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Harper's Magazine, vol. 201, no. 1207

Identifier: 050.01.13

December 1950 issue of Harper's Magazine (vol. 201, no. 1207) containing an article (pp.86-97) titled "The Strangest Place in Chicago" by John Bartlow Martin which describes life in the Mecca apartment building at 34th and State streets.


  • Creation: 1950


Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Research

Collection Size

1 Item

Biographical Note

The Mecca was erected in time to house long-term visitors to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition before becoming an apartment building for Chicago's South Side residents. The Mecca was located on the northwest corner of 34th and State Sts. It was a large, U-shaped structure designed as an apartment building considered to be the most modern of its time. Each of its five stories contained 7-room apartments with ornate balconies overlooking fountains in the landscaped courtyard. During the Great Migration, apartments were divided and subdivided as more and more African Americans arrived in the area and needed housing. Overcrowding and deferred maintenance resulted in severe deterioration of the building. Purchased by Illinois Institute of Technology in 1941 as part of the campus development program, S. R. Crown Hall now stands on the site of the former Mecca Flats.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Was formerly 2007.039.


Mindy C. Pugh, Assistant University Archivist, 9/14/2007

Part of the Paul V. Galvin Library. University Archives and Special Collections Repository

35 West 33rd Street
Chicago IL 60616
(312) 567-5993

Paul V. Galvin Library

35 West 33rd Street | Chicago, IL | 60616