Early Chicago, 1833–1871
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives

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December 16, 1856


In 1837, William B. Ogden had served the city as its Democratic mayor. He had a personal interest in the development of the city because by vocation he was a real estate investor. This sketch depicts a housing development he envisioned on Ontario Street near the lakeshore. The streets and sidewalks were to be raised primarily to avoid the problem of shifting sand in the area. The housing was to be first-class and the street design was modeled after similar construction in Brooklyn, New York, and Edinburgh, Scotland. Ogden's plans were approved by the council.

Points to Consider

Who was W. B. Ogden and what was he proposing?

Which kind of people were to live in this type of housing?

In which division of the city was this property located?

Why would it have been desirable to raise the street above ground level?

See Related Document:

12, 14, 24, 32, 39, and 44

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