The first three decades of the twentieth century involved profound changes to Chicago's Near Northside neighborhoods, as the wealthy largely vacated the region as lower-class residents moved there. The Marshall Hotel served as the permanent home to many of them, usually comprised of Southern and Eastern Europeans working as laborers and lower-paid white collar jobs. Rooming Hotels offered limited amenities, but the Marshall Hotel enjoyed modern plumbing and electricity, as well as an elevator. It stands as a monument to the changing culture, that also included an influx of anarchist and labor meetings, artists and other "free thinkers."
Backstory and Context
Concurrently the city’s first artists’ colony, referred to as “Towertown,” developed to the west and south of the old Water Tower (that survived the Chicago Fire) on the far north side of Chicago's downtown. The area drew many comparisons to New York’s Greenwich Village. All told, the place once known for its wealth transitioned to a place of cultural heterogeneity, free speech, and anti-establishment speeches.
Ramsey, Emily. "Registration Form: The Marshall Hotel." National Register of Historic Places. October 26, 2016. http://gis.hpa.state.il.us/pdfs/803135.pdf
Rosemont, Franklin. "Bughouse Square." Newberry Library: Encyclopedia of Chicago. Accessed June 12, 2018. http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/178.html
Zorbaugh, Harvey Warren. The Gold Coast and the Slum: A Sociological Study of Chicago's Near Northside. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983.
Marshall Hotel, modern picture: DNAinfo/Ted Cox, found at https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20170601/old-town/old-marshall-hotel-on-lasalle-street-join-carling-...
The sign outside the hotel, 2009: Flickr/Thomas Hawk - found at https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20170601/old-town/old-marshall-hotel-on-lasalle-street-join-carling-...
The Marshall Hotel is undergoing a renovation -- will soon offer 90 affordable apartments: By Jim Roberts - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66745074