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Hint: A Place of Discovery, Rising in a Humbling Environment

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Welcome to CornerSpotter, Curbed's regular 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.

It's not easy to picture what the above construction grew to become, but we'll tell you it's a pretty monumental structure built by a self-aggrandizing entity. It took on a muted Gothic appearance blended with a bit of Art Deco, a testament to that style's influence at a time when Art Nouveau and Art Deco were kicking into high gear in Chicago. Architectural continuity and legibility were values that mattered most to the larger area surrounding this site (a rigidity loosened with recent projects), so Gothic wasn't about to be tossed by the wayside. The building carries on today in its original role, as a place for education and conservation. Anyway, we've probably said too much. On with the show!