Howard Street

From HistoryWiki

7600 N., from 1306 W. to 7761 W.

This street was named for Howard Ure (1896-1984), who was a developer of the Howard Avenue Trust and Savings Bank in 1922. He was a Director and, for a while, a Vice President of the North Shore National Bank of Chicago from 1953 to 1973. Ure’s family donated the right-of-way for Howard Street to the city.

Howard Street was once known as Howard Avenue. According to the Chicago Public Library's e-mail response, "Howard Avenue between Lake Michigan and Maple St. was changed to Howard Street on 1/14/1895. The apparent reason was standardization. There were several other changes dealing with Howard in the same ordinance."

A History of Howard Street

This history of Howard Street was in the 2009 Annual House Tour Booklet.

Howard Street was once wild prairie. An early settler and dairyman, John F. Ure, had a dairy farm in the area we now know as Birchwood bounded by Rogers Avenue to Calvary Cemetery and Paulina Street to Clark Street. Mr. Ure donated the right-of-way for a street, which he asked be named for his son, Howard Ure. Thus, Howard Street was born.

Howard Street as a commercial center began with a vision from the area’s developer, Charles William Ferguson. “In 1910, I became interested in the Howard Street district and bought quite a lot of land,” Mr. Ferguson later recalled. “The reason I thought the area could be something was because it was a center of transportation in a local sense. The Northwestern Elevated Railroad Company had a station at Howard Street and the Chicago and Evanston streetcars came to Howard at Clark Street.” Indeed, the “L”—in those days referred to as the “Northwestern L” or “Northwestern Elevated”—had been extended to Howard in 1908. At that time the tracks ran at ground level and would not be elevated until 1922, when the present elevated structure was built.

Although the transportation infrastructure was in place, the area suffered from a marked lack of infrastructure and services otherwise. The area known as “Germania” along Howard Street and north of Howard was part of Evanston.

Geographically isolated from Evanston because of Calvary Cemetery to the north and Lake Michigan to the east, the area was not getting the improvements it needed. Thus, Charles William Ferguson and several other early developers moved to have the area annexed to Chicago, which took place 1915.

Once the area joined with Chicago, the boom began. Charles Ferguson’s vision proved to be profitable, and the value of real estate on Howard shot upwards.

He sold property at Howard and Paulina in 1918 for a handsome price of $18,000; the new owner was able to sell the same land in 1925 for $350,000. Similarly, Ferguson sold land at Howard and Ashland for $1,800 that later sold for $70,000 in the early 1920s.

When the Northwestern Elevated Railroad Company opened the Howard Station in 1908, the population of the area grew dramatically. The neighborhood’s suburban quality faded as developers built apartment buildings, especially along the “L” tracks in the eastern portion of the community. Taking advantage of the Howard “L” stop, Ferguson constructed a movie palace, the Howard Theater Building, next to the station in 1918. Located at 1621 W. Howard Street, and one of Chicago’s earliest movie theaters, the attraction brought visitors and new residents, which brought more development.

The Norshore Theater was built in 1926 just west of the “L” station at 1749 W. Howard Street. With a capacity of 3,500, the opulent theater had an ornate lobby and was known for its doll collection in the ladies’ lounge. The Broadmoor Hotel, just two blocks east of the Howard “L” stop, was built in 1922.

Howard Street’s nightlife scene was substantially aided by the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, when Rogers Park, along with the nation, became “wet.” Before then, Rogers Park had been “dry,” a legacy of its close geographical tie with Evanston and Northwestern University. After repeal, a new era began, and Howard Street became a popular entertainment destination for North Shore residents, since many northern suburbs still remained “dry.”

Live theatre was also a piece in Howard Street's entertainment mosaic. The celebrated Wisdom Bridge Theater opened in 1975 at 1559 W. Howard Street, and quickly garnered a reputation as one of the leading equity theater companies in Chicago.

Howard Street today retains many of its historic structures, which house an evolving culture of business, including non-profit organizations and restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world. Howard Street remains a vital transportation hub with a new transportation terminus for rail and buses.


Traveling west on Howard Street, from the 'L' station, there are no even-numbered addresses. Traveling east on Howard Street from the 'L' station there are odd and even addresses.

Howard Street was once called Howard Avenue.


Unknown Location

RPWRHS photo L009-0292 shows Christmas decorations on a light pole on Howard Street on December 4, 1988.

Rogers Park Addresses

Howard Street and Clark Street, Slayton Mears, Building Material Company, 1919.

