Saturday, October 20, 2018

October 20, 1929 -- Glenview Dedicates the Curtis-Reynolds Airport
October 20, 1929 –A crowd of 35,000 packs the new Curtis-Reynolds Airport in suburban Glenview as the $3,000,000 facility is dedicated.  A hundred airplanes are on display as spectators are treated to an afternoon of “parachute jumping, aerial bombing and a short course race”. [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 21, 1929]  Roads in the area are not equipped to handle the crowds, and four hours after the event ends, there are still cars stuck on the 18-foot gravel of Harms Road.  Wiley Post, flying a Lockheed Vega is the first to finish in the afternoon’s air race, followed by Art Davis in a Waco biplane.  John Livingston, a pilot from Aurora, flying another Waco, is also among the leaders, and he also leads in a 5,000-mile competition that will end the next day in Detroit.  The race is the first such contest to be held in the area since the great air show on Chicago’s lakefront in the summer of 1911.  Amelia Earhart also attends the dedication, landing early in the afternoon. She says, “I was in Columbus attending a meeting when I heard about the airport opening here today so I flew on over—it’s a peach, isn’t it?”  The new airport is composed of two flying fields.  A 125-acre field on the south end will facilitate instruction of the 103 students enrolled at the Curtis flying school. Unfortunately, the dedication takes place a little over a week after the 1929 stock market crash.  The field continues operation, though, even hosting the International Air Races and the Graf Zeppelin that came to town in 1933 as part of the Century of Progress Exposition.  By the mid-1930’s, the United States Navy found its quarters too small at the Great Lakes Naval Base and leased part of the hangar for a Naval Reserve air base.  The Navy dramatically expanded its presence at the base during World War II.  In 1942 “1,300,000 square yards of concrete mats and runways were poured in only 121 working days,” [] and in August of that year the Carrier Qualification Training Unit began operating out of the field, using two converted side-wheel excursion ships as carriers on which to practice landings off the shore of Chicago.  In April of 1993 the Base Realignment and Closure committee recommended the base for closure, and the last fixed-wing plane took off from the base in February of 1995.  The former airport is now the site of a planned community with shopping, restaurants, and over 1,500 homes.

October 20, 1975 – Branches of Marshall Field and Company and Lord and Taylor open for business on the first eight levels of the new Water Tower Place, the 74-story skyscraper on North Michigan Avenue.  Lines begin forming at 8 a.m. at the doors of the “vertical shopping center” [Chicago Tribune, October 21, 1975] and crowds inside both stores are so large employees have trouble getting to their posts.  “We couldn’t be more pleased,” says Arthur E. Osborne, Vice-President and General Manager of the Marshall Field’s stores in the Chicago area.  “We’re just as excited about this as anything we’ve ever done.  There are wall-to-wall people …”  Charles Siegmann, Vice-President and Regional Managing Director of Lord and Taylor, says, “I’m running out of superlatives.  We knew it was going to be great, but never anything like this. I’ve never seen such great-looking people, the way they’re dressed and how friendly and gracious they are.  This is probably the biggest thrill our company has ever had.  And it’s just amazing the number of men who are here.”  The complex is a joint development of Urban Investment and Development, a subsidiary of Aetna Life and Casualty Company, and Mafco, a subsidiary of Marshall Field and Company.  Architect Edward D. Dart of Loebl, Scholssman, Bennett and Dart is the leading architect on the project.

October 20, 1900 – Progress Lighting the Way for Commerce, a statue over 21 feet in height, is lowered into place atop of the Montgomery Ward headquarters at 6 North Michigan Avenue.  It is not intended merely to sit atop the building; it will function as a weather vane that “obeys every change of the wind.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 21, 1900]  Richard Schmidt, the architect who designed the building, oversees the placement of the statue.  The figure is that of a young woman who holds a flaming torch in her right hand and a caduceus, or a short staff intertwined with two snakes, in her left.  In Roman mythology Mercury, who was the messenger of the gods, and the protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars and thieves, is often seen carrying a caduceus in his left hand.  Scottish-American sculptor John Massey Rhind was the artist who created the piece.  The statue was taken down in 1947 and cut into nearly three-dozen pieces.  Some of those pieces may still sit in parlors all over the city.

