State & Madison after the fire.
1871 The Great Chicago Fire
The Tribune Building
The traditional account of the origin of the fire is
that it was started by a cow kicking over a
lantern in the barn owned by the O'Leary’s. In
1893, Michael Ahern, the Chicago Republican
reporter who wrote the O'Leary
account, admitted he had made it up as colorful
copy. The barn was the first building to be
consumed by the fire, but the official report
could not determine the exact cause.
The fire started at about 9:00 pm on Sunday, October 8, in or
around a small barn that bordered the alley behind 137
DeKoven Street. It burned for 2 days, killing hundreds and
destroying about 3.3 square miles. Though the fire was one of
the largest U.S. disasters of the 19th century, the rebuilding
that began helped develop Chicago as one of the most
populous and economically important American cities.
The Columbian Exposition, 1893
It celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New
World in 1492. The iconic centerpiece of the Fair, the large water
pool, represented the long voyage Columbus took to the New World.
The pool, surrounded by the White City
The Court of Honor
Palace of Mechanic Arts
The exposition was located in Jackson
Park and on the Midway Plaisance on
630 acres in the neighborhoods of
South Shore, Jackson Park
Highlands, Hyde Park and Woodlawn.
Most of the buildings were based on
The Ferris Wheel
The chief wonder of the fair was the work of
George Washington Gale Ferris, a man born
west of Chicago.
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at the Columbian Exposition
The spurning of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show proved a serious financial
mistake. Buffalo Bill set up his highly popular show next door to the fair
and brought in a great deal of revenue that he did not have to share
with the developers.
Note: Architecture & Murder
For a terrific book on the design and
building of the Fair and a serial killer who
was operating at the same time, read The
Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson.
The brand new Art Institute 1893
Art Institute was built in 1893 as
part of the Columbian
To the right is a 1941 photo
Building the “L” in 1895
The “L” Tracks in 1936
Chicago Stockyards in 1905
“Hog Butcher for the World”
State Street - That Great Street!
The corner of State & Madison Streets
Once called “the busiest intersection in the world.”
State & Madison 1905
The Chicago Theatre
on State Street
& in 2011
The Iconic Marshall Fields Store
on State Street
Window shopping in 1910
It’s now a Macy’s Store
Hull House in 1904
Hull House was was originally the mansion of real estate magnate Charles J. Hull. It was opened as a
settlement house in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. By 1911, Hull House had grown to 13
buildings. On June 12, 1974, the Hull House building was designated a Chicago Landmark. On June
23, 1965, it was designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark
Hull House - 1856
Carson Pirie Scott store - 1871
Designed by the great Louis Sullivan, was initially developed because of the Chicago Great Fire of
1871. Sullivan designed the corner entry to be seen from both State and Madison, and that the
ornamentation, situated above the entrance, would be literally attractive, which would give the
store an elegant unique persona important to the competitiveness of the neighboring stores.
The building is one of the classic structures of the Chicago school.
(A Target Store is opened here in 2012)
The Studebaker Building shown here in 1920
(The Rookery Building, built in 1888, is a
historic landmark located at 209 South
LaSalle Street. Completed by John Wellborn
Root and Daniel Burnham of Burnham and
Root in 1888, it is considered one of their
masterpiece buildings, and was once the
location of their office. The building is
twelve stories tall and is considered the
oldest standing high-rise in Chicago
The Rookery in 1905
The ten-story Fine Arts Building, built in 1884-5, is also
known as the Studebaker Building. It is located at 410
South Michigan Avenue. It was built for the Studebaker
company and was extensively remodeled in 1898. It houses
the Studebaker Theatre, also known as Studebaker
Hall, dedicated in 1898. The venue housed some of the
earliest television shows including DuMont's Cavalcade of
Stars hosted by comedian Jack Carter.
The Auditorium Theatre - circa 1890
It is one of the best-known designs of Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. Completed in 1889, the building
was built at the northwest corner of South Michigan Avenue and Congress Street. It was added to the
National Register of Historic Places in1970 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Since
1947, the Auditorium Building has been the home of Roosevelt University.
