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March 28, 2020

Beautiful Vintage Photos of Chicago in the 1950s by Mildred Mead

Mildred Mead, born in 1910, was a professional photographer, both freelance and by contract. During the 1950s, she captured the everyday life of the people throughout Chicago, such as recorded activities associated with the Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference, Michael Reese Hospital, the University of Chicago Planning Unit, the Maxwell Street Market, city parks, the lakefront, the Hyde Park 57th St. Fair, and public housing and urban redevelopment projects.

Below are 37 beautiful vintage photographs of the city taken by Mead, courtesy of the University of Chicago Library:

Alley in back of the row houses on Outhouse Alley, 35th Street and Honore, Chicago, June 1950.

In a doorway of a home a little girl plays with her dolls, Chicago, July 1950.

Boys cooling off in the summer heat, Chicago, 1950s.

Masser Hotel, Chicago, 1950s.

Minerva Ave, Chicago, 1950s.
People sunbathing at the Southside Lakefront, Chicago, 1950s.

South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, 1950s.

Central National Bank on Halstead and 14th Street, Chicago, 1950s.

Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference sponsored street cleaning, Chicago, 1950s.

Group of teenage boys lounging in front of a building, Chicago, July 1951.

Children playing and chanting, Chicago, July 1951.

Disabled veteran and his rattlesnake in a street show performance, Chicago, April 1952.

Kids on bars at Chicago Housing Authority Victor Olander Homes, 1952.

Ed the Policeman helping a woman cross the street, Chicago, May 1952.

Boys playing in an alley, Chicago, 1952.

Mr. Clifton Smith poses with his stick, Chicago, November 1952.

City paralyzed by ten to twelve-inch snowstorm, Chicago, December 1952.

Street cleaning at Park Manor, Chicago, February 1953.

One deteriorated, one renewed, Chicago, 1953.

Chicago Water Tower at night, 1954.

Sidewalk art exhibitions at the 57th Street Art Fair, Chicago, 1955.

Ward Platt hangs his work at the 57th Street Art Fair, Chicago, 1955.

People attend the 57th Street Art Fair, Chicago, 1955.

Gypsies at the Maxwell Street Flea Market, Chicago, 1955.

Smoking man poses with a doll at the Maxwell Street Flea Market, Chicago, 1955.

Man playing guitar at the Maxwell Street Flea Market, Chicago, 1955.

Panties vendor at the Maxwell Street Flea Market, Chicago, 1955.

Customers choosing souvenirs at a vendor at the Maxwell Street Flea Market, Chicago, 1956.

People at the Chicago Art Fair in Lincoln Park, 1955.

An artist and her paintings at the Chicago Art Fair in Lincoln Park, Chicago, 1955.

Storefront clearance in a building that burned, Chicago, December 1955.

South State Street in a snowstorm, Chicago, 1956.

Two women on street during a snowstorm, Chicago, 1956.

People passing by on State Street, Chicago, 1956.

Michigan Avenue in the snow, Chicago, 1956.

Union Railroad Station, Chicago, 1956.

Waiting for the Illinois Central, Chicago, 1956.


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