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
High Culture
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Chicago Historical Society


The Chicago Historical Society was founded in 1856, but its first building and virtually all of its early collections were lost in the Great Chicago Fire. This structure, the Society's third home, was built on the same site as the first two, at the northwest corner of Dearborn and Ontario Streets. After the Chicago Historical Society moved to its current location at Clark Street and North Avenue in 1932, this building went through a series of owners and uses, though the original name remains inscribed in stone over the entrance.

See also: Chicago Historical Society; Lincoln Park

Newberry Library


The Newberry Library, which was completed in 1892, is a private research library open to the public. Like the old Chicago Historical Society building pictured above, it was designed by Henry Ives Cobb. It faces Walton Street and Washington Square Park, occupying the entire block between Dearborn and Clark Streets. It was constructed on the site of the mansion of Mahlon D. Ogden, one of the very few buildings in the path of the Great Fire that survived.

See also: Architecture; Bughouse Square

Art Institute of Chicago


Burnham and Root designed the previous home of the Art Institute of Chicago, which opened in 1885 at 404 South Michigan Avenue. The Chicago Club took over that building when the Art Institute moved into its current home on the east side of Michigan Avenue at Adams Street in 1892. It was designed by Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge. This building hosted several meetings in conjunction with the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, and in July 1909 it was the site of a special display of the Plan of Chicago .

See also: Art Criticism and Scholarship