Welcome to CornerSpotter, Curbed's weekly game in which you, fair readers, consult archival streetscape photos or postcard illustrations to identify the building(s) and/or location presented. Time to tap that reservoir of urban minutiae and flaunt it before your fellow readers. Fire away in the comments, and we'll reveal the correct identity and backstory tomorrow.
The above fountain dates to 1906, its predecessor to 1890, and the park in question to 1842— a donation of the American Land Company to a fledgling Chicago. The city made an investment in shaping it into a recognizable and usable park in 1869. Houses and churches soon clustered around the space. It was and still is a great place to grab a soapbox and speak your piece. But the heyday of such outspokenness was a century ago, when crowds would gather around to hear the "crazies". On weekends, the small park was saturated with "Bug Clubs" and "Beehives". Ah, what it must've been like before television! One could make a name for himself as a soapboxer in this time, and a little income too. Alright, that oughta be enough to get the guesses pouring in.
·CornerSpotter [Curbed Chicago]