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Libraries of Chicago

(L) 1953 Curt Teich card, from the 'Famous Chicago Attractions' series.
(R) 1943 Curt Teich multiview card that includes the Newberry and the John Crerar libraries.

Facts from the CPL history page; also, the Chicago Tribune's Sidewalks 

column, by Rick Kogan.

CPL was established in April of 1872, and its first home was in a water tank which survived the Great Fire.
There was no established library, and Chicago was sent many books in the belief a library was being restored.

This iteration was built in 1897. Its architects were Shipley, Rutan, and Coolidge. 
Replaced by the Harold Washington Library Center. Preserved by the late Maggie Daley to become the Chicago Cultural Center.

Unevenly divided.
Public Library - Oeffenliche Bibliothek'

'I will'
Mailed 1911.

V.O. Hammon card, mailed 1910.

New York Postal Card Frontage:
One block on Michigan Avenue,
between Randolph and Washington Sts.
Contains 323,510 volumes.
The City's free circulating and reference library.

Sometimes glitter makes everything better.

Sometimes it doesn't.

Used as an advertisement for Miss Nora Solon of the Victor Ladies Tailoring Co.

Curt Teich American Art card.

American Colortype postcard marks the appearance of a skyscraper in the background.

1942 Curt Teich linen finish postcard.

So, of course Tichnor had to be all contrary.

Dexter Press chrome postcard, showing many tall buildings.

Library Interiors

Interior view, Chicago Public Library

Head of grand staircase.

Dome, delivery room.

Post-1962 view of the staircase head.

(L) Now called the circulation room.

(R) Reading room.

Blackstone Branch

Card by P. Schmidt.


On S. Lake Park Avenue. CPL's first branch location (1904, renovated 1980).

Memorializes Timothy Beach Blackstone, first president of the Union Stockyards.

Morgan Park (Walker Branch)

(L) Photo postcard, probably by C.R. Childs.

(R) Rotograph postcard.

Built by George Clarke Walker in 1889-1890, during the height of Romanesque architecture.
Administered by U of C between 1894 and 1914. Upon annexation of Morgan Park, it became CPL's third branch. Reconstructed and renovated in 1995.

John Crerar Library

Michigan Blvd. and Randolph St., Chicago

From card back:

One of the world's greatest scientific Libraries, containing over half a million volumes and pamphlets devoted principally in the social, physical and medical sciences and their applications. This great structure adds to the beauty of the development of the new Michigan Boulevard Link, connecting the north and south sides of Chicago.


Once housed in Marshall Field's, the Library was in the building shown from 1921 to 1962, when it moved to the modernist IIT campus.
Now housed on the University of Chicago campus and is, by court decree, open and free to the public.

Newberry Library

Gruss Aus postcard, marketed to German immigrants.

Another vintage 'I Will' card, 
post-Columbian Exposition.

Unattributed, ca. 1907.

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