A Selection of some the Coolest Chicago Maps

Posted on September 19, 2018 by Phillip Thompson | 0 comments

Here's a collection of what I think are some of the coolest maps of Chicago I've ever seen. One of the things I love about the city is just the way it was planned and has a beautiful, orderly pattern of streets that radiates out from a core, right where the seeds of the city were first planted. It's on view from the beginning, in the early maps. Later cartographers and artists took liberties in presenting the cityscape in different ways, highlighting certain elements like new transit lines, parks and boulevards, and modern aerial views.

NOTE 2: 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.

Chicago Maps: Early Settlement. pre-1800-1833

early chicago settlement map

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

early chicago birds eye settlement view

Chicago in 1820. Chicago Lithographing Company, 1867. Chromolithograph on paper. Library of Congress. Image source

early chicago map

Map of Chicago in 1812. Image source

early chicago map 1830

"Map of Chicago, Incorporated as a Town August 5, 1833." Walter Conley & O.E. Stelzer, 1933. Image source

early chicago map streets

 The original 1830 subdivision by the Illinois and Michigan Canal Commissioners. Image source.

Chicago Maps: Growth and Industrialization until the Fire. 1857-1871

vintage chicago map

Chicago In Early Days. 1779-1857. Kurz & Allison, 1893. Source.  


chicago vintage map

Lithograph by Christian Inger, based on a drawing by J.T. Palmatary. Published by Braunhold & Sonne. 1857. Source

chicago early map

Chicago, Chicago Lithographing Co., 1868. Image source

chicago birds eye map

Currier & Ives.; published in Harper's Weekly (1 August 1874) Image source

chicago fire map

Richard’s Illustrated and Statistical Map of the Great Conflagration in Chicago. 1871. Image source

Chicago Maps: Post-Fire. 1874-1893

chicago birds eye

The City of Chicago / sketched & drawn on stone by Parsons & Atwater. Currier & Ives, publisher. 1874. Image source

chicago map

Guide map of new Chicago and suburbs. Author Stine & Clark,1889. Source.

chicago view

"Bird's eye view of Chicago, 1892." Roy, Peter. Image source.

chicago vintage map

"1893 Grand View of Chicago." Treutlein, Th. Eagle Lithographing Co. Reynertson & Beckerman, 1893, c1892. Image source.

chicago worlds fair view illustration

"Bird's eye view of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893." Rand McNally and Company. Image source.

chicago birds eye map

Library of Congress illustration of the official birdseye view of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois in 1892. Image source.

Chicago Maps: Into the 20th Century. 1898-1916

chicago birds eye vintage

Bird's-eye-view of the business district of Chicago. Poole Brothers, c1898. Image source. 

chicago rail map vintage


plan of chicago 1909

chicago vintage map

chicago birds eye map

Chicago Maps: Post-Depression into mid-Century. 1930-1958

chicago annexation map

chicago aerial 1930s map

chicago gangland map

chicago birds eye map

chicago map

chicago ethnic map

chicago vintage rapid transit map

chicago aerial view

Chicago Maps: Modern Interpretations

chicago hyde park panorama map

chicago super mario map


chicago map

chicago map

chicago map

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