5630 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60659
While most Chicagoans know about Daniel Burnham and “the City Beautiful” movement, few recall that in the same year the 1909 Plan of Chicago was published, Chicago also regularized its street address system, beginning a long (and still unfinished) effort to make street names and numbering consistent across town. Edward P. Brennan, an early Rogers Park resident, was the freelance urban planner and political gadfly who made State and Madison Streets the East-West and North-South axes of our grid and worked to make Chicago a “City Logical” where old-timers and newcomers alike could make their way around town easily. In this Living History Program, Bill Savage, himself a Rogers Park native and life-long resident, will relate the story of Brennan’s work and illustrate how exceptions to the rules of Chicago’s grid teach us important historical lessons.
Bill Savage is Professor of Instruction in the English Department at Northwestern University, where he teaches the course “The Chicago Way”: Urban Spaces and American Values. His scholarship and research focuses on the construction of American identity in the dynamics of urban public and semi-public spaces, from ballparks to saloons. He has published widely on many Chicago topics, and is a popular Living History program speaker who last spoke to us on the history of drinking establishments in Rogers Park and West Ridge.