Chicago Almost Traded Their Perfect Street Grid System For A French Hub Model
Ask a Chicagoan where something is or how to get somewhere and they will invariably offer you a very distinct path that's predicated on Chicago's very orthogonal grid system.
Where's the pancake house?
Oh, dat's up at 45 west and "tirty-tree" north, about 4 blocks up and 3 to the right.
They have programmed the city's coordinates in their brain and everything just turns into a big game of Battleship for them.
And rightfully so. The Chicago grid system is nearly perfect and one of the best in the world.
It has inspired countless YouTube videos and other documentaries. This one is one of my favorites.
That whole guy's channel is great, give some of his other videos a watch.
But it almost wasn't this perfect grid system that everyone from Chicago knows and loves.
I stumbled upon this video today while I was procrastinating from doing other things and if you have 20 minutes to burn, you can do a lot worse than this video.
City Builder explains the reconstruction efforts of the city after Mrs. O'Leary's cow burnt down a third of the city. Or was it caused by a cow? There's some disagreement.
No matter how it started, it needed to be rebuilt. Several plans were considered, and this one:
It's a very Washington D.C. or European vibe with the spoked streets radiating out from a central building. A little bit too French for my tastes and while it might be pretty, it doesn't allow for easy navigation.
There's a deep history to a lot of what Chicago is today, hop in that YouTube rabbit hole and find out some more stuff.
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