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Old 09-11-2009, 01:59 AM
 
4,828 posts, read 5,378,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sukwoo View Post
Again, I want to point out that there were viable careers for uneducated and poorly educated working class folk back then. That's not nearly as true today. Low unemployment and prospects for a bright future do wonders for social cohesion and orderliness.
Bingo! This is first and foremost THE biggest issue facing us today. Most other issues are merely a symptom of this.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cubssoxfan View Post
I am currently reading a book about the history of Chicago. The affluent neighborhoods and the slums have historically shifted around. Just think that South Prairie avenue was millionaires row 115 years ago. Then it shifted to the near north side (Gold Coast) and then much of it to the suburbs (North Shore). Transportation was the main driving force behind this.The suburbs started early in Chicago's history as the horse drawn Omnibus and then the steam train allowed people to commute from far flung suburbs like Kenwood, Morgan Park, Lakeview, Austin and Jefferson. Most of the suburbs were annexed. Some like Evanston and Oak Park decided to stay on their own and "blocked" further annexation. As the immigrants and especially first generation improved their economic standing, they would move farther out for affordable homes away from the hustle & bustle of the city. Sound familiar?
Even though Chicago has lost population, the metro area has continued to grow tremendously as Chicago and the suburbs become more intertwined. The book shows photos of downtown and surrounding area in 1880's with comparison photos 20-50 years later. In many instances the response of "I would hardly recognize it" would be accurate. My memory bank only goes to the late 60's and early 70's. I think downtown is cleaner and greener than ever. Millenium Park, the relocation of LSD, straightening of the S curve, museum campus, revitalization of Navy Pier, the neighborhoods to the near west and south sides re-blossoming are all improvements. The book just started talking about the migration of African Americans to the south side at the turn of the last century and how the railroads and discrimination kept them "boxed" in. It also talked about slums and decrepit conditions on the near west side-think Hull House and "The Jungle". It will be interesting to learn more about the south and west side since I am less familiar with those areas.
So the perspective of history certainly has me seeing Chicago a lot differently than before. Problems I thought are new and unique to our time often have a longer history than we think.
Ok lecture over, y'all can wake up know.
Very true. Although some things never change. Cabrini Green sits in a neighborhood that used to be called "Little Hell" at the turn of the century because of the crime and disreputable reputation.

Also, the immigration issues are similar. Todays Hispanics are what the Irish and Italians were of the early 20th century.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
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Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
Bingo! This is first and foremost THE biggest issue facing us today. Most other issues are merely a symptom of this.
I wondered about that too. With the loss of higher paying manufacturing jobs on the West Side, South and Southeast side. Steel mills, stockyards,Hawthorne works, Spiegel and many others gone and probably not replaced completely with equal number of new jobs. At what point does the City make it economically cheaper for manufacturing and warehouse jobs to relocate to the city. Cheaper also has to compensate for what I see as more costly transportation because of the over-burdened infrastructure of rail and highway compared with being located closer to the edge of the area. Take I-55 warehouses in Will Co. as an example.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubssoxfan View Post
I wondered about that too. With the loss of higher paying manufacturing jobs on the West Side, South and Southeast side. Steel mills, stockyards,Hawthorne works, Spiegel and many others gone and probably not replaced completely with equal number of new jobs. At what point does the City make it economically cheaper for manufacturing and warehouse jobs to relocate to the city. Cheaper also has to compensate for what I see as more costly transportation because of the over-burdened infrastructure of rail and highway compared with being located closer to the edge of the area. Take I-55 warehouses in Will Co. as an example.
These low-skilled jobs are gone forever. They've been replaced by technology and/or third-world labor (Mexico, China, India, etc.) The US had a temporary monopoly on manufacturing after WW2 since all its competitors were basically rebuilding from rubble. Hopefully, we won't ever be in another situation like that again. If transportation costs increase (ie Peak Oil), these centrally located areas may again have a geographic advantage. Maybe.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:06 PM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
3,088 posts, read 2,821,600 times
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Originally Posted by 5Lakes View Post
That's because you are probably only considering the downtown and some well-off north side areas, which I agree are the best they have ever been. Back in those days most of the city was full of stable middle-class neighborhoods, many of which have degenerated into a slum-like existence that you will find them in today. This video was taken just before white flight kicked into high gear.
I think you're suffering from rose-colored hindsight, the kind of nostalga for "the good old days" that weren't quite as good as memories seem to serve.

Read some Nelson Algren, much of which is set in the same era as that movie, and then tell me about the "good old days" in Chicago.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:18 PM
 
Location: MIA
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Originally Posted by At1WithNature View Post
The Chi before rust and Jesse Jackson...

Absolutely stunning.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:20 PM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
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Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
The Loop theaters are what is missing today. There were just so many theaters in the pre-TV era.
I'll grant you this ...
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:34 PM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
3,088 posts, read 2,821,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
Why does everyone think that the 1920s buildings look dirty?
...
Probably because they were dirty. Between the vastly higher particulate pollution, which affected all buildings, and the higher incidence of acid rain, which darkened and degraded limestone, buildings in until the 1980s WERE dirtier.

You can still see examples of this on some old buildings in the Loop that haven't been cleaned. In fact, on the Lasalle-Wacker building's western face you can see a stark before and after example, with the north half being cleaned, vs. the south half being uncleaned (you can see it in the second picture in the link). Or check out the Bankers Building on Clark at Adams, which is still filthy.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:42 PM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
3,088 posts, read 2,821,600 times
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Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
World class? You talk like a Lexus commercial. Actually I wouldn't doubt that Chicago was a more important city back when it was the center of American meat packing and products used all over the world were manufactured here.
Well, we were the fifth largest city in the WORLD in 1900, and eighth in 1950. Now we're about 25th.
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:53 AM
 
4,828 posts, read 5,378,570 times
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Probably because they were dirty. Between the vastly higher particulate pollution, which affected all buildings, and the higher incidence of acid rain, which darkened and degraded limestone, buildings in until the 1980s WERE dirtier.

You can still see examples of this on some old buildings in the Loop that haven't been cleaned. In fact, on the Lasalle-Wacker building's western face you can see a stark before and after example, with the north half being cleaned, vs. the south half being uncleaned (you can see it in the second picture in the link). Or check out the Bankers Building on Clark at Adams, which is still filthy.
I see your point. Yes, soot does dirty buildings.

But its hard to say that the little decorations, relief/statues embedded on the sides, the Greek columns, the old Roman type, etc. all have a real charm.

They just need restoration.

The good old days weren't necessarily better, but its great to have that stuff there for historic context, and to film movies/TV that takes places in the earyl 20th century.
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