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August 10, 2021

35 Amazing Photos Capture Street Scenes of Chicago in the 1950s

Mayor Richard J. Daley, a Democrat, was elected in 1955, in the era of machine politics. In 1956, Chicago conducted its last major expansion when it annexed the land under O’Hare airport, including a small portion of DuPage County.

Chicago in the 1950s

Between 1950 and 1960 Chicago’s population shrank for the first time in its history, as factory jobs leveled off and people moved to the suburbs. Poor neighborhoods were razed and replaced with massive public housing that solved few of the problems of poverty and violence.

These amazing color photos were found by Mark Susina that show what Chicago looked like in the 1950s.

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago, 1955

Chicago Federal Building seen through the alley from LaSalle Street. Rookery Building is on the left. The Federal Building was demolished in 1965, circa 1955

Eli Bates Memorial Fountain, Lincoln Park, Chicago, circa 1955

Lake Shore Drive "S" Curve, Chicago, circa 1955

LaSalle Street Bridge, Chicago River, Chicago, circa 1955

Michigan Avenue, Chicago, circa 1955

Our Savior Lutheran Church, Chicago. The church is at 6099 North Northcott Ave; it is now the St. Thomas Orthodox Church, circa 1955

Our Savior Lutheran Church, Chicago. The church is at 6099 North Northcott Ave; it is now the St. Thomas Orthodox Church, circa 1955

State Street, Chicago, circa 1955

Woman on Wacker Drive, Chicago, circa 1955

Mom and daughter on a Chicago street, circa 1957

Motorola Sign at Chicago Lakefront, circa 1957

Navy Pier and Chicago skyline, circa 1957

Wells Street Bridge, Chicago, circa 1957

Wells Street Bridge, Chicago, circa 1957

Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower, Chicago, circa 1957

Auditorium Building, Chicago, circa 1958

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago, circa 1958

Cars on a Chicago street, circa 1958

Chicago Loop at night, circa 1958

Commonwealth Promenade Apartments, Chicago, circa 1958

Looking north from the Prudential Building towards Streeterville, Chicago, circa 1958

Man and daughter on a Chicago street, circa 1958

Michigan Avenue at night, Chicago, circa 1958

Randolph Market, Chicago, circa 1958

Chicago Chinatown field trip, 1959

Chicago Chinatown field trip, 1959

Chicago Chinatown field trip, 1959

Chicago skyline, circa 1959

Chicago Yacht Club, June 1959

Chicago, August 1959

Chinatown, Chicago, 1959

CTA Station, Chicago Loop, circa 1959

Michigan Avenue, Chicago, circa 1959

School Buses at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, circa 1959




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