From alleys to aldermen, Chicago's fortunes tied to charts and graphs





Maps don't just describe the landscape. They can transform it.

It's because of a map that Chicago has 1,900 miles of alleys, the most in the world. Maps were key in making the lakefront beautiful -- and in helping to ruin some neighborhoods.

A 172-year-old map is at the center of the ongoing dispute in Chicago about building the new Children's Museum in Grant Park.

Maps have made the careers of some Chicago alderman -- and destroyed those of others. Indeed, Paul M. Green, a professor of policy studies at Roosevelt University, says his mentor, the late Milton Rakove, a University of Illinois at Chicago political scientist, often observed, "One mapmaker is worth 500 precinct workers."

Maps have shaped Chicago. And still do.




comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list