Geneva, Illinois

I found some really great historical photos for about half of Illinois today.  The sample here shows historic downtown Geneva in 1939.  For those not in the know, Geneva is the middle city (and arguably more superior) of the Tri-Cities on the banks of the Fox River in the suburbs of Chicago along with Saint Charles to the north and Batavia to the south.  If you compare the two images below, you see an incredible change to the landscape as farms disappear and are replaced by subdivisions.  The second image was taken in 2007.  Forests and tree-lined streets have become much more dense.  It’s interesting, in the soutwest of town, there is a quarter-circular suburban development that is being constructed in the 1939 photo, suggesting new growth to the town center that was to become the defining land use trend of the next 75 years throughout the United States.  New golf courses have been added, but the smaller, rectangular course just to the west of downtown was already established.  I’ve georeferenced the image in Google Earth if you want to take a look around for yourself (~3.5mb) or if you don’t want to go for the download, here’s an animated GIF to check out.

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One Response to “Geneva, Illinois”

  1. mike baker Says:

    I took the liberty of smoothing out the transition of your gif:

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2h5i8bd&s=4

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