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.
This 1900 photo predates the CTA by a half-century but the "L" system had already been unfurling across the city for a decade, its lines under private operation. The above capture has us looking north along a just-opened branch about a mile north of The Loop. Naturally, much of the building stock in the margins of the frame is today altered and obscured. Of greater interest is the control tower at the bend in the tracks. Our sources tell us this marked the site of a vicious choke point for train traffic to and from the Loop, since the number of tracks was cut from four to two heading inbound. The bend is still here but the tower came down years after being rendered obsolete by the permanent rerouting of one major line. Eventually, two of the four tracks were removed from service. The track widening now occurs further north. Time to name the below-track intersection!
·Cornerspotter [Curbed Chicago]