Welcome to CornerSpotter, Curbed's new 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 on Friday.
Nearly every price spotter came within spitting distance with their informed guesses. We didn't expect you to pinpoint the intersection, because it's been blotted from the map. In the postcard (and above), you're looking east on Maxwell, at the corner of Peoria. Today, this slice of Maxwell is a footpath through sports fields, while Peoria is interrupted for a mile or so by UIC. The postcard depicts the famed "ghetto" market, one of many pejorative terms of the day for the regular gathering of pushcart thrift vendors in a predominantly Russian Jewish neighborhood. The market went strong for 30 or 40 years, through the 1920s. Around that time, the area was turning over to blacks escaping the South, and there was a brief symbiotic span whereby Jewish shopkeepers would invite black musicians to play outside their shops. Thus, the area became a blues hotbed. If you're looking for a taste of the old character Halsted and Maxwell retains a lot more of it, in a theme park kind of way. The immediate blocks are gentrified and cater to the large student population. But authentic ethnic communities are all around, in Pilsen, Little Village, Chinatown, and Little Italy.
·Hint: Thrift and Swindle Prevailed In This Intersection's Heyday [Curbed Chicago]
·CornerSpotter [Curbed Chicago]