Friday, December 1, 2017

A Brief History of North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois

1855 Colton Map.
In this 1866 drawing, a small portion of Pine Street was "vacated" and moved eighty (80) feet further west of the original Pine street location to accommodate the installation of the new pumping station's standpipe.
This standpipe, engineered to regulate water pressure, would be housed within architect William W. Boyington's castle structure (Water Tower) that still stands on that site today.

In 1869 the Board of Public Works began paving Pine Street from Chicago Avenue to the northern terminus, Whitney street (today, Walton street), paved using Belgian woodblocks also known as Nicolson pavement.
Pine Street looking north Huron Street, Chicago. 1870
Pine Street (Future Michigan Avenue) after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.
Pine Street (400 to 999N) was renamed Lincoln Park Boulevard (600 to 999N) as far south as Ohio Street (600N) when the street connected with Lake Shore Drive in the early 1890s.

Pine Street was renamed Michigan Avenue in 1917 in anticipation of the 1920 opening of the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
Looking north from Chicago Avenue at Pine Street (today's North Michigan Avenue) in 1872, after the Great Chicago Fire. The photo was taken from the top of the Water Tower as you can see its shadow in the lower right corner. The ruins in the foreground are from the Lill & Diversy Brewery.
Pine Street, (now North Michigan Avenue), is being widened. (circa 1915)
Both North and South Michigan Avenues were joined physically with the opening of the Michigan Avenue bridge in May of 1920. 
Looking south on Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Circa 1930.
In 1926, after years of clogged automobile traffic, the water tower and pumping station were separated by realigning Michigan Avenue to run between them.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D. 

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