Richard Cahan presents 'The Lost Panoramas'

Thursday, March 22, 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

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By Community Editor

For the past century, a massive collection of glass-plate negatives has been carefully stored. Stored so well, they have been largely forgotten… Until now.

Taken between 1894 and 1928 to document the reversal of the Chicago River and its effect on the region, the photographs depict Chicago a few decades after the Great Fire, and show the Illinois River before additional water from Lake Michigan doubled its size and transformed the surrounding landscape forever. The reversal inundated downstate farms, eroded shorelines, submerged whole islands, and filled backwater streams, marshes, and lakes. These lost panoramas offer an entirely new view of Chicago and the region and spark new questions about the future of Chicago River.

Few of these photographs have been seen before. Discovered by photo sleuths and authors Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, they are more meaningful now than ever, connecting us to a world gone by and helping us better understand ours today.

Admission: $10. Each ticket can be redeemed for $10 off the cover price of The Lost Panoramas the night of the event. Book signing to follow. For tickets visit: 

Contact: Jessamyn Miller, 708.383.8873,

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Posted: March 22nd, 2012 4:11 PM

I work in the Montgomery Wards building, so i was curious it this was a picture of it, but according to this link below, the picture shows the State Street bridge, a mile away, being built.


Posted: March 22nd, 2012 12:37 PM

It looks like the Montgomery Wards catalog warehouse in the background @ Chicago and the River. The foreground might be what is today Erie Park and where there was once a bridge crossing (now a patio for Erie Cafe).

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