A few weeks ago, a 1940s-era 32-minute film extolling the virtues of Chicago came to light. If you haven't had a chance to look at it, you really should make the time. There's not a lot of Uptown in it, but it's startling how many scenes around the city look familiar, and how many are unrecognizable:
- A beautiful waterfront and skyline -- without the Sears Tower, the John Hancock, or the Aon Building.
- Winding, busy Lake Shore Drive -- pedestrians walking calmly along the sidewalks just three feet from the cars with no barrier to protect them.
- Personally, the biggest change for us was hearing Chicago boasted about as a manufacturing and production mecca, showing massive factories on the West Side, the South Side steel plants, and the unforgettable visual of thousands of penned animals awaiting their fate at the stockyards.
You can see the film on Vimeo, and read about it in The Atlantic. It's a rare opportunity to experience Chicago as we would have if we'd lived right where we do now, but 70 years ago.