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A Look Back at Chicago in the Mid-1990s Through these Stunning Photos

Chicago transformed itself from an old Rust Belt town into a global metropolis in the 1990s. After becoming a popular destination for those new employees, Chicago gained a lot of population in the 1990s, the only time a Midwestern metropolis did so in the 1950s.

A Chicago native who would become more famous than Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama won his first election, to the Illinois State Senate in 1996. He began a career that would erase the city’s reputation for provincialism and corruption.

Steven Martin took these amazing photos of the city of Chicago in 1996.

#3 Ontario Street, looking west from in front of the River North McDonald’s, Chicago, February 1996

#6 An old apartment building in the River North neighborhood, corner of Dearborn and Erie, Chicago, February 1996

#15 El train turning on the curve from Wabash Avenue to Lake Street in the Loop, Chicago, February 1996

#20 Landmark skyscraper condominiums on the north bank of the Chicago River as seen from Wacker Drive, February 1996

#23 Looking toward the John Hancock Center and Water Tower Place from Sheraton Hotel, Chicago, February 1996

#26 Michigan Avenue looking south from Chicago River Bridge.

Michigan Avenue looking south from Chicago River Bridge.

Three landmark skyscrapers, the 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Carbide & Carbon Building, and the London Guarantee Building, are visible from left to right, February 1996

#31 The Art Institute of Chicago. Bronze lion statues flank the main entrance on Michigan Avenue, July 1996

#32 The Water Tower place is the white skyscraper and the John Hancock Center is the tall dark skyscraper, taken from Navy Pier, Chicago, July 1996

#38 Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower, landmark skyscrapers anchoring the north bank of the Chicago River at Michigan Avenue, taken from Wacker Drive, February 1996

Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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