Downtown is the center of Chicago’s financial, cultural, and commercial institutions and home to Grant Park, famous skyscrapers, abundant restaurants, shopping, museums, a stadium for the Chicago Bears, convention facilities, parkland, and beaches.. “The Loop”, which is an eight-block by five-block square of city streets that are encircled by elevated rail tracks.
Chicago is home to…
2.8 million residents (3rd most populous city in the United States)
More than 200 theaters
Nearly 200 art galleries
More than 7,300 restaurants
26 miles of lakefront
15 miles of bathing beaches
36 annual parades
32 Fortune 500 companies
United States President Barack Obama
Art Institute of Chicago
Million Dollar Quartet
Cloud Gate and Millennium Park
Lookingglass Theatre Company
Symphony Center – Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier
Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Museum of Science and Industry
Holy Name Cathedral
John Hancock Center / Observatory
The destruction caused by the Great Chicago Fire led to the largest building boom in the history of the nation. In 1885, the first steel-framed high-rise building, the Home Insurance Building, rose in the city as Chicago ushered in the skyscraper era, which would then be followed by many other cities around the world. Today, Chicago’s skyline is among the world’s tallest and most dense.
The United States’ two tallest towers are both located in Chicago; Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower, and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere), and Trump International Hotel and Tower. The Loop’s historic buildings include the Chicago Board of Trade Building, the Fine Arts Building, 35 East Wacker, and the Chicago Building, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments by Mies van der Rohe. Many other architects have left their impression on the Chicago skyline such as Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Charles B. Atwood, John Root, and Helmut Jahn.
The Merchandise Mart, once first on the list of largest buildings in the world, and still listed as 20th, has its own zip code, and stands near the junction of the North and South branches of the Chicago River. Presently, the four tallest buildings in the city are Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower, also a building with its own zip code), Trump International Hotel and Tower, the Aon Center (previously the Standard Oil Building), and the John Hancock Center. Industrial districts, such as some areas on the South Side, the areas along theChicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and Northwest Indiana are clustered.
The Chicago suburb of Oak Park was home to famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who had designed The Robie House located near the University of Chicago as well as many prominent buildings across the country.