Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The north branch

Of the Chicago River, that is. This shot is taken from the confluence of the three main branches of the river. I think I was standing on Wacker Drive looking roughly north and a little west. The bridge that's open is the Kinzie Street railroad bridge (apparently it's no longer in use and is now locked permanently in the open position) and the lighter colored closed bridge is West Kinzie Street.

Not a typical view of Chicago. This is the North Branch of Chicago River in 1996.

The curious thing about the Chicago river is that engineers reversed its flow in the nineteenth century by building the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. This connected Chicago and the Great Lakes to the Des Plains River and on to the the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Before that, the river drained into Lake Michigan. Now it flows the other way, except for the North Branch that continues to flow southward.

Confused? Wait until you see the river dyed green on Saint Patrick's Day.

This is the eleventh in a brief series of photos that I took while visiting Chicago in June 1996. They're 35mm color slides that I've scanned and digitized.


  1. Have I told you lately that I love your photos?!


  2. Confused doesn't begin to describe me.

  3. I wonder if Wm J. Cassidy had a say in how the river flowed?

  4. The building opposite the bridge seems to have some different time periods going on. Late 19c, early 20c cornice with altered windows and an added roof story?

  5. I just re-read your description of your experience at The John Hancock Center. Now I MUST go because if they treat me the way they were treating people when you were there, there will be a major outbreak of hostilities.

  6. bettyann, awwwww. ;)

    cubby, it's normally my general state of being.

    mark, I'm not sure he was around then.

    diogenes, I haven't got a clue. It does look like it's been renovated, but I'm not sure about an added story.

    starman, oh, that might be fun to watch!


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