia entry, the park closed in 1980 and was demolished in 1986.) It was the first real amusement park I had ever seen and I was amazed by the "Chicago Loop" rollercoaster and its two upside-down loops. According to this article on the Negative-G website, it was the only the second modern looping rollercoaster. (Photo posted on Flickr by Ryan Smith. He has a full set of photos of Old Chicago.)



In the YouTube clip above, you can see Joey and Dee Dee of the Ramones wandering around the park before the band's 1979 performance at the park. The Chicago Tribune also has a slideshow of photos of Old Chicago. More background from the Bolingbrook Historic Preservation Commission is here and there's a Facebook page for the park.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Map of Chicago in 1868 vs. Today

Map of Chicago in 1868 vs. today

The Smithsonian Magazine website has a super-cool interactive map mashup: Chicago in 1868 vs. today.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Stairs to the Chicago El in 1941

1941 John Vachon photograph of the stairs to the Chicago El

In the "El" vs. "L" debate, I've always favored the former as the shortened name for Chicago's elevated train system. But in this July, 1941 photo by John Vachon, the poster advertisement for the Brookfield Zoo uses the latter. You can download a free high-resolution version of this photo from the Library of Congress.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Picasso at the Art Institute in 1940

 WPA poster for a 1940 Picasso exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago

A 1940 poster for a Picasso exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. Organized by Alfred H. Barr, the exhibition was first shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from November 15, 1939 to January 7, 1940, before traveling to Chicago. You can download a free high-resolution version of this poster from the Library of Congress.

BTW, the Art Institute's website is an archivist's dream. It has listings of past collections going back to 1883, as well as PDF versions of collection and exhibition catalogs. The listing for the 1940 Picasso show can be found here, along with an excerpt from a 1940 press release touting the fact that when it came to attendance for the Picasso exhibition, Chicago wasn't the second city, as the Chicago show outdrew the one in New York: "...AIC attendance record exceeded that of MOMA..."

UPDATE: This Time Out Chicago article from earlier in the year has a complete history of Chicago-related Picasso shows and exhibitions.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Jane Addams Homes in 1940

1940 Peter Sekaer photograph of the Jane Addams Homes in Chicago

Built in 1938 as a WPA project and demolished in 2007, the Jane Addams Homes were reportedly one of the first public housing projects. This photograph was taken by Peter Sekaer in 1940. You can download a free high-resolution version from the Library of Congress. Another Sekaer photo of the fountains is part of the MOMA collection.

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recent posts
Wacker Drive in 1974
Sports Illustrated Cover with Ronnie Bull of the C...
State Street in 1987
The Wrigley Building in 1960
Richard J. Daley at the 1968 Democratic National C...
Dearborn Street in the 1970s
Christmas Merchandise Mart
The View from Grant Park in 1968
A Chicago "L" Stop in 1958
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