Chicago History In Postcards





 Evangelical Lutheran
 Methodist Episcopal
 Misc Churches

 Amusement Parks
 Misc Buildings
 White City


 Court House / Penal
 Misc Govt
 Post Office

 Hotels A - B
 Hotels C - F

 Hotels G - K
 Hotels L - O
 Hotels P - S
 Hotels T - Z

 Private Homes



 Misc Views


 Douglas Park
 Garfield Park
 Grant Park
 Humboldt Park
 Jackson Park
 Lincoln Park
 Washington Park
 Misc Smaller Parks


 Old A-C
 Old D-J
 Old K-P
 Old Q-Z
 New A-F
 New G-K
 New L-R
 New S-Z

 Buildings A - M
 Buildings N - Z
 Small Businesses

 College / University
 Institutes / Vocational
 Public Schools

 Stock Yards

 Street / Aerial
 Downtown Streets A-M
 Downtown Streets N-Z
 Residential Streets

 RR - Commuter / El
 RR - Misc
 RR - Stations / Depots

 Water Scenes
 Navy Pier

 World's Fair

 Contact  Us

 Links/New Cards























       Welcome to our Chicago postcard history website. Our purpose is to be an archive of images of historic Chicago buildings, featuring primarily postcard views and a few blotters and early illustrated billheads. At this time, we cover mostly buildings built before 1950. Geographic areas covered will be the City of Chicago proper, and its historic neighborhoods. Suburbs of Chicago are not usually covered, although one or two may slip through! We feature many categories, listed on the buttons to the left. Most postcards will be pre-chrome. There are a few exceptions to the above conditions, specially where we thought the contrast between old & new architecture was striking, or we had new views of an old building. There is also a section of newer restaurant cards, at the end of the restaurant page, which was added in response to viewer requests.

    We offer these images for postcard collectors, historians, researchers, and anyone else interested in the way Chicago used to be. You will be able to research buildings, landscaping, parks, interior design, architecture, and social practices as well. There are nearly as many interior scenes as exterior, since they give a unique look at life as it was actually lived.

    This site is a work in progress, and may never be finished! Please be sure to read all the information below to get the most use from our website. And be sure to check the Links/New Cards button for the latest additions.

                                      How to find images

PLEASE NOTE: This website will be extremely slow and frustrating if you have dial-up Internet access!! There are a LOT of images to load. If you need to research more than a very small amount, we suggest you find a computer with high speed Internet access.

   Finding images is quite simple. To see a category sorted by the name/description of the building, simply press a category button on the left side of this page. If a button is the only one in its group, that button will take you to a page of small thumbnail photos with titles and more information. If there is more than one button in a group, the top button is only a title button. You will need to select a subcategory button lower in the set, to see the thumbnail page.

   When you get to the thumbnail page, the images will be sorted in roughly alphabetical order. Click on any thumbnail image to see an enlarged version of the image. Click your browser's BACK button to go back to the thumbnails. Click it again to get back here to the front page with all the category buttons. It is just that easy! If you find a link that does not appear to work, wait a day or so and check it again. If it is still broke, let us know. We may be in the process of updating the site, and that usually takes place over a few hours.

   Some categories will have many more images than others. Check back in a couple months time for additional images.

Be sure to search several categories for the buildings you want to see. We may have put them into a different category than you would.  Always check the category called Street / Aerial Views. Be persistent, it may take some digging to get what you need, if we have it. Everyone categorizes images differently. If all else fails, contact us!

    If you find a card that you need to see the back of, you can email us and we will try to help you. At the present time, we are not including detailed historical information such as architects, construction / destruction dates, styles, etc. Our focus on this site will be the images. There are other sources for most of that information. We will have links to a few websites that help with Chicago research, as we find them. Press the LINKS button at the bottom of the column of buttons.

    Another way to find more information about most buildings, specially churches, is to Google the name. Be sure to enclose the complete name in quotes. Many times, you will find the address, current photos, history, and the actual website of the church.  

    You will find that a few buildings have many views included here. This was done for several reasons. We thought you would enjoy seeing the way different artists portrayed them. Many times they do not agree! For those of you doing serious research, the more images you have to study, the more likely you can deduct which view is the way it really was. Many cards also show different angles and surroundings, as well as the relationships between other nearby buildings.

                                      You can help us!
     If you find that we have any wrong information listed about a postcard, please contact us. We always appreciate having the most correct information possible.

                               Our personal collection

   A word of explanation about our personal collection. Being more historians than collectors as such, we set a goal early on to get at least one image of as many Chicago buildings as we could. There are some buildings that may have had hundreds of postcards published of them over the years. We donít try to get more than one, unless we find one that covers an unusual angle or some other interesting feature. We also have a few illustrated billheads in our collection. Mostly, these are of very early buildings that we either have not seen as postcards, or suspect were never made.

     You will also note that real photo postcards are scarce in this archive, except for the Restaurant category, which we have expanded due to popular demand.

    None of the postcards on our site are for sale. Please DO NOT contact us about the values of our cards, or about values of cards in general. That is not our focus, either here, or in our collection, and we are not experts on values. You will note that many of the cards are not in mint condition, like many collectors want. We are more interested in the historic value of the image than the postcard itself as a collectible.

     We are, of course, always in the market for cards ourselves. If you have any to sell which depict unusual buildings in Chicago or neighborhoods, and you do not see them on our website, you can email descriptions to us and we will let you know if we are interested.

     If we are interested, we buy cards on the approval system. You send the cards to us, and if we want them, we send the agreed upon amount back to you. If for some reason we are not interested after viewing the card, we send it back at our expense.

    Thanks for taking the time to check out our website, and for reading this far! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.