Here's a collection of some of my favorite maps of Chicago, from the historical to contemporary takes.
I love the way the city formed. The city in its current form has a beautiful, orderly pattern of streets that radiates out from a core. I wanted to present some of the early maps of the city, where the first seeds of settlement happened, and present a chronology of illustrated maps.
Early cartographers showed the growth of the city from its origins at the Chicago River and its fork. Later cartographers and artists took liberties in showing the cityscape in different ways, highlighting certain elements like new transit lines, parks and boulevards, and modern aerial views.
Hope you enjoy getting these bird's eye views of the city's history and growth.
NOTE: If you want a closer view of these maps, right-click on the image and select "Open image in new tab." That will allow you to get an expandable view of the image and a better look at the details.
Imaginary view of Chicago in 1779. A. T. Andreas, History of Chicago from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, vol. 1 (Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1884), frontispiece. Source
Chicago in 1820. Chicago Lithographing Company, 1867. Chromolithograph on paper. Library of Congress. Source
Map of Chicago in 1812. Source.
The original 1830 subdivision by the Illinois and Michigan Canal Commissioners. Source.
"Map of Chicago, Incorporated as a Town August 5, 1833." Walter Conley & O.E. Stelzer, 1933. Source.
Chicago In Early Days. 1779-1857. Kurz & Allison, 1893. Source.
Lithograph by Christian Inger, based on a drawing by J.T. Palmatary. Published by Braunhold & Sonne. 1857. Source.
Chicago, Chicago Lithographing Co., 1868. Source.
Currier & Ives.; published in Harper's Weekly (1 August 1874) Source.
Richard’s Illustrated and Statistical Map of the Great Conflagration in Chicago. 1871. Source.
The City of Chicago / sketched & drawn on stone by Parsons & Atwater. Currier & Ives, publisher. 1874. Source.
Guide map of new Chicago and suburbs. Author Stine & Clark,1889. Source.
"1893 Grand View of Chicago." Treutlein, Th. Eagle Lithographing Co. Reynertson & Beckerman, 1893, c1892. Source.
"Bird's eye view of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893." Rand McNally and Company. Source.
Library of Congress illustration of the official birdseye view of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois in 1892. Source.
Bird's-eye-view of the business district of Chicago. Poole Brothers, c1898. Source.
Birds-eye view of the elevated railroads and the parks and boulevards of Chicago. Willis J. Champion, 1908. Source.
"Chicago. View Looking West over the City, Showing the Proposed Civic Center, the Grand Axis, Grant Park, and the Harbor," (Jules Guerin). Plan of Chicago, published by Chicago architects Daniel H. Burnham, Jr. and Edward H. Bennett, 1909. Source.
Chicago, central business section. Reincke, Arno B. 1916. Source.
Map Showing the Territorial Growth of Chicago. Chicago Department of Public Works, Bureau of Maps and Plats, 1930. Source.
An Illustrated Map of Chicago, Youthful City of the Big Shoulders, Restless, Ingenious, Wilful, Violent, Proud to be Alive! Charles Turzak, Boston, 1931. Source.
A Map of Chicago's gangland from authentic sources: designed to inculcate the most important principles of piety and virtue in young persons, and graphically portray the evils and sin of large cities. Bruce-Roberts, Inc., 1931. Source.
A Century of Progress, 1833-1933 : Chicago World's Fair Exposition. Reuben H. Donnelley Corp. 1933. Source.
Chicago. The Greatest Inland City in the World. Colortext Publications, Inc. 1938. Source.
Map illustrating the dominant ethnicities of different areas of Chicago in 1950. City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development. Source.
"Elevate Map of Chicago Rapid Transit Lines." ca. 1950. Source: unknown
Chicagoland Panorama. Homer Goodman. Published by: Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry. 1964. Source.
Map of Hyde Park and view north. Lauren Nassef. 2007 [circa?] Source.
Robert Bacon. 2013. Source.
T.S. Shure Map of Chicago Magnetic Playboard and Puzzle [2010?]. Source.
Map of Roscoe Village: A Neighborhood of Chicago. Joe Mills. [Contemporary] Source.
Chicago Neighborhood Map. Ork Posters [Contemporary] Source.
These are the shows so far confirmed. Stop by! Say hello! Give me some constructive criticism!
Show of Hands.
MAY 4-6. Architectural Artifacts (Ravenswood)
Renegade Craft Fair (Spring).
MAY 12-13. Halsted St (Pilsen)
57th Street Art Fair.
JUNE 2-3. Kimbark & 57th (Hyde Park)
Printers Row Lit Fest.
JUNE 9-10. Dearborn & Harrison (Printer's Row)
Gold Coast Art Fair.
JUNE 16-17. Grant Park. Just North of Buckingham Fountain.
Southport Art Festival.
JULY 14-15. Southport & Waveland (Southport Corridor)
Bucktown Arts Fest.
AUG 25-26. Holstein Park area (Bucktown)
Renegade Craft Fair (Fall).
SEP 8-9. Division & Damen (Ukrainian Village)
SEPT 15-16. Venue: Beyond Design. (Ravenswood)
Show of Hands (Holiday).
NOV 16-18. Architectural Artifacts (Ravenswood)
Renegade Craft Fair (Holiday)
DEC 1-2. Bridgeport Art Center (Bridgeport)
The One of a Kind Show (Holiday).
DEC 6-9. Merchandise Mart (River North)
I'm happy to announce a Kickstarter to create print editions of two new illustrated map editions.
These maps are two distinct, illustrated bird's eye views / panoramas that celebrate Chicago's beautiful lakefront. One is a view eastward, focusing on the details and sites along the lakeshore, and one is the view westward, a color edition of the (recently sold-out) "Lakefront Currents."
Just click here or the image preview below to visit the Kickstarter page and pledge your support. I greatly appreciate it!
Illustration of 123 Sesame Street at dusk. THE house of Sesame Street. There's a lot I'm learning. Bert and Ernie live in the garden unit. Elmo lives alone on the ground floor, the human family (who also own the place) on the second, Big Bird in the courtyard next door, and Oscar of course in the can out front. Bert kept a pigeon coop on the roof. I also never appreciated the house itself. Italianate, mid-1800s brownstone, based on those fantastic New York City row homes.
Will create a limited edition giclée print of this. Contact me and let me know if you are interested.
I made this little illustration of one of the little wonders of the city: The iconic Chicago hot dog stand. Love these spots. Here's my piece. And below the drawing, all the must-haves for any truly authentic Chicago hot dog joint.
Painted in super-bright colors. By that I mean red and yellow. Picnic table & an umbrella that matches the building.
Called Sammy’s, Marty’s, Charlie's. A name that sounds like someone your grandpa would have a coffee with.
Proudly World Famous, Original, Founded circa 1954 or some combination in a fifties-era font.
Some relics of the good old days that actually date back to the good old days. For a few examples: a newspaper dispenser, pinball, gumball machine.
Some hints of their old logo or old name, maybe on a second sign or inside.
On the front of the building, everything on their menu painted in big letters.
Vienna Beef logos. Bonus: The Vienna Beef poster with the gigantic hot dog on Navy Pier.
Two line cooks with their heads down, working like crazy, radio turned up.
Amazing meats and fries, unbelievable cheap, incredibly fast.