The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Gallery: Historic And Current Shots Of The South Works Steel Campus

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 26, 2015 8:00PM

Photographer Chuck Walla recently trekked to the former U.S. Steel South Works site on the Southeast Side and shared some stellar photos of the remains on the Chicagoist Photos Flickr pool.

The South Works campus has undergone a transformation since it closed April 10, 1992. The steel mills once were tickets to the middle class for scores of native Chicagoans and immigrants looking to grab their piece of the American Dream. Now the site stands idle, a ghost in plain sight.

Much of the land reclaimed by nature was assisted by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, which spearheaded a project a decade ago to turn the site into prairie land.

But the quiet won't last long. The Lake Shore Drive extension cuts through the site and is a linchpin for a planned mixed-use development called Chicago Lakeside that aims to transform South Chicago once again. (For whom is a question for another time.)

We've mixed some historic photos of the South Works site with Walla's to give you an idea of the vibrancy of the plant and area back when US Steel produced the beams for Chicago's skyscrapers and buildings. Consider this photographic proof that Nature always bats last.