Friday, October 19, 2018

October 19, 1857 -- South Water Street Fire; Twenty-Three Die
October 19, 1857 – A fire breaks out in a brick store on South Water Street at 4:00 a.m., which spreads and becomes “ … the most disastrous in both loss of life and property which our city has ever experienced.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 20, 1857]The flames moved rapidly in every direction and “before they were subdued a number of the finest and most costly business edifices in the city were a heap of smoldering ruins while the large and valuable stock they contained are almost entirely destroyed.”  The fire destroyed ten square blocks of the city from the river to South Water Street and from what today would be Michigan Avenue to Clark Street. The cause of the conflagration was attributed to a woman working in the world’s oldest profession on the second floor of a warehouse at 109 South Water Street (the site of today’s 35 East Wacker) who allegedly kicked over a lantern accidentally.  [] Twenty-three people die in the flames, some of whom are firemen.  Damage is estimated at near $800,000 ($20,918,491 today).  One benefit that came from the fire was the establishment on November 19, 1857 of the Citizens Fire Brigade of Chicago, the duties of which were to take valuable goods from threatened buildings and protect them from water from the fire hoses and from looting. The above photo shows Fire Insurance patrol No. 6 at 332 South Hoyne Avenue.

October 19, 1971 -- The final attempt to save the old Chicago Stock Exchange building fails as Judge Edward J. Egan of the Circuit Court rules against a petition to force City Council action on the recommendation of the Chicago Landmarks Commission that the building be designated a landmark.  When the decision is announced, the president of the Landmarks Preservation Council, Richard Miller, says, “if we do not have any encouragement from the mayor’s office, we will not appeal.” [Chicago Tribune, October 20, 1971] The building, located at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Monroe Street, was designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. It will be gone by the end of 1972 although its entrance arch and trading room are preserved at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Preservationist and photo-journalist Richard Nickel took this photo of the Stock Exchange trading room, now preserved at the Art Institute of Chicago.  After he is reported missing while chronicling the death throes of the building, it would be 22 days before his body would be found in the rubble.

October 19, 1890 – In an editorial the Chicago Daily Tribune takes on the Illinois Central Railroad over its use of lakefront property.  As the city prepares for “its grand building which is to house art treasures” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 19, 1890] the battle over lakefront property, long occupied by the railroad, becomes more and more heated.  The paper declares, “When the time comes for filling the submerged lands out to the dock line and making a park for the benefit of the city and State the Illinois Central should be required to do the work and foot the bill, and it need not cost Chicago a cent.”  At this time the Illinois Central operated on a trestle built above the lake, running parallel to Michigan Avenue.  The paper’s argument is to let the railroad fill in the space between the trestle and dry land, create new land east of the trestle, and fill in the space between the existing tracks and the land to the west.  It says of the arrangement, “If a fair arrangement were made between the road and the city the latter would get much-needed room for new tracks, depots, warehouses, and elevators.  Its receipts from leases and from its regular business would be increased.  The State would be a gainer, for its 7 per cent on the gross income of the road would be larger.  Chicago would be a gainer, for it would have on the front of the city a fine park two miles long.  The Art Building would look all the handsomer for the broad open space to the east of it.  By raising the surface of the park a little above street grade and depressing the tracks on the new right of way a few feet only the tops of the cars and engines could be seen from Michigan avenue and the esthetes would rejoice.”  The trick is to get the railroad to find the $5,000,000 and the civic generosity to agree to the plan.  The above illustration shows the Illinois Central lakefront trestle at the right and the lagoon to the west, somewhat north of where today's Art Institute stands.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