1300 Block

1310 W. Howard Avenue, John H. Day, 1919.

1312 W. Howard Street, George C. Bird, 1919.

1314 W. Howard Avenue, L.H. Dall, 1919.

1316 W. Howard Street, H.O. Booth, 1919.

1318 W. Howard Avenue, Joseph C. Costa, 1919.

1318 W. Howard Street, John K. McKeough, 1919.

1340 W. Howard Street, W. Scott Long, 1919.

1340 W. Howard Street, Frederick Luke, 1919.

1342 W. Howard Street, Miles J. Hall, 1919.

1348 W. Howard Avenue, William C. Blackham, 1919.

1400 Block

1405 W. Howard Street was the Sharlot Grey Dancing Studio.

1410 W. Howard Avenue, Harry M. Bowen, 1919.

1410 W. Howard Street, H.A. King, 1919.

1418 W. Howard Street, Wilford Willis DeBerard, 1917.

1418 W. Howard Street, Quesadilla la Reina Del Sur, 2016.

1424 W. Howard Street was the home of Mr. Livermore.

1424 W. Howard Street, George R. Livermore, 1925.

1426 W. Howard Street the Lorrie Woos/Dave Skora home.

1427 Howard Avenue, Edward Kirchberg, 1911.

1427 W. Howard Street, Dan S. Fling, 1919.

1427 W. Howard Street, Hans N. Gantzel, 1919.

1430 W. Howard Street Edward Newell Ware, 1917.

1431 Howard Avenue, Frank W. Booth D.D.S., 1919.

1431 W. Howard Street, W.E. Little, D.D.S., 1919.

1432 W. Howard Street was an ivy covered house in September 1977. No owner name given.

1436-48 W. Howard Street, Howard Block, September 1977.

1437 W. Howard Street, Milton Stern, 1917.

1437 W. Howard Street, Julius Altman, 1919.

1500 Block

1504 W. Howard Street was the Campaign Headquarters for Nancy Kelly who ran for 49th Ward Alderman in 1983.

1511 W. Howard Street, Bishop Mall, Lost Eras.

1514 W. Howard Avenue, Warren H. Burtis, 1919.

1514 W. Howard Street, Byron T. Gregg, 1919.

1514 W. Howard Street, Charles H. Gunther, 1919.

1516 W. Howard Street, WIC Program, 2016.

1518 W. Howard Street, Edward Bruegel, 1919.

1518 W. Howard Avenue, Arthur Ross Crawford, 1919.

1520 W. Howard Street, Hessel Shop, The, 1919.

1521 W. Howard Street was the Club Detour, circa 1940.

1522 W. Howard Street, Louis Goldstein, 1919.

1522 W. Howard Street, Robert W. Keeton, M.D., 1919.

1522 W. Howard Street, Miss Lily Lorenzeen, 1919.

1522 W. Howard Street, Hartley F. Mars, M.D., 1919.

1524 W. Howard Avenue, Central Drug Store, 1919.

1524 W. Howard Street, MacLean's Drug Store, 1919.

1532 W. Howard Street

1532-34 W. Howard Street was Bon Appetit Deli.

1539 W. Howard Street, Carribbean American Bakery, 2016.

1548 W. Howard Street was an unknown butcher shop in 1930.

1555 W. Howard Avenue, Stephen A. Clifford, 1919.

1555 W. Howard Street was the Club Silhouette, circa 1940.

1555 W. Howard Street was Fritz Reuter & Sons Violin Makers, 1986.

1556 W. Howard Street, A. DeCursey, 1919.

1556 W. Howard Street, P.M. Mackay, 1919.

1557 W. Howard Street, Walter W. Borden, 1919.

1557 W. Howard Street, A.H. Evans, 1919.

1558 W. Howard Avenue, Bernard Duryea, 1919.

1558 W. Howard Street, Thomas Levas, 1919.

1558 W. Howard Street, George H. Fox, 1919.

1559 W. Howard Street was originally the home of the Limehouse Restaurant and in 1959, it became the home of the Wisdom Bridge Theater.

