By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — When Holmberg Aerial Survey Co. took to the skies in the 1930s to photograph every block of Chicago, U.S. Steel’s South Works was humming along as one of the largest producers of structural steel on the planet.

READ MORE: Car Strikes Wall On Dan Ryan Expressway At 95 Street; Delays Expected
The view of the old South Works plant taken in 1938.  (Credit: Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse)

The view of the old South Works plant taken in 1938. (Credit: Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse)

The images here (click to enlarge) were taken in November of 1938, about five years after U.S. Steel had crammed the 576 acre site to capacity, with buildings to accommodate 20,000 workers.

The view of the old South Works plant taken in 1938.  (Credit: Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse)

The view of the old South Works plant taken in 1938. (Credit: Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse)

A portion of the massive mill–where the Calumet River joins with Lake Michigan–is obscured by smoke from the manufacturing of the steel that built America’s cities and roadways.

READ MORE: United Center Could Turn Into Mass Vaccination Site

The site was abandoned in the 1990s and over several years the buildings were demolished.

An aerial view of the old South Works site, where plans are in place to build a massive new housing and retail community. (Credit: Chicago Lakeside)

An aerial view of the old South Works site, where plans are in place to build a massive new housing and retail community. (Credit: Chicago Lakeside)

Developers are now planning a new residential and retail development for the area, effectively creating a small city within the city between 79th and 87th streets along Lake Michigan.

Plans for the Chicago Lakeside development. (Credit: Chicago Lakeside)

Plans for the Chicago Lakeside development. (Credit: Chicago Lakeside)

The plan includes 13,575 single family dwellings and high-rise units, 17.5 million square feet of retail, connected by the extended South Lake Shore Drive.

MORE NEWS: 22-Year-Old Woman Shot While Sitting In Car In Rosemoor

Also in the works: 125 acres of parks with bike paths, a 1,500-slip boat marina and a new high school.