Unveiling the honorary street designation of the corner of State and Madison as Edward Brennan Way. - Chicago Tribune
Chicago address system
Chicago address system
Long Lost relative of MPHS Alumni Nan Brennan Honored
This was fascinating -- I had no idea. And you might as well claim him as kin because at some juncture on the old sod he probably was. Also anybody who might be able to contradict you is dead.
I hope you sent this to Craig Hullinger. It's the kind of thing he likes to put on his many blogs.
Very interesting. I did not know this story.
In 1972 I drove an ambulance from Chicago Heights. The lack of a competent address system was very frustrating. You would be driving to a location described as the third house past the oak tree past the red barn on Locust Street. We would often be lost with our sirens on asking people for directions.
In 1975 the addressing system in Will County was also chaotic. Will County is the county just south of Cook and DuPage Counties, extending from Indiana to west of Joliet and to Aurora. It includes parts of Park Forest, Tinley Park, Orland Park, Lemont, Plainfield, Bolingbrook and Naperville.
The State of Illinois created a program where they would pay for the readdressing of the County. They wanted a metric system starting in the southwest corner of the county and working north and east.
This was of course silly for Will County. We would have ended up with our largest address numbers against Cook and DuPage County.
I was working as a planner for Will County and we decided to work on improving the address system. We considered seven different plans for rationally addressing the County. One was the State plan, one would start with the center streets of the County seat, Joliet, one was the Chicago address system, and one was the DuPage County system which was built from the Chicago system but strangely configured to reduce the system to a shorthand of the Chicago system.
I preferred the Chicago system. People in Chicago and Cook County understood it and it was in place in a few communities like Mokena. Most of commerce was with Cook County and using the same system they were familiar with made sense to me.
My boss was from DuPage County and recommended the DuPage County system. And that is what the County decided on.
And then my boss departed and I became County Planning Director. And I convinced the County to adopt the Chicago system.
We slowly and laboriously changed the entire County over to the system. Each town of course had the right to retain their current system or adopt the County / Chicago system.
So it still a bit confusing but much more rational than before.
The advent of 911 and GIS computerized mapping and GPS made things much better. You can usually find addresses pretty quickly using your trusty GPS or phone. And ambulances can usually find their patients quickly.
Craig Hullinger AICP