By LINDSAY WELBERS
A few years after The New Yorker launched, Chicago had its own answer to the high-brow city-centric magazine.
The Chicagoan was published from 1926 to 1935 and took many editorial and design inspirations from its New York City counterpart.
The magazine hoped to fight the stereotype of Chicago as a violent gangland and instead touted the city’s culture, art, literature and theater.
The University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library is home to many existing copies of The Chicagoan. Following an agreement with Quigly Publishing and through a grant from alumnus Patrick Spain in his wife Barbara Spain’s name, the magazine’s issues, including art deco covers, art, performance reviews and literature, are available for free perusal online.
The website, Chicagoan.lib.uchicago.edu, allows users to search and browse through editions.
A profile of Hyde Park, which was printed in February of 1928, described tall hotels being constructed near the lakeshore and the neighborhood’s response: “A few yeas ago, when two skyscrapers blossomed out on Fifty-third Street, residents of the district stood in East End Park and gaped. ‘Doesn’t it look metropolitan!’ they said. Now there are so many tall hotels and apartment houses that one can’t see the metropolis for the buildings.”
The university is also actively seeking copies of the missing or damaged issues in its collections.