History in Old Town
Clubs and Theaters

1230 North Clybourn Avenue

1230 Women's Cross Dressing Club

1230 was an early 20th century women's cross-dressing club that operated at this location in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago.  It was one of three clubs Chicago Mayor Ed Kelly ordered closed on December 27, 1934.  The other two clubs were the Star and Garter (a burlesque house) and Rosal (for female transvestites).

1349 North Wells Street

Bijou Theater in Old Town

Steve Toushin's theater was located at 1349 N. Wells St in Old Town Chicago, first opening its doors for avant garde cinema in 1969. Soon after the theater began showing gay porn to audiences. It once held the title of being the longest-running gay porn theater in the United States. According to Toushin, "There is nothing in the world like the Bijou. It is what sex was in the 1970s and '80s.

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History in Old Town
National Landmarks

north cherry avenue and west north avenue by the north branch of the chicago river

Cherry Avenue Bridge

This bob-tail swing bridge was designated a landmark on October 8, 2008.  It provides the only railroad access to Goose island, the industrial island formed by a split in the north branch of the Chicago river.

1710 north crilly court

Henry Gerber House

An unknown architect designed this house in 1885.  Come 1920, it housed the apartment of Henry Gerber, who founded the Society for Human Rights.  The city designated the building a landmark on June 6, 2001. 

1928-1936 north lincoln avenue

Lincoln Avenue Row House District

This historic district of row houses was designated as a landmark on November 18, 2009.

History in Old Town

1030 West Divison Street


Kilgubbin is the original name of Goose Island, the only island on the Chicago River at 1030 West Divison Street. When Irish immigrants came to Chicago in the 1840's, they named the area after their hometown. This neighborhood was also known as "Little Hell." Notorious Chicago mobster Dean O'Banion, who headed the North Side Gang and was the primary rival to Johnny Torrio and Al Capone's South Side Gang, was raised in Kilgubbin.