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A Chicago Street Scene – South Cottage Grove Avenue

In looking through our archives at some of our unidentified images recently, we came across this street scene photograph that appeared to have been taken in a fairly good-sized city during the late 1950s. The newest vehicles seen in the photo appear to be a Cadillac and a Ford, both of which are 1957 models. After investigating the names on the signs that are visible it appears that this was taken on South Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago.

The Tivoli Theatre, which first opened in 1921, was located at 6328 South Cottage Grove Avenue, until it was torn down in the summer of 1963. On the other side of the street can be seen Stotland’s Furniture and appliances; at Forgotten Chicago that building is listed as having been designed by architect B. Leo Steif for Spiegel Furniture and it was located at 6344 South Cottage Grove. If any of our readers can tell us more about this location or about any notable vehicles on the street, please send us a comment. More details can be seen in the two photos below if you enlarge them.




9 responses to “A Chicago Street Scene – South Cottage Grove Avenue

  1. The Cadillac is a 1956 “60” Special. The Schlitz truck is a White 3000 and behind it is a Divco bread truck. The scene is typical of Chicago shopping areas. Just west of this scene is 63rd & Halsted, the buiest shopping area in Chicago until the newer malls popped up. As for the 57 Cadillac, it is almost hidden at the south bound lane curb.

  2. Looked at this location on and the picture appears to have been taken looking south from the CTA Green Line elevated station “Cottage Grove.” The two buildings between the station and the Tivoli are still standing. Everything on the other side of the street is gone, except for few buildings in the middle of the next block.
    PS: The ’57 Caddy would be in the NORTH bound side of the street.

  3. A bit late to this, but…
    This is August, 1957 as the Chicago Tribune lists the two movies, ‘Delicate Delinquent’ and ‘Bernadine’, playing at the Tivoli during the first two weeks of that month.
    As stated, most of the buildings on the left (east side of the street) are still standing except the Tivoli itself, whereas most on the west side of the street are now gone.
    This was a major center of nightlife with no less than 30 nightclubs, seven movie theaters and five ballrooms in a one-mile radius. The building with the arched window behind the Stotland’s Department Store sign was the Pershing Hotel. Beyond that, the tall marquee with circular top was Midway Chevrolet.
    The west side of Cottage Grove was also a car dealership row, with dealerships and service stations dating back to the ’20s including Hudson-Essex, and in the ’60s, a Triumph and other foreign marque importer.

    • Hi Mike, you have a “photographic memory”! 🙂 While surfacing one evening I stumbled upon a picture of the Midway Chevrolet sign in a close up. I recall reading your post above and thought you might get a kick out of seeing it. Just click on or copy paste this url to follow: http colon //chicagoareafire dot com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/2-11_6538_COTTAGE_GROVE_11-24-59-BFc.jpg

  4. And if I’m correct, the building on the street corner immediately in front (forward in the photo) of the Tivoli is the old Strand Hotel.

  5. Does anyone remember the old WVON radio commercial?
    Go to Stotlands for your furniture
    Go to Stotlands for clothing too
    If you don’t have the cash money
    They’ll arrange easy terms for you
    Go to Stotlands

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