Passenger lines heading into the sunlit skyline

This site introduces the Commercial Club’s Plan of Chicago of 1909, written by Daniel Hudson Burnham and Edward Herbert Bennett, one of the first major city plans in the United States.

The authors of the plan aspired to upgrade Chicago into a magnificent and world-renowned city full of commerce, wealth, and health.  The plan focused on six areas:

First. The improvement of the Lake front.
Second. The creation of a system of highways outside the city.
Third. The improvement of railway terminals, and the development of a complete traction system for both freight and passengers.
Fourth. The acquisition of an outer park system, and of parkway circuits.
Fifth. The systematic arrangement of the streets and avenues within the city, in order to facilitate the movement to and from the business district.
Sixth. The development of centers of intellectual life and of civic administration, so related as to give coherence and unity to the city.

Please visit our Google Earth page for geographic context.

This website was produced by Nolan Nicaise, Zhou Mengmeng, Silvia Tanga, and Brenda Pike of Tufts University’s Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Program.

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