Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : Water in Chicago
Essay: People and the Port
Photo Essays:
Solitary Lives
City of Bridges
Chicago Harbors
Essay: Using the Chicago River
Photo Essays:
Goose Island
Indiana Dunes
Essay: Sanitation in Chicago
Photo Essays:
The Sanitary and Ship Canal
Water-Related Epidemics
Essay: Water and Urban Life
Photo Essays:
Houses and Water
Shoreline Development
Growing Up Along Water
Indiana Dunes

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Steel Mills on Sand

Building Gary, Harrison Street and 7th Avenue, 1906

The steel company and its subsidiaries built homes as well as commercial structures, expecting to sell or rent the residences to future steel mill employees. Many of the homes built on land owned by the steel company proved to be financially out of reach for most laborers in the mills, who instead purchased or rented less expensive homes built further south of the lakefront plant.

See also: Company Housing; Gary, IN; Iron- and Steelworkers; U. S. Steel

Building Gary, Temporary Workers' Housing, 1907

The construction company that was building the mill did not provide housing for all of its own workers. Laborers instead erected tents and shacks along the Grand Calumet River near the construction site, where they and their families lived for several months during the first year of construction.

See also: Building Trades and Workers; Gary, IN; Housing Reform; Housing Types

Panoramic View of U.S. Steel Plant, Gary, Indiana, 1936

The expansive mill was separated from the town of Gary by a channel constructed to narrow the Grand Calumet River, and then relocate it from its path through the middle of the plant site.

See also: Calumet River System; Gary, IN; Iron and Steel; U. S. Steel

Selling Gary, Real Estate Sales, 1908

In 1908 and 1909 the first ships laden with ore docked at the harbor and workers lit the fires beneath the blast furnaces and began the production of steel at the Indiana Steel mill in Gary. Meanwhile real estate agents used images associated with the steel industry to sell land in the city, advertising the hulking mills not as noxious neighbors but as indicators of the region's economic potential.

See also: Calumet River System; Gary, IN; Real Estate

Land Sales in Gary, Indiana, n.d.

Planners of Gary, Indiana had expected that the city would grow east and west along Fifth Avenue, allowing employees to live close to the plant that stretched the same direction along the lakeshore. Instead, as this real estate poster reflects, the city expanded southward, perhaps because workers chose not to live so close to a mill that operated 24 hours a day, and because land to the south (further from the lakeshore) was less developed and less expensive than desirable shoreline real estate.

See also: Gary, IN; Industrial Pollution; Real Estate; Subdivisions

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