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Chicago’s Forgotten Turner Halls: Turnverein Vorwaerts

John Morris 13 comments

John Morris/Chicago Patterns

[John Morris/Chicago Patterns]

At Roosevelt and Western is Vorwaerts Turner Hall, a castle-like structure which stands as one of the few remnants of a former German neighborhood on the Near West Side.

There were once dozens of Turner Halls all over Chicago, but Vorwaerts is one of only two that remain in the city. This mysterious looking building is a living artifact of a group that began in Chicago 164 years ago, and continues the same traditions today.

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19th-Century Chicago Addresses on the West Side

Gabriel X. Michael 2 comments

Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns

Before Edward Brennan developed the comprehensive 8 blocks-to-a-mile address system in 1909, Chicago street addresses were disorganized and confusing, being based on three distinct divisions of the city created by its surrounding waterways of the Chicago River, its branches, and Lake Michigan. Lake Street (the first street platted in the village of Chicago) was the city’s original dividing line between north and south but east and west designations depended on which side of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan you were located. Continue reading »