Dumpster Flicks: Chicago ’74

My neighbor passed away in late 2013, and around this time last year: her kids began cleaning out the house to sell it, renting two contractor dumpsters and tossing things left and right. Needless to say, I went to town, here. The neighbor was an elderly woman whose husband passed less than 15 years beforehand – he was a pro photog, and part of the local historical society; so among the things tossed were books of negatives and slides.

Among all the images and artifacts of local interest I rescued: I came across a few scratchy negatives showing downtown Chicago during an unknown parade in 1974. St. Patrick’s or Memorial Day, maybe?

State Street 1974

Being taken by one of his then-young kids: the composition was kind of wonky, and few images were really worth scanning. These three caught my attention, however. Shown above is a view from just south of State and Monroe; starting from the distance one can barely make out the Chicago Theatre marquee, Marshall Field’s (acquired by *shudder* Macy’s in 2006), Wieboldt’s – a Chicago-based department store chain that went belly-up in 1986, Carson Pirie Scott’s former flagship store (building now houses a Target and professional space), and the Palmer House hotel.

WBBM-TV 1974

This second view shows a van for Chicago’s CBS affiliate, WBBM-TV. I’m told the “TV2” branding was very short-lived in the 70s, and by this point the newscasts were already called Channel 2 News. In the background is Stuart’s, a womens apparel chain I know little about beyond their former presence in Dixie Square and Belvidere Mall.

By the end of this decade: the troubled State Street would be closed off to automobile traffic, and carved up by the city of Chicago into the ill-fated State Street Pedestrian Mall, which was ultimately aborted in the late-90s and is once again open to all traffic.

Logan Square 1974

Our last view takes us over to Logan Square, with some people waiting for the bus in front of the former Woolworth at Diversey and Kimball. Note the lunch counter, the old-logo Jewel Food Store bags, and Goldblatt’s in the background. It also almost looks like the kid on the left is being scolded for dropping a bag or something.

This Woolworth is one of the few that converted to, and remains open to this day as a Foot Locker (same company). Goldblatt’s is now a Gap Outlet.

(Images by: David Plyman)
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