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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Madison Street, East from Dearborn, Chicago, 1907-1915

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Madison Street, East from Dearborn, Chicago, 1907-1915
Lent by Bonnie Lilienfeld


This object appears in the following sections:

Chicago, the Transit Metropolis — The 1890s-1920s: Transit Shapes the City

Madison & Wabash “L” Station House, Chicago, Illinois

Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois
Not a part of the official Smithsonian Collection
An electric streetcar and horse-drawn carriages and carts share the road with an early automobile in this early 1900s view of Madison Street, a major East-West thoroughfare in downtown Chicago. The Madison & Wabash Loop “L” station is suspended above the street in the distance.
Physical Description
Photograph. Post card view of Madison St, Chicago, Illinois with streetcar, carriages, an automobile, and an “L” station in the background. Tinted lithograph on cream-colored stock, divided back. Marked on front, ”Madison Street. East From Dearborn, Chicago.”
Date Made:
Lent by Bonnie Lilienfeld
This early 1900’s post card view of an automobile on Chicago’s Madison Street foreshadows major changes in the shape of transportation and development in the city. Within twenty years automobile ownership was sky-rocketing. The Cook County Superintendent of Highways began to warn that Chicago roads were dangerously congested, and that road building was not keeping up with auto registration. In 1926, even while much of the city continued to rely on mass transportation, the movers and shakers on the Chicago Planning Commission proposed an alternative vision of the city that centered around automobiles and the construction of a network of limited access superhighways. As more citizens chose and were able to purchase and use private automobiles to get around, they began to alter the circulation patterns of the city, and make the need for new roads obvious to car owners, real estate investors, road builders, and politicians.
Related People, Places, and Events
Chicago, Illinois

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