October 18, 1962 -- Equitable Building is a "Go"
October 18, 1962 –The New York State Insurance Department approves plans for a 35-story office building to be built on Michigan Avenue between Tribune Tower and the Chicago River.  The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States will underwrite the expense of the commercial building, which has already attracted its first tenant – Foote, Cone and Belding, a Chicago advertising agency. The cost of the land and building are projected to run $25 million with the plan for the site leaving a generous portion of land facing Michigan Avenue as a landscaped public plaza.  The firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill will design the building with architect Alfred Shaw acting as a consultant.  As the plans developed Natalie De Blois, who began her career in architecture in 1944, took a lead role in the design of the structure. 

October 18, 1916 -- The South Park Board at its monthly meeting agrees to offer a site in Grant Park on which an aquarium can be built.  It is estimated that the “greatest public aquarium in the country” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 19, 1916] will cost approximately $250,000, of which Julius Rosenwald, the head of Sears, Roebuck and Company, has agreed to contribute $100,000.  The head of the Chicago Aquarium Society, Seth Lindahl, says, “It is now only a question of means to the end.”  It will be awhile before that end is reached.  The aquarium does not open until May of 1930 and the costs of construction eventually rise to over $3,000,000.  The above photo shows the aquarium taking shape in 1928.

October 18, 1977 --  “By Gawd. They do clear it off, don’t they . . .”  That was the reaction of a British reporter covering the visit of His Royal Highness, Charles, the Prince of Wales to Chicago as official vehicles carrying the Prince, his entourage, Mayor Michael Bilandic and Governor James Thompson scream down the Kennedy expressway “leaving an increasing snarl beyond the cement red carpet.”  [Chicago Tribune, October 19, 1977]  The Medinah Highlanders bagpipe and drum corps, playing Scotland the Brave, meet the Prince as he emerges from his British airways jet at 4:23 p.m.  Eighteen minutes later the Prince is at the Drake Hotel “genuinely glad to be in Chicago and willing to display his well-publicized wit.”  Later in the evening the heir to the British throne enjoys a private dinner hosted by British consul-general in Chicago, John Heath, and his wife.  A full day’s schedule is set for the following day with a tour of Chicago’s Loop, a walk through the Art Institute, and a luncheon at the University of Chicago scheduled before a dinner at the Palmer House at which the Prince will be made a citizen of Chicago.  The above photo shows His Royal Highness at the University of Chicago the day after his arrival.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

October 17, 1956 -- Chicago River Raises a Stink

October 17, 1956 –Mayor Richard J. Daley receives notice from the city’s air pollution control board that hydrogen sulphide gas form the north branch of the Chicago River has created a “critical condition on the northwest side that may require emergency action by the mayor.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 18, 1956] Phone lines are overwhelmed at the pollution control office as the director, Thomas H. Carey, reports the “complaints from home owners that the gas was polluting the air, attacking the paint on houses, and tarnishing silverware in homes.”  A city engineer assesses the dire situation, noting that it is the result of “unseasonable heat, low water levels because of a lack of rain, and a lack of wind to loft away the gas.”  Residents in the area between Caldwell and Milwaukee Avenues are experiencing the greatest hardship.  On the following day Chicago firefighters set up shop and, with assistance from the Niles fire department, begin pouring between 8,000 to 10,000 gallons of water per minute into the river, using six hose lines.  That isn’t enough for a dozen women from the neighborhood who make their way down to the mayor’s office, charging that “the stream has been polluted for months and that the pollution has caused illness among children and brought large rats to the neighborhood.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 20, 1956] The mayor’s office refers the women to the fire commissioner.

