Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : The Plan of Chicago
The Plan of Chicago
Chicago in 1909
Planning Before the Plan
Antecedents and Inspirations
The City the Planners Saw
The Plan of Chicago
The Plan Comes Together
Creating the Plan
Reading the Plan
A Living Document
Bird's Eye View of Chicago in 1857
Return to "Planning Before the Plan"

This large and magnificent lithograph of Chicago in 1857 by Christian Inger is based on a drawing by I. T. Palmatary and was published by Braunhold & Sonne. Its detail is astonishing, and includes the haymarket that once stood in the middle of Randolph Street west of the Chicago River (and gave the area the name Haymarket Square); the 1853 Courthouse (the name for the city hall) bordered by LaSalle, Randolph, Clark, and Washington Streets; the warehouses and heavy traffic along the Chicago River; and, near each other on the North Side, both the first Holy Name Cathedral and St. James Episcopal Church (the former completely destroyed by the fire and replaced on the same site, the latter severely damaged and rebuilt). Of particular interest in terms of future planning is the absence of what would become Grant Park. The Illinois Central Railroad (note the locomotive speeding along the trestle the company constructed as a breakwater in exchange for obtaining this route) and its facilities instead dominate the downtown lakefront.