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An online and photo-panel exhibit created by the Newberry Library for the cnetennial of the Plan of Chicago

Rerouting the Metropolis

At a young age, Chicago situated itself as the commercial hub of a network connecting the agricultural Midwest, the frontier far west, the industrial east, and beyond. This was its claim to fame and the cause of its growing pains. To relieve congestion, beautify the city, and encourage orderly growth, architects Burnham and Bennett tackled not only the city, but the region as a whole in their Plan of Chicago. Of primary importance was improving transportation routes-of all modes: rail, road, and water.

"Chicago. Plan of the Center of the City, Showing the Present Street and Boulevard System," Plan of Chicago, plate CXI. Chicago History Museum