Well, this Cornerspotter proved a lively affair. Four or five different locations were ventured as the North Side spot represented in a 1900 'L' photo. Only one can be correct and it's Orleans & Institute Place, just north of the Chicago Avenue Brown Line station. A century ago, there were no color-coded lines— this was the just-opened Northwestern Elevated Railroad running as far as Wilson Avenue in Uptown. An immediate choke point, a control tower was placed at the spot where inbound track width halved. That now happens further north near Armitage, where the Red and Brown trains meet. See, we told you not to worry about the buildings in the old photo— the low-rise neighborhood is almost entirely gone, replaced by loft buildings, Moody buildings, and vacant Cabrini lands.
·Hint: A Control Tower Marks a Former Pinch Point in 'L' Traffic [Curbed Chicago]
·Chicago Tower [Chicago 'L'.org]