October 17, 1936 – Elma Lockwood “Ma” Streeter dies at the Cook County Hospital.  She was the daughter of Ashwood Lockwood who came to the area around today’s Elkhart, Indiana in 1839.  She was the indefatigable wife of George Washington “Cap” Streeter who in 1883 ran his boat, Reutan, aground on a sand bar about 450 off the shore east of what is today some of the most valuable real estate in the city.  As sand accumulated around the craft, he realized that it would be better to stay put and take advantage of a law allowing Civil War veterans to homestead on unclaimed land. The silting action of the lake had land piling up around the Reutan, and Streeter claimed it as his, declaring it the United States District of Lake Michigan or “the Deestrict.” Nearly two decades of run-ins with the law followed, and “Ma” Streeter watched it all as her husband was arrested, tried, convicted and set free only to repeat the process all over again.  In 1918, three years before her husband’s death, she reacted when hirelings of the Chicago Title and Trust Company burned the Streeter home to the ground.  She charged the group with a meat cleaver, and the men retreated. Her last indignity occurred in 1924 when she filed suit against property owners of “her” land, only to have the suit dismissed because Cap Streeter had been abandoned by his first wife but not divorced, so Ma Streeter’s marriage was declared invalid.  In the above photo "Ma" Streeter is shown on her houseboat just a year after her husband died.

October 17, 1933 – The first man to be jailed for attempted piracy on Lake Michigan is sentenced to six years in the federal penitentiary by Federal Judge James H. Wilkerson.  The United States District Attorney is able to show that the 28-year-old man, Joseph Pennick, boarded a boat at the Wrigley building and rode it to the Century of Progress World’s Fair on the lakefront.  On the return trip, at a point about a mile off Roosevelt Road, Pennick pulled out a revolver and ordered the pilot of the boat to surrender his cash.  The pilot, James M. Nester, and another passenger overpowered Pennick, but not before he got off two shots, one of which grazed the passenger’s head.  Pennick’s plea was that he had been drinking.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

October 16, 1918 -- Chicago River to Berth Ocean Liners?
October 16, 1918 –In an address on the closing day of the annual convention of the American Bridge and Building Association, John K. Melton tells the 500 members that a time will come when ocean liners will dock in the Chicago River.  He says, “The most fertile land in the country is that inundated ground covered by the river at its flood tide, and by reclaiming that ground the money can be raised to build the docks down the length of the river to New Orleans, which will enable us to bring the big liners to this port.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 17, 1918]Following the address the association adopts resolutions that urge the reclaiming of the lands Melton referred to as an effort crucial to support the war effort.  The ocean liners never arrived, sadly.  But we did get our own liner up on the North Avenue beach as the above photo shows.

October 16, 1975 – King Olav V of Norway, in town for the observances of the 150th’ anniversary of the start of Norwegian immigration to the United States, receives a gift from Mayor Richard J. Daley – a facsimile of the 1922 Montgomery Ward and Company catalogue.  A spokesman for Ward’s says that Daley had first seen the catalogue, a replica of the original and created by Ward’s as a nostalgia item, during the dedication of a store at the Ford City Shopping Center, an appearance that caused His Honor to arrive 15 minutes late to his meeting with the King, and “decided it would make a nice gift for King Olav and took one along.” [Chicago Tribune, October 17, 1975] Says Daley, “I told him he should order from it because Montgomery Ward is a great place to do business, and we all know what the catalog meant to the early settlers who came to Chicago.”  According to the Tribune, “Olav made no comment.”  During his stay the 72-year-old King tours the Art Institute of Chicago, where on May 4,1939 he was the first person to sign the guest book for visiting dignitaries.  He is also feted at a University of Chicago luncheon, held to inaugurate a university chair in Norwegian studies.  The above photo shows King Olav V in front of the Norwegian Memorial Lutheran Church at 2614 Kedzie Boulevard where he stopped to hear a Children's Choir during his stay.

