chicago illinois history facts
Chicago’s railway era also began in 1848, when a locomotive named Pioneer arrived by ship from Buffalo, New York, and went into service for the new Galena and Chicago Union Railroad.
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The line’s 11-mile (18-km) track extended directly west from the city, but its namesake destination, a lead-mining metropolis in the northwest corner of the state, declined in importance even before the extension reached it. Other lines soon extended west, including the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, Rock Island, and Illinois Central.
The Chicago and Milwaukee Line connected rival ports by rail. In 1852 two separate strains entered from the east and furnished direct rail service to the eastern seaboard. By the beginning of the 20th century, at least 30 interstate routes opened through the city, and the resulting ease of access to raw materials and markets contributed to the city’s rapid commercial and industrial growth.
Most importantly, Chicago was the terminus of all railroads; Passengers, raw materials, and finished goods all had to be moved between the lines in the city, thus contributing to the extraordinary growth of hotels, restaurants, taxicabs, warehouses, rail yards, and trucking companies.
The railroad, along with telegraphs, grain elevators, agricultural newspapers, and the trading floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, facilitated the collection of goods from the farm belt, which was rapidly developing westward. The city soon became the focal point of a “golden funnel” that gathered and processed grain, lumber, and meat and then shipped them to markets in the eastern United States and Europe.
Trade encouraged the development of supporting industries such as steel rails and rail equipment, shipbuilding, packaging and printing, as well as hotel and restaurant facilities. However, at the time nothing more identified Chicago industry than meatpacking and the vast Union Stock Yards on the city’s Near Southwest Side.
Economy of Chicago
In addition to church spiers and skyscrapers, smokestacks have long dominated the Chicago skyline. The city’s status as a rail hub and a port aided the use of the Midwest’s raw materials to produce a wide range of goods: food, food products, candy, pharmaceuticals, and light manufacturing such as soap; communications equipment, scientific instruments and automobiles; and refined petroleum, petroleum products, and steel.
The city additionally became a first-rate printing and publishing centre. This variety originally developed from Chicago’s role as a transshipment point for eastbound grain and lumber, as well as meat, which was smoked or packed in salt. The city took on a new role as a manufacturer of military supplies during the American Civil War, adding leather goods, steel rails, and food processing.
Although railroading, steel, and meatpacking remained the largest employers, by the end of the 19th century manufacturing was expanding into chemicals, furniture, paint, metallurgy, machine tools, railroad equipment, bicycles, printing, mail-order sales, and other sectors.
He was considered a pioneer in his time. The production of much of the country’s telephone equipment made Chicago the Silicon Valley of an earlier era. Industrial diversification also depended on a skilled workforce, whose numbers were increased through a tradition of innovative vocational training.
Chicago City layout
Chicago presents a different face in each direction. One of the most attractive features of the city is the well-maintained parks and other public facilities stretching for miles along the lake shore. Other parts of the city can be disappointing. Sporadic industrial buildings, many of which are abandoned, line railroads and river branches radiating from the center.
The industrial landscape of the south-eastern part of the city dominates the view to the east. Chicago’s West and North Avenues offer a vast expanse of tree-lined residential neighborhoods, overlooking a dramatic skyline of towering office, hotel and apartment buildings, concentrated in the city center and along the lakefront.
Every year thousands of tourists come just to see the architecture. The rebuilding of the city after the Great Fire of 1871 began a pattern of building innovation that expanded in the late 1880s with a wave of new office structures that were named skyscrapers, a term iconic in Chicago. Was coined but New York also claims it.
The steel frames of skyscrapers removed the height limitations previously imposed by solid load-bearing masonry walls and allowed the use of large expanses of glass, terra-cotta facings, and other types of curtain walls.
A generation of Art Deco office towers of the 1920s can be found primarily in the LaSalle Street financial district, while the influence of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a German-born Chicago architect with worldwide influence, can be seen in the 1950s–80s .
The generation of International Style buildings. Several major structures have been built since the early 1970s. The 110-story, 1,450-foot (442-meter) Willis (formerly Sears) Tower (1974) is one of the tallest in the world.
Other tallest buildings in the country include the 100-story John Hancock Center (1969), the 98-story Trump International Hotel & Tower (2009), the 83-story Aon Center (originally the Amoco Building; 1974), the 61-story . AT&T Corporate Center (1989), and the 65-story 311 South Wacker Building (1990). Dozens of new postmodern designs continue to remake the horizon.
As Chicago grew rapidly in the 1880s, places that were once rural increasingly became part of the city. In 1869, public health advocates, who called for Chicago to purify its air with a “green crown” of trees, persuaded the state government and real estate interests to create a series of major parks linked together by broad boulevards.
