Maxwell Street: Then & Now

For 100 years Maxwell Street Market was the heart of the Maxwell Street neighborhood. A vibrant daily market, it was visited by 70,000 shoppers at its peak. Through its diverse mix of immigrants, vendors, musicians, and characters, produced many of Chicago’s beloved traditions like Chicago blues, the Polish Sausage, and the Chicago style hot dog. Despite efforts by preservationists, the market was moved to Canal Street in 1994, and the Maxwell Street neighborhood, along with nearly all of its architecture was demolished to make room for the University of Illinois at Chicago’s redevelopment plan. I dedicated this project to William Lavicka, a tireless historic preservationist in Chicago who fought to save Maxwell Street and passed away at age 67 on April, 18th 2011. My goal was to honor the rich history of Maxwell Street and engage the current residents of the area. In total, I distributed the stories of 66 former residents, musicians, and vendors throughout the area.