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Plan of Chicago

The Plan of Chicago of 1909 (better known as the Burnham Plan after its principal author, Daniel H. Burnham) is one of the most noted documents in the history of city planning. It has influenced not only how Chicagoans have shaped their city, but also how they have envisioned urban life" (Encyclopedia of Chicago).

An anonymous donor gave the Library a first edition of The Plan of Chicago by Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennet. This book was published in 1909, and was the first complete plan of any city in American history. Only 1,650 copies were printed in the first print run. Our copy is number 288. Fred Norlin, a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, was the first owner of copy #288. Fred Norlin was born in Sweden on March 4, 1865. He came to the United States in 1881, and worked in the firm of Greely & Howard & Co. until 1893. Mr. Norlin then opened his own surveying business.

Come in to the Local History Room to view this exciting piece of Chicago history. The outstanding Encyclopedia of Chicago Online provides access to a full text online copy of the Plan of Chicago. For more information, contact Karen Gurski @ 847-455-6016, ext. 234 or kgurski@fppld.org

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