In the early 1900s Lake Shore Drive was extremely close to the waters edge of Lake Michigan, as seen here in Lincoln Park, circa 1905. Chicago would end up extending itself eastward with landfill in a counterattack on Lake Michigan's persistent erosion of the shoreline.
"Both a boulevard and one of the nation's first superhighways, Lake Shore Drive arguably showcases Chicago like no other street does. The campaign for a waterfront boulevard occurred in 1899, when Potter Palmer asked for a street improvement in front of his mansion at 1350 N Lake Shore Drive. The Tribune reported, "Mr. Palmer said he would not object to putting a sea wall farther out into the lake and having a strip of land filled."
City fathers considered that newly created acreage ripe for development, but not Montgomery Ward, the merchandising genius who created the mail-order industry. A contemporary of Palmer's, he fought numerous lawsuits to keep the lakefront "forever open, clear and free."The result is a Lake Shore Drive flanked by beaches, parks and athletic fields, instead of the warehouses, piers and industries that line the waterfronts of other Great Lakes cities, such as Milwaukee and Cleveland." - Chicago Tribune
Original Photographer: Behm, Hans; 8x10 Glass Plate Negative
Walking onto the campus of The University of Chicago, Illinois - I certainly did not anticipate the scope, complexity, and amount of detail that the Chicago campus had to offer those that appreciate architecture. Immediately upon walking up - I was fixated on the intricate carved motif's lining the archway of the entrance. Such quality work, to stand up to well over 100 years of natural and unnatural elements! I felt like I had just stepped into Hogwarts, and my head naturally turned to a swivel, as there were so many structures with similar style of architecture. I knew that his would be a fun series (The University of Chicago, Illinois Series) - with all the intricate design, it would prove to be another challenge to blend.
This first one is the entrance to this remarkable campus - the timing in which we timed the new people coming through the entrance - turned out to be a critical element in the final photograph. The man on the far left is actually split between two men, one walking in the same exact spot that he was walking in back in the 1900's, as you can see the bottom half is fading into his blue jeans!
As you can see, the original photograph was taken at about 20 odd feet in the air - so that was the dilemma I ran into - how do i get up that high to reproduce this photograph? Well it just so happens that the scaffolding that holds the light projectors (for the light show on Fremont's archway) was exactly in the perfect spot...it couldn't have worked out more perfectly! However this scaffolding was blocked off by a number of barriers. After some consideration, I decided to just go for it, and illegally scale this scaffolding without any security seeing me - and sure enough, I only needed a few minutes, and it worked out great!
A view across Grand Avenue (now Wisconsin Avenue) of the Milwaukee Public Library. To the left, the base of the Midsummer Festival Monument can be seen, and the George Washington monument is visible on the far right.