levee district


It’s Calumet 412′s 7000th post! 

To mark the occasion and as we have done for each 1000th, this post is dedicated to the patron saints of Calumet 412, the Everleigh Sisters of the Everleigh Club in Chicago’s Levee Red-Light District. 

As a reminder, CAlumet-412 was the phone number at the infamous, yet elegant and upscale brothel, located at 2131-2133 S Dearborn. 

The two photos here depict common scenes in the Levee District.

1) A photograph of the exterior of a brothel at 2129 S Dearborn, 1910. If you look closely, you can see the “harlot” peeking through the drapes, tapping on the window pane to lure inside her next john. 

2) A lively night scene from the Levee District with men and women coming and going from the area’s “resorts” and “sporting clubs”, which were more or less just drinking bars, 1898. The general consensus was that these places were centers of depravity, and all those who patronized them were in need for salvation. Note the early food truck, offering hamburger steaks and pork chops! 

Thanks to all of you for following and your continued support! 

On this day in 1899 famous gangster Al Capone was born.

This is my photo of 2001 South State Street in Chicago, the only surviving building of the crime-ridden area once known as the Levee District. Before it was refacaded into the present-day Blue Star auto-supply store, it was built in 1878 as the old Cullerton Hotel. This was a popular hangout for Al Capone, who supposedly ran a brothel here. Until 1900 it was a very respectable hotel, then illegal gambling began to take place in the basement, and the upstairs became a brothel. Deep below the hotel survives a series of secret tunnels, an elaborate 25-mile system. Even today one can still see bricked-up entrances to these gangster getaways.


This marks the 6000th post for Calumet 412 and as I have done for each 1000th, it is dedicated to the the notorious Levee, the city’s red light district. 

Home to the famous brothel the Everleigh Club (from which the name of this site comes), the Levee was located around South Dearborn Street, its epicenter lying between 21st and 23rd streets. Every building either housed a brothel, a gambling site or a bar, also known as a “sporting club.”

The attached photos show Dearborn around 21st street around 1910. If you look closely at the second photo, you can see the curtains parted in the window, someone beckoning the “lust-mad” men to come inside.