October 16, 1943 – At 10:48 a. m. a ribbon is cut at State and Madison and Chicago’s first subway, proposed in the Chicago Plan of 1909, opens for business.  The ceremony begins with a parade that takes an hour to pass the reviewing stand on State Street.  As Mayor Kelly gets ready to cut the ribbon, Subway Commissioner Philip Harrington, says, “I am proud to inform you and the people of Chicago on behalf of the engineering staff of the department of subways and its contractors, that Chicago’s first subway is complete, ready for operation.  I can assure you of the thoroness [sic] and durability of this structure and the safety of its equipment.  This subway compares more than favorably with any of the other undergrounds in the country.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 17, 1943]  This first phase of the city’s comprehensive subway system starts at Armitage and Clybourn Avenues on the north and extends to a point between Sixteenth and Seventeenth Streets, passing beneath State Street.

Monday, October 15, 2018

October 15, 1937 -- Thorne Rooms Go on Display at Art Institute
October 15, 1937 – Thirty miniature rooms created by Mrs. James Ward Thorne go on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. The rooms look at French and English interior design from the time between Henry VIII and Louis XII to the present.  Eleanor Jewett, reporting for the Chicago Daily Tribune observes, ‘Each little room is a gem.  The colors are fascinating; the details are fascinating; the different periods of interior decorating illustrated are fascinating. To tell the truth, standing before each room in turn is to become much like a bird bewitched by a snake, the fascination that grips you is dangerous; mind and body you are swallowed up momentarily in the charm of each exhibit.” According to Curbed Chicago, Thorne employed more than 30 craftsmen to bring about her ideas … between 1932 and 1940 the team turned out 99 miniature rooms, 62 of which were gifted to the Art Institute.  The detailing of the rooms is exquisite.  Crystal chandeliers are made out of crystal. Paintings on the walls are commissioned works of original art, in postage stamp-sized frames.  There are even two bronze sculptures designed by John Storrs, the sculptor responsible for the statue of Ceres at the top of the Chicago Board of Trade.  The photo above shows one of the miniature room, a French library of the Louis XV period.

October 15, 2006 – A crowd of 300 lines Wacker Drive between Dearborn and State Streets to witness the filming of a commercial for Allstate Insurance, a production that reprises the scene from The Hunter, filmed in 1979. Hollywood director Phil Joanou films scenes in the city for three days – a car chase that begins under the elevated tracks at Lake Street, winds around Wacker Drive, up Dearborn Street, and onto the circular driveway of the parking garage at Marina City.  The commercial ends with a 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass plunging off the tower and into the Chicago River, a catapult that is staged twice.   You can catch the commercial here

October 15, 1924 – Chicago learns that Charles L. Hutchinson, who died on October 7, has rewarded the Art Institute of Chicago, for which he served as president, handsomely in his will.  After providing $300,000 to his wife, Frances, he gives the museum the paintings that hang in the Hutchinson home at 222 East Walton Place.  Other stipulations in the will provide gifts to Hull House, the Cliff Dwellers’ Club, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, Michael Reese Hospital, and Lombard College.  Hutchinson was born into wealth as his father brought the family to Chicago in 1856 and made a fortune as a grain merchant, in meatpacking, and as one of the founders of the Corn Exchange National Bank.  Charles Hutchinson followed his father into banking and grain speculation.  The Newberry Library’s introduction to the collection of Hutchinson’s papers states, “Because he was a man of wide interests with a strong sense of civic duty, Hutchinson’s activities were not confined to finance but ranged over many aspects of Chicago life. Though his greatest enthusiasm was for art and the establishment and growth of the Art Institute, Hutchinson was president, board member, trustee and/or supporter of perhaps as many as seventy organizations and social institutions, orphanages, hospitals and schools. Among his numerous involvements, he served as president of the Chicago Board of Trade, director and chairman of the Fine Arts Committee of the World’s Columbian Exposition, trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, president of the Chicago Orphan Asylum, president of St. Paul’s Universalist Church, vice-president of the Egypt Exploration Fund, president of the American Federation of the Arts, and treasurer of the Cliff Dwellers, of the Municipal Art League, and of the Chicago Sanitary District. Also, at the founding of the University of Chicago, in 1890 he was named a trustee of the new institution where he served as treasurer until his death.”

