To the left is a vintage picture of Al Capone in a 1930’s courtroom. Although known as a famous Chicago gangster, Alphonse Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York 1899. As a child Capone was involved in ‘kid gangs,’ the Brooklyn Rippers and the Forty Thieves Juniors, and quit school at the age of 14 as a sixth grader. Years later, as an opportunist Capone moved to Chicago to take advantage of illegally smuggling, brewing, and distilling of alcohol during the age of prohibition as well as bribery and prostitution; however, he is famously known for his alleged involvement and orchestration of the Saint Valentine’s day Massacre when members of a rival Northside were executed in a garage of what is now known as the Lincoln Park Neighborhood.
To hide his illegal activities, Capone set up headquarters around the city that was later known as “Caponeville” at the Anton and Hawthorne Hotels where he pretended to be an antiques dealer and doctor. In 1931 Capone was incarcerated in tax evasion charges and sent to Alcatraz federal prison where he discovered he had neurosyphilis. Eight years later in 1939 he was released on parole and passed in 1947 from cardiac arrest.
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Still one of Chicago’s most famous beaches, Oak Street Beach is located on North Lake Shore Drive.
Once a dumping ground to a man named George Streeter and a place for squatters to reside in the late 1800′s, the city eventually claimed the land back after some legal and sometimes violent battles. From there the city filled in the sand to create this popular retreat. This part of the city became known as Streeterville.
After some years, the beach became a popular social spot in the warm summer months. Throughout the years, this beach has become a popular place to relax, hang out with the family, grab some food and even rent bicycles.
Vintage pictures from different eras of the Oak Street Beach are shown here and available for purchase from Friedman Fine Art’s Historic Chicago Collection.
After the infamous Chicago Fire, Daniel Burnham had big plans for the brand new Chicago one of which being for the city to have five piers around the city. However, when the Burnham Plan of 1909 went into production only one pier was built, Municipal Pier. After two years and a final price tag of $4.5 million, the historic Municipal Pier opened in 1914. However, as the United States entered World War I, the pier was transformed into a home for the Red Cross, regiments of soldiers and barracks for new recruits. In 1927, Municipal Pier had a name change to what it is known as today “Navy Pier” in honor of the Navy who personnel served in World War I. For the next 19 years Navy Pier served as the home of naval pilot’s orientation and practice.
In 1946, the University of Illinois used the pier as an offsite facility for a two-year undergraduate program until 1965 when it became a public entertainment space it is known as today.
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Once referred to as Polk Street station, the historic Chicago landmark Dearborn Street Station was one of six local Chicago train stations in 1883. Designed by Cyrus L.W. Eidlitz, Dearborn Station located on the corner of Dearborn and Polk opened May 8th 1885. The building is comprised of pink granite and pressed red brick forming a three story structure with a gargantuan twelve-story clock tower with train platforms that were once located behind it. Constructed at an estimated cost between $400,000 and $500,000, Dearborn station hosted 25 rail lines with 122 trains and serviced approximately 17,000 passengers daily.
On May 2, 1971 the station was closed to consolidate all of Chicago’s stations at the nearby Union Station. As a part of the city’s urban renewal efforts, the area surrounding Dearborn Station (train tracks and shed) was transformed into housing and the Printers Row district while the Station now operates as a series of retail spaces and restaurants and business offices. Pictured is a vintage image of the original Dearborn Station with its classic Romanesque Revival styled pitched roof.
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