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Remember 2007 and 2008? There was some kind of election going on, a local guy running or something? And Gov. Blagojevich was arrested in 2008—that was fun. Oh, right, and the economy tanked. Good times!
RECOMMENDED: Your guide to living in Chicago
The city looked a lot different, too. Now, thanks to Google Street View’s cool new feature that allows you switch to a view of the same scene several years back (click the little clock in the top-left corner when you’re in Street View), we can study how Chicago has changed over the years—for the better, and sometimes for the worse.
Here are some key ways Chicago has evolved over the past six to seven years. One thing is clear: There are a lot more Targets now.
1200 N Larabee St
That's one of the remaining Cabrini Green towers in the before view...and then a Target.
150 W Roosevelt Rd
Before: empty space with a great view of downtown. After: This development, called the Roosevelt Collection, has condos, chain stores and a huge movie theater, and a view of a narrow slice of downtown. There's also a Target one building east.
Wabash Avenue bridge
It's hard to remember a time when the Trump Tower wasn't dominating the skyline like its namesake dominates conversations.
Division Street and Ashland Avenue
A Pizza Hut at the Polonia Triangle gives way to an 11-story modern apartment building. And CVS at least does the former bank building justice by opening up those enormous windows.
4400 block of North Clark Street
I think we can all agree this is a huge improvement.
4400 block of North Broadway
Sad blight becomes another Target.
Harper Court, 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue
A Hyde Park office, retail and hotel space ship rises from the ashes of a Hollywood Video. Hey, remember video stores?
Lurie Children's Hospital, 225 E Chicago Ave
The traffic congestion this hospital creates in Streeterville is maddening, but the hospital is something Chicagoans can be proud of.
1100 block of South Michigan Avenue
One of the many South Loop condo/apartment towers that was being built when the recession hit. That is some shit timing.