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Chicago Patterns: Neighborhood storytelling through photography

Lost On Franklin Boulevard: Sacramento Square and Garfield Square

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View of original northwest corner of Sacramento Square, now part of the West Town Academy, from the Sacramento Boulevard east service drive.

Sacramento Square

This square is situated at an important transition point in the Chicago boulevard system, where Humboldt Park’s Sacramento Boulevard to the north connects into Garfield Park to the west via Franklin Boulevard. There is little green space at this turning point for the boulevard system, historically overrun by intersecting roadways and industrial traffic. It only retains one of its original corners, the southwest at Whipple Street and the Franklin Boulevard south service drive, and has some nondescript, while pleasantly shady, clusters of trees and shrubs.

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500 North: A Look at Franklin Boulevard

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Viewing east on Franklin Boulevard from Kedzie Avenue, with Sacramento Square in the background. Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns

Chicago’s “Emerald Necklace,” our citywide boulevard system, was established in 1869 when the state legislature created governmental organizations to manage the development and maintenance of Chicago’s desperately needed new parks. One of these, the West Side Park System, was organized to create parks on Chicago’s farmland borders (presently west of Western Avenue) to spur middle- to upper-class residential development migrating out from the city center, and serve its growing inner-city population with recreational “pleasure grounds.”

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Pilgrim Baptist Church and Kehilath Anshe Ma’ariv Synagogue

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Andi Marie/Chicago Patterns

Andi Marie/Chicago Patterns

In order to learn about this landmark, we must first look back at the beginning of Kehilath Anshe Ma’ariv (K.A.M.). Founded in 1847, Congregation of the Men of the West K.A.M. Isaiah Israel is the oldest Jewish Congregation in Chicago.

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Get to Know an ‘L’ Line: Green Line, Lake Branch

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Take a virtual ride on the Lake branch of the CTA Green Line from Clinton to Harlem.

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Moving Stairs, Chicago’s Initial Subways

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CTA subway postcard front

In this week’s edition of Flashback Friday, a postcard featuring Chicago’s first subways, which opened in the early 1940s.

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