Mixed it. Due to development there has been a shortage of green spaces in the neighbourhood. In 1934 the city consolidated 22 smaller park administrations to form the Chicago Park District, which operates more than 500 parks covering approximately 7,000 acres (2,800 ha). Beyond the city, county forest preserve districts and the federal government have set aside thousands of acres of natural woodlands and reforested the plains.
A major outdoor gallery for the public, there are dozens of monuments and sculptures in the city’s parks and public plazas. Nineteenth-century bronze works include busts of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S.
Figures like Grant were respected; Immigrants have remembered heroes and cultural figures, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Hans Christian Andersen. Philanthropist Kate Sturges Buckingham donated one of the world’s largest fountains—the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain (dedicated 1927), which graces Grant Park just east of downtown.
Beginning within the Sixties, Chicago obtained present day sculptures with the aid of Alexander Calder, Claes Oldenburg, Henry Moore, Marc Chagall, Richard Hunt, and others. The most famous is the statue of Pablo Picasso in Dealey Center Plaza, made of steel designed to weather and once described by an unattractive alderman as “six stories of rusty boiler-plate.”
Like all cities, Chicago is still deeply influenced by the material artifacts of its history. The street pattern is basically a detail of the first city plan of 1830. It has a grid layout, eight blocks a mile, each with major commercial streets around the perimeter of a square mile (2.5 square km). Not all roads are consistent, with some developing from winding Native American routes out from river mouths and others’ paths dictated by the presence of river and lake.
Chicago can perhaps be thought of as a segmented city, with river branches, major roads, railroad embankments, and (more recently) expressways dividing it into a diversity of neighborhoods and housing types.
The lakefront is lined with high-rise buildings, including the Lake Point Tower – once one of the tallest apartment buildings in the country and now one of several such structures in the increasingly fashionable district east of Michigan Avenue.
There is only one – which is unlike thousands of smaller stone-fronted or brick flats farther inland. Steady improvements in public transportation and an unlimited supply of affordable land have long made single-family housing in the city relatively accessible to many.
There are still thousands of bungalows on the outskirts, which are built narrow and deep according to the city. Many of these homes were built in large-scale subdivisions where developers replicated the same basic home dozens of times.
Chicago stretches out in all directions from the winding lakeshore. The vast public-transit and expressway network has allowed the metropolitan area, popularly called Chicagoland, to stretch from Kenosha, Wisconsin, around the southern end of the lake, through northwestern Indiana to the Michigan state line.
Early suburban development gave way to the wagon wheel. On the outer edge is a wide arc of old industrial cities – Waukegan, Elgin, St. Charles, Geneva, Aurora, Joliet and Chicago Heights – that were once independent from Chicago; These cities formed part of a ring that informally defined the outer limits of the metropolitan area until the late 20th century.
Immediately surrounding the city are communities such as Evanston, Oak Park, Cicero, and Blue Island, all of which resisted annexation by their larger neighbor. Connecting the hub and rim are several other older residential suburbs that developed as part of spokelike strings of towns extending outward from the city along several commuter rail lines.
The wheel pattern gradually broke down after World War II, when automobile traffic on the growing network of expressways allowed new subdivisions to displace farms located between older rail-carried suburbs. The presence of O’Hare International Airport after 1960 led businesses and light industry to concentrate in the northwestern suburbs.
After the 1970s new high-technology research facilities and offices developed along the “Silicon Prairie” corridor extending west of the city. As a result, the formerly quiet village of Naperville has transformed into a sprawling “technoburb” with one of the largest populations in the state.
In contrast, some older suburbs have repeated inner-city patterns of aging structures, obsolete industrial buildings, and social problems, while the outward shift of jobs has accelerated the spread of residential development beyond the limits of older industrial cities.
Chicago City Climate
Chicagoans have some old sayings about the local climate. The first – “If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour and it will change” – may have something to do with the fact that temperatures and precipitation, borne by prairie winds from Iowa or Minnesota, regularly Collides with the situations arising.
There will be sudden changes in weather due to Lake Michigan. The second—”Chicago has two seasons: Christmas and the Fourth of July”—refers to the occasional extremes in weather. About 50 °F (28 °C) separates the January average of 28 °F (−2 °C) and the July average of 75 °F (24 °C). Average annual rainfall is 35 inches (900 mm). Chicagoans can enjoy lying on the beach in the summer and skating in the parks in the winter.
However, the greater Chicago area is large enough to see double-digit temperature differences simultaneously. Although city pavements are known to absorb and radiate enough heat to influence local meteorological patterns, the lake often provides a moderating effect, slightly warming areas near it in the winter, while cooling them in the summer. Cools, and sometimes produces lake-effect rain and snowfall.