Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Street names in Chicago. K-town; and why there's no Q-town.

K-Town, Chicago

Did you ever wonder how all the streets got named in the section of Chicago where all the names start with the letter 'K'?   Otherwise known as K-town? 

Starting at just west of Pulaski, and extending for one mile, all the north-south street names begin with the letter 'K'.  And immediately following, all the streets start with 'L'.  There's also an 'L' section and and an 'O' section.  But no 'Q's.  (We could make a claim for copyright infringement against the unfortunately named Boy Band "O-Town."  Don't follow the link. It's bad.)

Even more interestingly, the plan was to start naming the north-south streets with the letter 'A' at the Illinois-Indiana border.  Each letter was supposed to be used for one mile, and then the next letter would begin.  On the south-east side of Chicago, there is a section of Chicago with several streets starting with the letter 'A' - primarily in Hegewisch.

But residents that lived in the older sections of Chicago that would have had to change the names of their streets to begin with the letters 'B' through 'J' objected, and the plan was not implemented in those neighborhoods.

How handy to know that when you hit Kostner, you are 11 miles west of the Indiana border.  12 miles when you hit Landers.  13 at Mango (I am not making this up.)

Alas, the letter Q would land west of O'Hare Airport in an undeveloped forest preserve and partly outside Chicago.