Sunday, November 6, 2016

The "Duck" House at Lake Shore Drive & Oak Street, Chicago, Illinois (1921)

The "Duck", is a small house at Lake Shore Drive and Oak Street in Chicago. It was later called "the little sister" to the elegant Drake Hotel which is in the background of this 1921 photograph. 
This 1918 picture shows Municipal Pier in the background. The photo is too small and low-res to see anything on the beach.
On the left, in the lake, you can see Municipal Pier (opened in 1916 then renamed Navy Pier in 1927 to honor navy veterans of World War I).
NOTE: Nicknamed the "Duck" house because a 'Drake' is a fully sexually mature adult male duck of any duck species.
By Neil Gale, Ph.D. 

Why old photographs handwritten notations are reversed.
Many old negatives bear handwritten notations inscribed on the emulsion side, which was easier to write on. The emulsion side means that inscriptions written on the emulsion side appear reversed in the printed photograph.


  1. What fun! This supplied me with a fun hour or so. I found another source of this print online that contains handwriting on the right side but it’s in reverse, meaning this image was flipped at some point. The house would actually have been on the south east corner of Oak and LSD (though probably closer to the (mich/Walton corner). The facade of the Drake in the photo does not match the north face of the Drake but DOES match the west face. If the image is flipped correctly, then it makes sense how the pier can be seen in the distance on the right. Thanks for posting this!

    1. Look at this article again, as I have added the reversed handwritten inscription explaination.


The Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™ is RATED PG-13. Please comment accordingly. Advertisements, spammers and scammers will be removed.