Old Map of Chicago After The Great Fire, 1871, Gaylord Watson - Downtown, Lake Michigan, River, Wards, Burnt District
Made in the USA
Free delivery with damage free guarantee
Handmade & dispatched in 1-2 days
Certified sustainable frames & packaging
A fantastic, historically important map of Chicago, published in 1871 shortly after the Great Fire, which burned for 2 days and wiped out a huge portion of the city.
Roughly 300 people died while a further 100,000 residents were left homeless. (At the time, only 330,000 people lived in Chicago!)
The damage, in modern money, equated to billions of dollars.
The extent of the fire damage is shown by the huge 'fire district', coloured in bright red. Each of the wards is coloured clearly, too.
The rest of the map is a highly detailed map of Chicago's grid system, streets, rivers, Lake Michigan and other landmarks. All in all, a lovely and rare map of Chicago.
This map looks great at all sizes: 12x16 inches (30x40cm), 16x20 inches (40x50cm) and 18x24 inches (45x60cm), but it looks even better when printed large. I can create beautiful, large prints of this map up to 80 inches (200cm) tall. Please get in touch if you're looking for larger, customised or different framing options.
The model in the listing images is holding the 24x36 inch (60x90cm) version of this map.
Take a look at the detailed images and try to spot your home street or block! Feel free to message me if you want to confirm if a certain place is on this map.
This would make a wonderful birthday, housewarming or Christmas gift for someone from Chicago or who has the midwest in their heart.
You can order the map itself, or you can order a framed version. The frame is a nice, simple black frame that really makes the map pop out when on a wall. Please get in touch if you'd like a different frame. I use super-clear acrylic (perspex/acrylite) in my frames - it's less reflective than glass and better for transport.
If you want a frame that's a specific colour or material, or want your map mounted/matted, please get in touch. I work with specialist framers around the world and have hundreds of framing options - so we should be able to find a frame that suits your decor/aesthetic.
If you want to frame your map yourself, please read my map size guide first.
My standard frame is a black wood frame. It is simple and quite modern looking. On maps up to 36 inches (91cm) the frame is 2cm (0.75in) wide. I use thicker frames on larger maps - usually between 35 and 60mm (1.4in to 2.4in).
In all cases I use super-clear museum-grade acrylic (perspex/acrylite) for the frame glass. It's lighter and safer than glass - and it looks better, as the reflectivity is lower.
All frames are provided "ready to hang", with either a string or brackets on the back. Very large frames will have heavy duty hanging plates and/or a mounting baton. If you have any questions... always get in touch!
Some of my old maps are now available on canvas. Smaller and larger sizes are available, but you must contact me to order.
Canvas old maps are an interesting alternative to conventionally framed maps. Depending on your personal taste and room decor, canvas maps can "pop" a bit more than a framed map.
I print on responsibly sourced canvas with very high quality, fade-resistant inks. Then the canvas is stretched over a hand-glued solid wood frame - and yes, the wood is responsibly and renewably sourced.
The finished piece is 1.5 inches (3.8cm) deep and comes ready to hang.
Please note that because of the texture of canvas, some of the finer details on some maps will be harder to read than a map printed on paper.
At 36x24 inches (90x60cm) everything should be legible. But if you want to check before you order, please contact me.
Delivery time is about 5 working days after you order.
All of my maps are well packaged and sent in a rugged tube if unframed, or surrounded by foam if framed.
I try to send out all maps within 1 or 2 days of receiving your order, though some products (like face masks or mugs) can take longer to make.
Please note that framed maps larger than 100cm/40 inches take longer to make and delivery is usually within 10 working days. I will get in touch with you to discuss the specifics of delivery.
Coronavirus is still causing random delays and some maps can take longer to arrive. If you need your map to arrive in time for an important date, please contact me before you order and I'll do my best to get the map to you on time.
If you select Express Delivery at checkout your order will be sent by courier (Fedex, DHL, UPS, Parcelforce) and will usually arrive in 2-3 working days. Please note that framed maps will usually take a little longer.
Customers in the UK, EU, US, Australia, Canada and Singapore: Your map will be sent from a printer or framer local to you, which means you'll get your map sooner, you won't pay import duties, and we'll put less CO2 into the atmosphere. I have worked with all of my printers and framers for years, and I quality control every single map. So your map will always look amazing, no matter where you order from!
My maps are extremely high quality reproductions of original maps.
I source original, extremely rare maps from libraries, auction houses and private collections around the world, restore them at my London workshop, and then use specialist giclée inks and printers to create beautiful maps that look even better than the original.
My maps are printed on acid-free archival matte (not glossy) paper that feels very high quality and almost like card. In technical terms the paper weight/thickness is 10mil/190gsm. It's perfect for framing.
I print with Epson ultrachrome giclée UV fade resistant pigment inks - some of the best inks you can find.
Please contact me if you're looking for a print on canvas or cotton rag.
Learn more about how the Unique Maps Co. sources and restores old maps
If you want to make your old map really unique, I am able to personalise your map with a short message, for example:
- "Happy birthday, Ben! From Mum & Dad"
- "To My Beloved. Let's Explore The World Together!"
This message will be added to the map in such a way that it looks just like a real part of the map.
Select the "Personalise Map" option above if you'd like to add map personalisation to your map.
I use a unique process to restore my maps that is massively time consuming and labour intensive. Hunting down the original maps can take months. I use state of the art and eye-wateringly expensive technology to scan and restore the maps. As a result, I guarantee my maps are a cut above the rest - that's why I can offer a no-quibble refund.
Almost all of my maps look amazing at large sizes (200cm, 6.5ft+) and I can frame and deliver them to you as well, via special oversized courier. Contact me to discuss your specific needs.