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In this video we discuss The Chicago Grid System – a plan that began in 1901 by Edward P. Brennan for prefixing, numbering, and naming Chicago Streets.

This video is broken down into 10 simple facts that will help you to learn Chicago’s Grid System. Before the Chicago Grid came into existence as we know it, it was very difficult to get around Chicago – there was no uniform naming and numbering system and the city was broken into three divisions – North, South, and West.

As Chicago gobbled up smaller cities around it in the late 1800s like Lake View Township, Hyde Park, and Jefferson Township, things became further complicated because each of these towns had their own street naming and numbering system.

In 1901, Edward P. Brennan wrote a letter to the city of Chicago suggesting that they move over to grid plan with State St and Madison St being the zero point.

It would take several years and though thing were changed from the original plan, eventually The Chicago Grid was born.

The Grid isn’t super difficult to learn but there are some nuances that you should pick up on to learn how to navigate Chicago.

Chicago is laid out on an x-y axis (Cartesian Coordinate System) with the zero point at State & Madison in The Loop. Every street and building in Chicago is numbered according to its location relative to this point.

When I moved to Chicago for grad school after college I knew it would be important to learn how to get around Chicago using the Grid system.

I hope you enjoyed this Chicago Vlog / Living & Travel Guide!

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