Chicago || Hill Street Blues and the Wickedest Police District in the World

From the waterfront and Grant Park, on our way to meet a legend – both cultural and architectural.

Meet Maxwell Street Station, aka the 7th District Station, aka UIC Police HQ, aka Hill Street Station. The red brick building that was part of Chicago’s history long before it became the signature image of the Hill Street Blues television series (which, by the way, was not filmed in Chicago but in Los Angeles – on location and in studio). 

I’m reading on the UIC Police website: ”The building, designed in 1888 by the firm of Edbrooke and Burnham, is a well-preserved example of an early Chicago neighborhood police station. It was built of red pressed brick and Joliet limestone, with walls three feet thick at the base — a true fortress.”

”The station was built during a period of tremendous growth after the Chicago Fire of 1871, as the city’s population exploded from 298,000 to almost 1.1 million. As late as 1850, the entire police force of Chicago consisted of just nine men. But the growing population, along with social and economic changes, created the need for more law enforcement.”

”In 1906, the Chicago Tribune called the district “Bloody Maxwell” and “the Wickedest Police District in the World.” The police station was considered a fortress in a precinct that had grown to 200,000 residents and boasted more saloons per capita than any place in town. Over the years, the legendary station played host to some of the nation’s most notorious criminals, including Sam Giancana and Al Capone.”

Listen to the theme song which took Mike Post two hours to write:

And now, try to get the tune out of your head – see if you can! 

943 West Maxwell Street, Chicago

November 5th, 2017

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