Intersections: Views Across Chicago Opens at CAF

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Intersections: Views Across Chicago Opens at CAF

CHICAGO.- Long before Chicago’s busses were commonplace, streetcars transported Chicagoans between neighborhoods and the Loop. Intersections: Views Across Chicago is a new Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) exhibition open daily at 224 S. Michigan Avenue until January 5, 2008. The exhibition consists of vintage photographs depicting Chicago’s intersections as they appeared in the 30s and 40s.

“We are thrilled to present this glimpse into a Chicago of the past,” said Lynn Osmond, CEO and President of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. “CAF is all about the built environment and developing this exhibition has given us a chance to showcase a significant part of a big piece of the built environment from another era.”

During the 1930s and 40s, the Chicago Surface Lines streetcar company documented every major intersection in Chicago. Using large-format cameras, company photographers captured hundreds of neighborhood and downtown streetscapes. These remarkable images portray an elegant city, with cops on the beat, taut trolley wires, wide-open spaces, buildings lathered in terra cotta, vibrant nightlife, second-floor chop suey joints, and grand movie palaces.

Today, the photos are part of the CTA archives. None of the intersection photos credit a specific photographer but the crisp black and white images demonstrate the skill and patience of an experienced photographer.

A new book, Chicago: City on the Move, by Michael Williams, Richard Cahan, and Bruce Moffat, features images selected from the CTA archive, including the images featured in Intersections. The book is published by CityFiles Press and available at the Chicago Architecture Foundation store.

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