Last week, we showed you what Chicago looked like when the Cubs were in the 1918 World Series. But what did this beautiful city look like the last time the Cubs WON the World Series? In some ways, the City of Big Shoulders of 1908 would look very familiar to us, despite there being 108 years between us. Here are a few of the things you might see if you were magically transported back in time.
The old City Hall building at 121 N. LaSalle would soon be demolished, but in the first half of 1908, it was still standing strong in all its impo beauty.
It was an impressive and monolithic building in the French Renaissance style. According to the Chicago Architecture Foundation, this was actually the sixth City Hall Chicago had erected. Unfortunately it had serious structural problems. According to the CAF, “In 1905, the building’s foundation sank six inches, which caused a gas pipe to rupture and cause an explosion that blew the roof off the building.” And so in 1908, it would be demolished in favor the one we still use today, with only these old photographs to remember it by.
In August of that year, just prior to the building’s demolition, baseball fans crowded around the public scoreboard with bated breath to learn that it would be the Detroit Tigers the Chicago Cubs would face in the World Series.
Meanwhile, on the west side of the city, a park known as Aero Park played host to a National Ballooning Convention. That park would eventually go on to become part of Midway International Airport.
At 15th and Wabash, the third Chicago Coliseum played host that year to the Republican National Convention, where the party nominated William Howard Taft, who would go on to be elected President in November.
The city had other elegant meeting spaces at the time as well. The Congress Hotel had a luxurious dining room where large groups often met.
And if you were somehow able to transport yourself back to Chicago in 1908, you would find at least one stretch of Michigan Avenue almost entirely unchanged to the present day. The Chicago Athletic Association building, having just undergone a significant renovation, looks almost identical to its 1908 self.
But of course the most exciting thing about 1908 was the Cubs’ World Series win. Because Wrigley Field would not be built for six more years, the Cubs played in what was known as West Side Park, located on the block bounded by Taylor, Wood, Polk and what is now Wolcott. (The site is now part of the University of Illinois at Chicago.)
However, on October 14 of 1908, the Cubs were playing in Detroit when they won the fifth game of the World Series, becoming the last Chicago Cubs team to win the World Series. Until now?