1569 W. Howard Avenue, William W. Cook, Jr., 1919.

1571 W. Howard Avenue, Frederick A. Blichert, 1919.

1575 W. Howard Avenue, Mrs. Ada B. Buell, 1919.

1600 Block

1601 W. Howard Avenue, D.K. Adams, 1919.

1601 W. Howard Avenue, Birchwood Window Cleaners, 1919.

1601 W. Howard Street, Howard Express, 1919.

1605 W. Howard Street, Around the Clock Food Store, 2016.

1607 W. Howard Street is the Howard Building.

1607 W. Howard Street, Many Peoples Church, 2016.

1610 W. Howard Street is the Willye B. White Community Center.

1612 W. Howard Street, Birchwood Florist, 1919.

1615 W. Howard Street, Howard Market House, Grocery, 1919.

1615 W. Howard Street, Casa Bonita Nightclub, on January 28, 1946.

1615 W. Howard Street, Sol Cafe, 2016.

1617 W. Howard Street was Davidson's Bakery.

1617 W. Howard Avenue, Edwin H. Brown, Jr., 1919.

1617 W. Howard Street, Howard Drug Shop, 1919.

1619 W. Howard Street, L.V. Cunningham, 1919.

1619 W. Howard Street, Howard Electric Shoe Shop, 1919.

1619 W. Howard Street, K.A. Kennedy, 1919.

1619 W. Howard Street, K. Meiselbar, 1919.

1621 W. Howard Street was the Howard Theater.1917.

1621 W. Howard Street, Issac Gluchovsky, Cleaner, 1919.

1621 W. Howard Street, Howard Cleaners & Dyers, 1919.

1621 W. Howard Street, Howard Shoe Shop, 1919.

1621 W. Howard Street, Factory Theater, 2016.

1625 W. Howard Street, Henry & Warder, Barbers, 1919.

1627 W. Howard Street, P&J Footwear, 2016,

1631 W. Howard Street, Howard Fruit & Market, 1919.

1633 W. Howard Avenue, George G. Mangos, 1919.

1633 W. Howard Avenue, George G. Mangos Restaurant, 1919.

1635 W. Howard Avenue, Charles W. Ferguson Company, 1917, 1919.

1635 W. Howard Street, Robert S. Clarke, D.D.S., 1919.

1635 W. Howard Street, Ferguson's Hall Dancing, 1919.

1635 W. Howard Street, Howard Safety Deposit Vaults, 1919.

1635 W. Howard Street, Howard Theatre Building Managers, 1919.

1635 W. Howard Street, Zip's Express, 2016.

1637 W. Howard Street, A.E. Birch, 1919.

1637 W. Howard Street, Dr. Charles C. Cooley, 1919.

1637 W. Howard Street, Leon D. Girard, 1919.

1637 W. Howard Street, Mrs. K. Hamilton, 1919.

1637 W. Howard Street, A.E. Harver, 1919.

1637 W. Howard Street, F.L. Heck M.D., 1919.

1637 W. Howard Street, J.C. Heisler, D.D.S., 1919.

1637 W. Howard Street, Howard Marinello Shop, 1919.

1637 W. Howard Avenue, P.S. Manley, 1919.

1639 W. Howard Street, Mrs. Dagmar Bergersen, Millinery, 1919.

1639 W. Howard Street, Howard Hat Shop, 1919.

1640 W. Howard Street, Della Frocks, circa 1935.

1641 W. Howard Street, Howard Delicatessen, 1919.

1643 W. Howard Street, Howard Sweet Shop, 1919.

1643 W. Howard Street was the starting point for the 2009 Annual House Tour.

1645 W. Howard Street, Clara G. Gottschalk, 1919.

1645 W. Howard Street, Marinello Beauty Shop, 1919.

1645 W. Howard Street was a gift shop owned by Jin Kim in 1982.

1648 W. Howard Street (needs investigation, may have moved), Open Hand Chicago, 2016.

1649 W. Howard Street is the Howard Street Station.

1660 W. Howard Street, Howard-Paulina Currency Exchange

1700 Block

1731 W. Howard Street, Villa Footwear, 2016.

1737 W. Howard Street, Comerica Bank, 1996.

1747 W. Howard Street, Good to Go, 2016.

1749 W. Howard Street was the Norshore Theater.

1763 W. Howard Street is Dominick's Finer Foods & Pharmacy

1771 W. Howard Street was the Benefit Trust Life Insurance Company building.

1777 W. Howard Street was the Howard Bowl.

1785 W. Howard Street, Curls and Company, 2016.

1800 Block

1841 W. Howard Street, Buffalo Joe's, 2016.

1900 Block

1951 W. Howard Street, Monsen's Tally-Ho Pub, 2016.

1959 W. Howard Street, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, 2016.

2000 Block

2001 W. Howard Street, Tasty Sub, 2016.

2009 W. Howard Street, Celestial Church Of Christ Bilehoo Oshoffa Parish

2055 W. Howard Street, Badou Senegalese, 2016.

2100 Block

2101 W. Howard Street was the A.C. Nielsen Company, February 15, 1945.

West Ridge Addresses

2200 Block

2233 W. Howard Street is The Fish Keg Restaurant.

2300 Block

2301 W. Howard Street, John Mock & Associates, September 1972.

2341 W. Howard Street, Family Dollar.

2357 W. Howard St., Starbucks, Inc., 2016.

2400 Block

2451 W. Howard Street was the Chicago Fresh Air Hospital.

2451 W. Howard Avenue, Chicago Fresh Air Hospital Office, 1919.

2451 W. Howard Street was the Bethesda Hospital in 1960.

2700 Block

2701 W. Howard Street, Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc).

2727 W. Howard Street, Gullivers Restaurant, September 1974.

2741 W. Howard Street, Jeffersonian-Hawthorne Club.

2800 Block

2819 W. Howard Street, Howard California Barber

3100 Block

3100 W. Howard Street is the last full block of homes on Howard Street before the city limits at Kedzie Avenue.


RPWRHS photo L009-0395 shows band playing in neighborhood festival on Howard Street. June 29, 1986. Exact location not given.