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Feb 8 / Bryan

1931 Chicago Map

Here’s a small detail of a 1931 Houghton-Mifflin map of Chicago designed for the 1933 Worlds’ Fair and featured in the University of Illinois Historical Maps Collection. Any Chicagophile could easily spend an hour scrolling around, but the Galewood/Montclare area features some interesting references:

  • The “For Sale” sign in Elmwood Park surely represents the boom in residental construction in the area at the time.
  • The escaped “Napoleon” just north of us in Dunning represents Chicago-Read Mental Health Center, then called “Chicago State Hospital.” Things were different then!
  • Founder John Hertz (of Hertz Rental Car fame) had recently sold his share of Yellow Cab, but they’re still located at 3351 W. Addison today. Read more about the company’s interesting history at
  • “The Largest Conservatory In U.S.” is Garfield Park (the map is greatly simplified and compressed).
  • “Grisby Grunow” was a radio manufacturer at 5801 West Dickens Ave. A year after the World’s Fair, they went bankrupt. Zenith bought their warehouse, and a water tower with a Zenith logo is still visible from the Metra train near Austin and Dickens. In the late 90s, Zenith was sold to LG Electronics of Korea, and exists today only as a brand name.
  • Northern Oak Park is a bit unclear, is that Frank Lloyd Wright (in the porkpie hat) looking at a (red) blueprint with a family?
  • The actual block where Galewood would be features a woman in a long skirt walking with a basket, which doesn’t spark any clear reference, perhaps some readers have ideas?
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