Researching Chicago’s Streets Over Time

Census enumeration page showing residents for South Ann Street

As we learned in my last post, the tireless efforts of Edward Brennan simplified the street names and house numbers of Chicago. These street name and number changes cause confusion for researchers. Tracking down an address can be difficult if you do not have a modern street name. Some streets have had many name changes. Pulaski […]

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Not Lost? Thank Edward Brennan

Street signs showing the intersection of State and Madison Streets.

We owe our cohesive street naming and numbering system to Edward P. Brennan. Brennan was the chairman of the City Club of Chicago's Committee on Street Names. His vision included three changes: The house and building numbering system should tell you where you are relative to the Loop. Streets should be named the same throughout […]

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From Chaos: Chicago’s Street System

Aerial view of Chicago's northside light by street lights at night

In this age of GPS, having a sense of direction is often a vestigial skill. In some parts of the world, wayfinding is often practiced with regard to mountains – landmarks that you can see and tell if you are going toward, away from or alongside of. Chicago has sometimes been said to be the […]

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The 30 Days of Biking Challenge

Bicyclist with an umbrella

This April marks the fifth year of the 30 Days of Biking Challenge. Pledge to ride every day in the month of April, whether it be down the driveway and back or a full century (100 miles). This is the second year I've pledged and, as anyone living in Chicago knows, the weather in April […]

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