The Wandering Lion
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The other day I had an appointment for my annual physical and I also scheduled an oil change for my car in the same neighborhood. I had plenty of time on my hands waiting for my car and I also had my camera. Here's what I saw.

North and Clybourn

They call this North and Clybourn, but it's really the three-way intersection of North Avenue, Clybourn Avenue and Halsted Street. Many people consider this part of the Lincoln Park neighborhood. I don't, but it's close enough so that the difference is mainly semantic.

This is an old neighborhood, one that began shortly after the great fire of 1871, so it has history. But it's also a new neighborhood, as you'll see if you visit the gallery that accompanies this short article.

First Came the El

The first rapid transit into the neighborhood opened on May 31, 1900, when the section of track from the Loop to Broadway and Wilson began operation. This was an entirely elevated structure built on a steel superstructure. It was and remains a part of Chicago's "el." The stop at Halsted Street provided access to the North and Clybourn neighborhoos.

Next Came the Subway

The subway didn't arrive until 1943 and features a portal just south of Armitage Avenue that swings in a wide curve to pass beneath Cybourn Avenue on its way to the Loop. The first station on the underground section became the North and Clybourn Station. With it, the old Halsted Street station on the El was no longer needed and it was removed although the wide space between tracks serves as a reminder that it was once there.

A Comprehensive History

A comprehensive or even remotely authoritatively accurate history of this Chicago neighborhood is beyond my abilities to provide. There are numbers of sources both at libraries and on the internet for the curious. You might try Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs: A Historical Guide from the University of Chicago. The Newberry Library is also an excellent source of information as is the Chicago Public Library Neighborhood History Research Collections.

The Walking Tour

You're invited to take the Walking Tour of the North and Clybourn neighborhood. The tour encompases an area that extends about two blocks in all directions from the North and Clybourn Station, so it is by no means comprehensive. It just filled the time I had to kill waiting for my car so I could makd my doctor's appointment. It is concerned mainly with commerce, retail, night-life and transportation, but you'll also find a little bit about culture (theater) and living (high-rise apartments) so it probably has something for everybody.

Click here to take the tour. Enjoy!