Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Accidental Tourists

I was going to write about spring in the city -- but then I found all of these really cool old postcards of Humboldt Park posted by Pat Sabin. Of course, as I was digging around on the internet I picked up some more interesting details about my neighborhood. (I live about a block from the park and enjoy spending time there. I posted pictures after a snowstorm in December.)

Currently, with the recent thaw and rain, much of Humboldt Park is under about 6 inches of water -- but soon the gardens will be lush again. The air has that fresh bite to it, the sun is shining, the mermaids in the lagoon are getting frisky. Well at least, I am. Below is a picture called "City Residents Relaxing in Humboldt Park" circa 1910. Jens Jensen was a landscape architect and he really did some brilliant work preserving space for nature throughout Chicago, including Humboldt Park ---- which was named for Alexander Von Humboldt. He was a Prussian explorer and naturalist who seems to have visited almost everywhere EXCEPT Chicago.
Here is another old postcard. I don't know what that building is. If anyone can figure it out, please let me know. (An old picture of the boathouse follows.) It turns out the boathouse is a national landmark.

According to the folks at Jazz Age Chicago, this train station near my work once connected the western sections of the city. If they routed the trains that way, more people could take them, alleviating some of our traffic problems. Also, I wouldn't have to drive AND I could get to work in less than half an hour. Below the post card you'll see a picture of the el line I really need -- it used to run through the neighborhood from Bucktown/ Wicker Park. It's now defunct because the CTA deemed it unprofitable back in the Fifties. I found the info and image on Chicago-L.org. Those people have collected tons of history and photos.


twit said...

Great pics.

Defunct - I like that word.

La Sirena said...

Yeah, thanks ... I really had a lot of fun with this post.

Defunct is fun to say, too.

Laurie said...

I love old postcards.

La Sirena said...

Yeah... old pictures (and paintings) are too much fun!