Maxwell Street Photo Collection
Richard J. Daley Library
801 S. Morgan St., Room 3-330
Chicago, IL 60607
Extent: .25 Linear Feet
Maxwell Street is a famed street on Chicago's Near West Side. Crossing Halsted just south of Roosevelt, it developed as an open-market during the late19th and early 20th centuries when Eastern-European Jewish immigrants populated the surrounding area. As the neighborhood changed during the Great Migration towards an African-American population, the Maxwell Street market became one of the best places to go to hear blues musicians. The cultural heritage of the neighborhood boasted such features as the filming site of the 1970's television show "Hill Street Blues", an early stage to musician and bandleader Benny Goodman, and the setting for the 1980 film "The Blues Brothers".
In the 1990s, the University of Illinois at Chicago, located to the north of the Maxwell Street neighborhood, expanded its campus south and the Maxwell Street Market was relocated by the City of Chicago to Canal Street. As a result of negotiations with the Maxwell Street Historic Preservation Coalition, the facades of 13 buildings on Halsted, Maxwell and Roosevelt were relocated to new buildings on Maxwell Street and several existing buildings were adaptively re-used. The neighborhood today houses University student residence halls, academic buildings, parking facilities, retail establishments, and residential housing.
Scope and Content Note:
This collection offers pre-gentrification images of the original Maxwell Street before the relocation of the market and the demolition of most of the buildings. The collection includes twenty snapshot photos and negatives taken by Chicago-area author Gary Buslik in August 2000.