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Chicago Neighborhoods Pop In These Vintage-Style, 1930s-Inspired Prints

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on May 30, 2017 8:40PM

Last week we were wowed by a few great, Chicago-centric prints: Cape Horn Illustrations' beautiful Ravenswood map and Ryan Duggan's genius hot-dog-stand series. With so much 2D civic celebration, we couldn't help but think of perhaps our favorite series of graphic-design love letters to our city, Steve Shanabruch's WPA-inspired series of his ongoing Chicago Neighborhoods Project, and felt like a good time to circle back.

If you're unfamiliar, Shanabruch has been hard at work on the project since 2013, laboring to poster-ize each of Chicago's distinct neighborhoods. They're all done in the instantly recognizable, vivid, minimalist style of Works Progress Administration posters, which partially defined the Great Depression and New Deal eras.

It looks like Shanabruch, a Beverly native and Ravenswood resident, is just about to approach the halfway mark, with 30 WPA-style prints available. (Chicago has 77 distinct neighborhoods, as we're sure you don't need us to tell you.) There are a few more narrowly focused, non-'hood entries, like the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond, scattered in the bunch, too, for a nice bit of variety.

You can peek a selection of Shanabruch's vintage-inspired series above and find plenty more and purchase his work here.