Sight-Seeing in Chicago – A view of Chicago’s Yesteryear

Chicago Photographs
Photo of Chicago Sight Seeing Bus from 1908

Friedman Fine Art and are pleased to present this historic Black and White photograph of Chicago.

Sight-seeing in Chicago is a must. If you are able to walk the historic streets of our beautiful city you will be able to see the rich history portrayed in the architecture and art that makes Chicago such an attraction to millions each year.Once belonging to the Algonquin Indians, the land that we know as the Chicago River began to be invaded by the French people and thence formed a treaty to live peacefully together. After seeing the onion plants that grew around the Chicago River, the French named the city Chicago after the french word shikaakwa, which means, “stinky onion”.

From there, wars and battles ensued and English migrants began moving in and creating trade and business. The city began to grow rapidly through the means of trade and port businesses and the discovery of rich, fertile lands south and west. Through the ports and canals, Chicago rose to popularity as well.

The fire of 1871 wiped out most of the original structures of that time because most everything was made of wood. When re-building the city, fire codes were put into place and the Jeffersonian grid city system was developed. From there, The World’s Colombian Exposition of 1893 drew in 27.5 million visitors affecting the art, architecture and design of the nation. From there, new technologies came into play including the skyscraper. Here is where the starting point of all the buildings came into full force using the newest technologies of the time.

Throughout the 19th and 21st centuries, this area of land has gone through wars and fires, floods and destruction, to the rise of skyscrapers and power. One of the top cities in the United States, Chicago is home to many diverse styles of art and architecture and people. It is a city to visit again and again.

Click here to purchase this and other historic photographs of historic Chicago.


Photographs of The Historic Merchandise Mart in Chicago Illinois

Old Chicago Pictures
Historical Picture of Merchandise Mart Chicago 1930s

Friedman Fine Art and are pleased to present this gorgeous unique historical photograph of Chicago.

A building so grandiose that expands 4,000,000 square feet, Chicago’s Merchandise Mart was one of the world’s largest buildings when it opened on May 5, 1930. When the property was listed for sale, the Marshall Field family came in and scooped it up with a vision in mind.

On the border of Orleans, Wells and Kinzie Streets, the massive structure had its own zip code until 2008, when it spanned the surrounding area. In its first few years wholesale goods businesses occupied the space as well as interior design vendors and other trades. Other businesses have called Merchandise Mart home including the Shops at the Mart, the Illinois Institute of Art and the the Chicago Sun-Times.

Through the vision of Marshall Field and the architectural firm, Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, the “city with a city” became the main focus throughout the construction process that started before the Great Depression in 1928 upon completion in 1931. This building was revolutionary in that the machine age was upon them through the use of transfer elevators, conveyor belts, boats and railroad.

Designer Alfred Shaw completed the ornate features of the building in an art deco style that shows in the windows, corners and edges of the structure that reduces and disguises the bulkiness of the raw materials. With majestic terrazzo floors and marble piers as well as embossed bronze trim used in the storefronts, the businesses inside were allowed to personalize their individual space.

Although slightly expanded and renovated over the years, this striking work of architecture still stands as the thirty-sixth largest building in the world. Over 20,000 visitors a day walk the enormous corridors, view the showrooms, attend trade fairs and grab lunch at the food court.

Now owned by Vornado Realty Trust, this gem of the city is known worldwide and is treasured by the city of Chicago.

If you would like to purchase or view other contemporary or historical photographs of Chicago please follow this link Chicago Photography and Chicago Photographs.