Sunday, October 14, 2018

October 14, 1890 -- Chicago City Hall Is Falling Down
October 14, 1890 –There’s trouble at City Hall, and this time it isn’t the politics that is causing the uproar.  The building, completed in 1885 according to plans drawn up by architect James Egan, is falling apart only five years after it opened.  Designed in the French Renaissance style, the building was already overcrowded before it admitted its first office worker.  The interior was dark, with small windows and long dark hallways making it even more claustrophobic.  The Chicago Daily Tribunedescribes the state of affairs thusly, “A person takes his life in his hands when he enters that house built on the sands known as the Government Building.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 15, 1890]. The building is settling so quickly and so unevenly that on October 14 the iron waste-pipes on the south and east sides of the building simply blow apart.  The valves needed to shut off the flow of water from the roof are defective, and water cascades into the basement where the boilers are located, covering all but two feet of them.  Cracks have appeared on the third and fourth floors big enough “to put one’s hand through.” Four vertical cracks run up the north side of the building from the basement to the roof.  Much of the plumbing is defective and there is no ventilation in the building, not a particularly good combination.  On January 16, 1905 a gas pipe breaks as the building settles six inches in a 24-hour period.  A fire begins in a building which, despite strict ordinances mandating them, has almost no fire escapes.  Six people are injured, and one week later the Cook County Board begins an inquiry as to whether the county should repair the building or build a new one.  In February the commission concludes that the construction of a new courthouse should begin without delay.

October 14, 1976 – Park district officials open Butler Field between Monroe Street and Jackson Boulevard for automobiles after the Monroe Street garage is closed indefinitely while officials begin structural tests to determine what caused part of the garage to cave in three days earlier.  The field can accommodate about 1,500 cars and will temporarily replace the new underground garage which had been completed in April,1975.  During the evening of October 11. a 120-square foot section of the 14-inch thick concrete roof collapsed.  In early May of 1977 the Chicago Park District approves payment to the S. A. Healey Company of $643,349 in addition to the original contract price of $33,116,000 to make repairs, get the garage open and get parked cars off Butler Field.  Engineers say more money will probably be needed, and Parks Superintendent Edmund L. Kelly says “… the additional money was paid out to get the garage finished, and responsibility for the collapsed roof will be decided later.” [Chicago Tribune, May 4, 1977] You would never know anything ever went wrong at the site today as kids of all ages scamper about Maggie Daley Park, pictured above, that sits on top of the garage.

October 14, 1883 -- A fascinating piece runs in the Chicago Daily Tribune on this date, tracing the development of the roads within the city.  The following contains the information found in the Chicago Daily Tribune article in its entirety . . .

   “The annual report of Commissioner-of-Public-Works Mr. D. C. Cregier contains some interesting suggestions regarding the early history of Chicago street improvements.  Unfortunately they are only suggestions and touch very lightly on a subject of which every detail should be a matter of public record, and probably would be had not the “big fire” destroyed nearly all documents referring to public works in Chicago.  The material Mr. Cregier has had at his disposal most, in fact, have been very incomplete, for it is next to impossible to get an unbroken history of the improvements of the several streets from his list of street improvements, which runs back to the year 1835.  According to Mr. Cregier’s statement, no printed reports on street improvements were issued prior to 1861, and he has depended largely on notes furnished him by Mr. A. T. Andreas, who is now preparing a book on the early history of Chicago.  From these notes it is gathered the first public highway or road was located in Chicago in 1831, running from the public square to the western county line.  This was probably Lake Street.  In April, 1832, the first street leading to Lake Michigan was laid out, fifty feet wide.  In the same year a road was ordered laid out from the Town of Chicago to the Du Page River and to the west line of the county.  The next year, 1833, witnessed the completion of the State road from Chicago to the Wabash River opposit [sic] Vincennes.  In August of that year Chicago had risen to the dignity of a town, and one of the first orders of the Trustees directed the Town Surveyor to “pitch” South Water street on or before April, 1834.  During July, 1834, the same officer was instructed to so “graduate” South Water street “that water should flow from each cross street into the river.”  South Water and Lake streets were the two principal thoroughfares, and were the first Chicago roads to receive the attention of the authorities.
   In 1935 Gurdon S. Hubbard petitioned the Trustees for a rebate on his taxes on account of his having “graded and thrown up” La Salle street between South Water and Lake streets in front of Lots 1 and 2; and in 1836 Canal street was turnpikd as far north as Kinzie street, and Lake and Randolph streets as far west as Desplaines street.  In 1937 the “clearing, grubbing, and grading” of the following streets is mentioned in the records:  Market, Franklin, Chicago avenue, La Salle, Clark, Dearborn, Union, Desplaines, Peyton, Canal, Harmon, Hamilton, George, Maria, Webster, Spring, Elizabeth, Catharine, and Division streets, representing an aggregate length of four and one-half miles.  The records show further that in 1842 North Branch street, from Kinzie to Desplaines street, was graded, and that Aug. 8, 1844, the planking of Lake street from State to Dearborn street was ordered.  Randolph street is recorded April 10, 1846, as being ordered graded and repaired from the river to the limits.

