Monday, July 2, 2018

A Brief History of North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

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.
1866 drawing showing Pine Street realignment plans.
The 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), with Belgian Wood Block also known as Nicolson pavement.

Pine Street was renamed to Lincoln Park Boulevard as far south as Ohio Street when the street connected with Lake Shore Drive in the early 1890s, and then became part of Michigan Avenue, which was named Michigan Boulevard before the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 south of the Chicago River.

Both the North and South Michigan Avenues were joined physically with the opening of the Michigan Avenue bridge in 1920. In 1926, after years of clogged automobile traffic, the water tower and pumping station were separated by realigning Michigan Avenue to run between them.

FURTHER READING: The History of the Chicago Water Tower - One of Five Structures Surviving the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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