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Introduction  |  Before the Plan  |  Creating the Plan  |  Drafts of the Plan  |  Images of the Plan  |  Supplementa
DRAFTS OF THE PLAN
The published Plan of Chicago comprises 164 pages of illustrations and text. The Commercial Club printed 1,650 limited-edition copies of the Plan, distributing them primarily to "subscribers," or those who contributed financially to the effort.

Divided into eight chapters, plus an additional section on the legal requirements for implementation, the Plan presents a comprehensive scheme for an orderly and beautiful urban environment. At times the Plan refers to the city as an "organism in which all the functions are related one to another." Indeed, as the book progresses, the maps become cumulative, depicting additional layers of proposed parks, roads, and railroad lines to illustrate the interrelationship between transportation, recreation, and commerce.

The Plan of Chicago recommends the following major improvements: development of Grant Park and the lakefront; construction of regional highways; improvement of railway terminals and systems, for both freight and passengers; creation of an "outer park system" throughout the city; widening of existing avenues and cutting diagonal thoroughfares; erection of a cluster of civic buildings; and construction of the Field Museum and a library near the Art Institute to form an intellectual and cultural center.

Yet, for all the ideas that appeared in the final document, others failed to make it into the text. This section contains several versions of the Plan, mostly drafts and outlines that show the development of Burnham's thoughts and the collective editing process. Of particular interest is Burnham's own manuscript draft, from which some sections were translated verbatim into the final copy, while other passages were omitted entirely.

See also full reproductions of the published version of the Plan of Chicago and Wacker's Manual of the Plan of Chicago: Municipal Economy, Especially Prepared for Study in the Schools of Chicago. This publication, more commonly known as Wacker's Manual, was an abridged textbook version of the Plan taught in the Chicago public schools for over a generation. This book by Walter Dwight Moody, first published in 1911, went through several significant revisions throughout the 1920s that eliminated a chapter on the planners and sets of review questions appended to each chapter. Moody, who was first managing director of the Chicago Plan Commission, was entrusted with the task of making the content of the prohibitively expensive Plan available to the 1.5 million citizens of Chicago. Moody astutely recognized that in order to promote awareness and execution of the Plan and its ideals in the future, the introduction of architecture and urban planning concepts into secondary education was critical.
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Plan of Chicago: Preliminary outline (n.d.)
n.d.
This provocative document of unknown authorship provides insight into the early stage of the drafting process. While some sections obviously correspond with the final text, some topics do not appear there, or do so briefly. Interestingly, this outline includes whole sections on housing and education, overt references to class differences, and mention of social services. The published Plan focuses primarily on physical improvements.
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Plan of Chicago: Typescript draft of Chapters 1-3 (n.d.)
n.d.
This is the first extant prose draft of the Plan. Clearly based on the "Preliminary Outline," this version describes social issues in much more detail than the published text. It also emphasizes the "subordination of the individual" to the collective good in language that borders on socialist in tone.
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Plan of Chicago: Handwritten draft (n.d.)
n.d.
At 310 handwritten pages, this key archival document both illuminates and complicates a reading of the Plan of Chicago. Scholar Kristen Schaffer has argued that the draft provides evidence of Burnham's intent to include public services in the Plan, as well as his ideas on the roles and responsibilities of government. As these issues were ultimately outside of the scope of the published version, Schaffer hypothesizes that the Commercial Club pressed Burnham to keep the Plan in more direct alignment with business aims. The draft is also interesting for its many notes on the placement of illustrations—indications that Burnham thought about the total presentation of the Plan from an early date.
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Plan of Chicago: "For Chap I," handwritten draft (n.d.)
n.d.
After sketching out his ideas and their general structure in the long draft, Burnham began writing individual chapters. This manuscript for Chapter 1 provides insight into his writing and revision process. As evidenced by the erasure and scratch marks, Burnham reworked many words and paragraphs several times.
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Plan of Chicago: Typescript draft of Chapter 8 (March 1909)
03/1909
This typescript draft sheds light on the editing process between Burnham and editor Charles Moore. Chapter 8 aims to persuade readers of the viability and cost-effectiveness of implementation. While whole passages from the draft appear verbatim in the final document, Moore removed or altered several parts and pared down some of Burnham's more elaborate language. The grammatical corrections are presumably Burnham's, made before sending the draft to Moore.
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Plan of Chicago: Galley proofs for Chapter I (c.1909)
c.1909
The galley proofs for Chapter 1 differ significantly from the first pages of the published Plan. In the proofs, the text immediately launches into a discussion of the World's Fair as the impetus for the Plan, while the final version situates Chicago within a broader context of urban growth at the turn of the century. Burnham's note on the top of the first page reads, "Mr. Bennett: I want this paper at the meeting with Mr. Moore."
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Plan of Chicago: "Plan for a Boulevard to Connect the North and South Sides of the River on Michigan Avenue and Pine Street" (n.d.)
n.d.
The Commercial Club printed this special brochure highlighting a key recommendation even before they completed the Plan of Chicago. What is now a continuous stretch of roadway over the Main Branch of the Chicago River was in 1909 two separate dead-end streets: Michigan Avenue on the south and Pine Street on the north. Burnham proposed linking them with a bridge and creating an elevated boulevard, an undertaking that would require broad public support.
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