Michigan Avenue just after the fire of 1871

   In 1849 a general improving of streets by planking was begun, which up to 1855 was the only kind of street improvement in use.  The streets planked, or rather ordered planked, in 1849 were:  Clark street, from the river to Kinzie street; Canal street, from Randolph to Kinzie street; Kinzie street from Clark street to the river; Market, from Randolph to Lake street; Randolph, from State to Dearborn street; South Water, from Lake to Wells street; State street, from Randolph to Lake street.  In 1850 Clark street was planked from Randolph street to South Water street and from the river to Chicago avenue and Randolph street from Centre to Ogden avenue.  In those two years $31,000 was expended for planking streets.  From that time on planking was bravely laid in the streets of the young and growing village, and it was not until 1860 that it was discarded as pavement for much-traveled streets.
   In 1855 are found other improvements than planking ordered.  Macadam was ordered for Chicago avenue, between Clark and Pine streets, which in 1870 was replaced by a wooden-block pavement.  (The latter was renewed in 1882) Milwaukee avenue, between Knzie and Division streets, was also treated to macadam. (A wooden-block pavement was ordered laid on this street, from Desplaines street to Elston avenue, in 1857, from Division street to Elson avenue in 1871, and from Division street to North avenue in 1873.)
   In the same year a cobblestone pavement was laid down in Lake street, between State and Michigan avenue, while South Water street, from Wabash avenue to the Illinois Central Railroad tracks, received a pavement of limestone blocks.

