Wednesday, July 15, 2015

George W. Jackson, Inc.

From a 1910 Advertisement from Historic Bridges
George W. Jackson was the superstructure contractor for the Cermak (22nd) Street Bridge, the heaviest bascule highway bridge in Chicago with 2434 tons of steel. In addition to building several bridges in Chicago, Mr. Jackson built many tunnel-like structures throughout the United States such as conduits, sewers and the Chicago Tunnel Company's network of freight tunnels under downtown Chicago.
He was one of the pioneers of building structures with concrete. But as this plant shows, he could build with steel as well. The picture illustrates that in 1910 some rather large boats traveled north of Cortland Avenue.

Historic Bridges
The above picture was extracted from this advertisement. You should be able to read the text if you follow the picture's link. It specifies the address of The Bridge and Steel Department as 2023-2059 Elston Avenue. But a second advertisement lists the address of the Steel Works as "804-808 Elston Ave.  80-90 Mendel St." and indicates the steel plant covers an area of 109,612 square feet. I checked both addresses (assuming the numbering plan for Elston has not changed) in 1938 aerial photos and neither site seems to have these buildings nor the dry dock.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP, 800 Elston
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP, 2000 Elston

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Note the tank in the upper-left corner of the "800 Elson" photo with an arrow painted on top. It reads "CHICAGO MUNICIPAL AIRPORT 10 MILES." This is the second really tall tank I have discovered in Chicago. The two round things in the upper-left corner of this picture are probably constant-pressure gas tanks.

Since I could not find the plants in the 1938 photos, I looked at the maps in a 1915 Smoke Abatement Report.The these two maps cover the 2000 Elston Avenue area. First of all, we see that Ashland stopped at Cortland Street. And Mendell Street stopped soon after it turned further west at the plant. The building is split between the two maps. I was able to make out "STEEL PRODUCTS" in the label on the building.
pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report, p. 311
pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report, p. 312

Google's scan
A problem with scanned books is that if the words are unreadable, zooming in makes things worse because the picture just becomes a bunch of big pixels. I checked the Google scan to compare it to the scan to see if it was any better. I think it is a little worse.

1 comment:

  1. Hello
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