"Reading" a Photograph -- West Monroe Street about 1933
Pictured above is a scene which shows West Monroe Street at the crossing of the Pennsylvania Railroad, near the entrance to the coal docks. In front of the buildings on the north side of Monroe a railroad employee can be seen. Whenever a train passed by, he would have to manually hold up the stop sign, to warn automobile drivers of the train. We can see that more clearly in this close-up cropped from the original image.
In another cropped view, we can see where Elmer B. Otto manufactured ice cream, at 2434 West Monroe Street (in the building on the right side of the street).
To the north of the railroad crossing, a factory can be seen through the trees. Not enough of the letters of the building and water tower are legible enough to be deciphered. If anyone can identify this business, please leave a message in Comments.