South Water Street in the 1860's

   The cobblestone pavement did not last long, it seems, for in 1861 a wooden-block pavement was ordered on Lake street from the river to Wabash avenue, and a year later Nicholson block from Wabash to Central avenue.  In 1870 Lake streets was ordered repaved with wooden blocks from Wabash avenue to Clark street; in 1871 from the river to Clark street; in 1878 from Fifth to Michigan avenue; in 1879 from Market to La Salle street with wooden blocks, and from La Salle to State street with Nicholson pavement (the latter, together with Taylor, between State and Clark streets, are the last streets paved with Nicholson).  The limestone laid on South Water street in 1855 was replaced in 1865 by wooden blocks, partly renewed in 1870, entirely renewed again in 1878 and 1880.
   The first Nicholson pavement was laid in the fall of 1856 in Wells street, between Lake and South Water streets.  This pavement was not renewed until 1875.  Nicholson block was also ordered laid in 1858 in Clark street, between Randolph and Madison (changed in 1873, when Clark street, from South Water to Harrison street, was ordered paved with wooden blocks); in La Salle street, from Randolph to Washington streets (renewed with pine blocks in 1878), and in Washington street, between Clark and La Salle streets (Washington street was ordered paved with wooden blocks from State to Market streets in 1870; in 1878 to be paved with wooden blocks from State to Market streets in 1870; in 1878 to be paved with pine blocks between Clark and La Salle.  In 1859 Clark street, between Lake and Randolph, and between Polk and Madison, was ordered paved with Nicholson blocks, which had to last until 1873).
   Experiments were also made in 1858 with bowlder stone, which was laid in State street, from Madison to Twelfth street *replaced between Randolph and Jackson streets with wooden blocks in 1878; from Jackson to Harrison in 1878 – the street being now repaired with granit [sic] from the river to Jackson street); in Kinzie street, from Clark street to the river (ordered replaced with wooden blocks in 1857; partly renewed in 1873, 1876, and 1881; laid with Medina stone between La Salle street and the river in 1882), and in Market street, between Randolph and Lake streets replaced with wooden blocks in 1871).  In 1859 bowlders were tried in Couch place and Haddock place.  In 1861 the same pavement was ordered for South Water street, between Dearborn street and Wabash avenue, and in 1862 for Clark street, between Lake street and the bridge, and in Kinzie street, between Clark and State streets.  No more bowlder stones were laid after that.  (All bowlder pavements were replaced with wood pavements immediately after the fire, where they had not been replaced before).
   A pavement of canal block stone was ordered for Wells street, between Randolph and Madison streets in 1859, which was replaced by wood in 1874.

State Street not long after the 1871 fire
   Only little paving was done from 1860 to 1865, all in all about seven and a half miles.  Of this the most was macadam.  In 1865 the common wooden block pavement made its first appearance.  Dearborn, from Madison to Monroe, Fifth avenue from Madison to Van Buren, Michigan street from Clark to Cass street, State street from Kinzie to Michigan street, South Water street between Wabash and Michigan avenues and between Clark and Franklin streets, and Wabash avenue between Randolph and Adams streets being the first streets to be paved with wood. The wooden block pavement held for a short time and undisputed sway, more than 80 per cent of our street improvements being of the wooden kind.  In 1869, for instance, nothing but wooden pavement was ordered the total street length aggregating over eighteen miles.  The same was the case in 1874, when nine miles, and in 1875 when 11.29 miles, of wooden pavement were laid.
   In 1876 the first attempt to reintroduce stone pavement was made.  Pacific avenue, between Harrison and Polk streets, was paved with Medina stone, and in 1878 the block between Polk and Taylor streets was paved with the same material.  In the meantime the quality of the wooden pavements was deteriorating, and the public wanted something better.  The paving question was generally discussed.  Cedar blocks were introduced in 1878, and drove the pine block, which had forfeited public confidence, almost entirely out of sight, but only since 1880 the pavement question has approached its solution, since the principle has begun to be acknowledged that a good foundation is the first requirement of a durable pavement.  The building of the boulevards did a great deal towards educating public opinion on the street-pavement question, and the success the stone pavement laid, by the government around the new Post-Office seemed to be not without effect. 

   The first step towards applying broken-stone foundation rolled in heavily to other than granit pavements was made in 1881, when asphalt blocks were laid on Twenty-eighth street between Wabash and Michigan avenues, and a year later, when the first street asphalt went down on North avenue, between Menomonee and Centre streets. The total length of street pavements laid or ordered laid by the Council from 1861 to 1882 was 238 miles.  Add to this about fifty miles of the length of pavement laid before that date, and there are 289 miles of pavement built in Chicago, while only 183 miles are now in use.  It is not overestimated to count 100 miles of the latter as original pavements for their respective streets, which would give on the older streets 189 miles of pavement now in use.  This is not so very bad if it is considered that the changes in street grades necessitate new pavements regardless of the condition of the old ones in a good many instances.  It must also be taken into account that the list compiled by Mr. Cregier gives the action or order of the Council only, not the work actually performed, and that a good many repeals of ordinances for street-paving have been apparently overlooked.”