It was built for the 1893 Columbian Exposition, and was originally called The Palace of
Fine Arts. For a time it was called The Field Museum of Natural History, until anothr
building was erected to house that collection. It opened as the Museum of Science and
Industry in 3 stages between 1933 and 1940. Pictured below in 1930
The Museum of Science & Industry
The Edgewater Beach Hotel - 1916
Built in 1916 and owned by John Tobin Connery and James Patrick Connery, it was located between
Sheridan Road and Lake Michigan at Berwyn Avenue. The complex had a private beach and offered
seaplane service to downtown Chicago. During its lifetime, the hotel served many famous guests including
Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, and Nat
King Cole, and U.S. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The Tribune Tower - 1925
In 1922 the Chicago Tribune hosted an
international design competition for its new
headquarters, and offered $100,000 in prize
money with a $50,000 1st prize for "the most
beautiful and distinctive office building in the
world". The competition worked brilliantly for
months as a publicity stunt, and the resulting
entries still reveal a unique turning point in
American architectural history. More than 260
entries were received.
The winner was a neo-Gothic design by New
York architects John Mead Howells and
Raymond Hood, with buttresses near the top.
The Palmolive Building
A 37-story Art Deco building at 919 N.
Michigan Avenue. It was completed in
1929 and was home to the Colgate-
The Palmolive Building came to be
known as the Playboy Building from
1965 to 1989, when it was home to
Playboy magazine. It was designated a
Chicago Landmark in 2000, and it was
added to the federal National Register
of Historic Places in 2003.
Today, the building has been
converted for residential use. The first
two floors house upscale office and
retail space. High-end condos make up
the rest of the building.
Notable residents of the building
include Vince Vaughn and Lou
Opened in 1930, it was the largest building in the world with 4,000,000 square feet of floor space.
Previously owned by the Marshall Field family, the Mart centralized Chicago's wholesale goods business
by consolidating architectural and interior design vendors and trades under a single roof. It has since
become home to several other enterprises, including the Shops at the Mart, the Chicago campus of the
Illinois Institute of Art, and the offices of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Mart at night
The Mart in 1930
The Merchandise Mart - 1930
He was a German-American architect. At the Illinois Institue of Chicago, he developed the Second
Chicago School. He called his buildings "skin and bones" architecture. He sought a rational approach
that would guide the creative process of architectural design, but he was always concerned with
expressing the spirit of the modern era. He is often associated with his quotation of the
aphorism, "less is more."
Mies designed a series of four middle-income high-rise
apartment buildings on Lake Shore Drive which were built
between 1949 and 1951. These towers were radical
departures from the typical residential brick apartment
buildings of the time.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1886 – 1969
S. R. Crown Hall is the home of the College of
Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
A Mansion at 3254 South Michigan Avenue
It belonged to John Cudahy, a successful meatpacker at the end of the 19th century
(The photo was taken in 1947)
The area now known as Lincoln Park in Chicago was primarily forest with stretches of grassland and
occasional quicksand until the late 1820s when the Europeans arrived. In 1836 the area was
considered remote, and a small pox hospital and the city cemetery were located in Lincoln Park until
the 1860s. The township containing Lincoln Park was annexed to the city in 1889.
Lincoln Park in 1900
Sunday in Lincoln Park - 1900
Grant Monument 1901 Conservatory 1906
Zoo 1901 Lincoln Park Views
Lincoln Park Zoo Bear Pit - 1901
Washington Park Race Track 1903
Garfield Park 1885
Jackson Park Conservatory
Ice skating in Washington Park 1905
Grant Park in 1937
Grant Park & Buckingham Fountain in 1929
Buckingham Fountain in the 1950s
Buckingham Fountain at night in 1981
Oak Street Beach in 1916 Oak Street Beach in 1931
Rogers Park Lakefront 1920s
Manhattan Beach at 75th & Lake - 1910
76th Street Pier 1913
Chicago’s First Airmail Flight in Grant Park, 1918
Charles Lindbergh visited Chicago on Sunday, Aug.
13, 1927, to promote commercial air travel.
Riding with the Mayor Reception at Soldier Field
Reception at Midway Airport
(from my mom’s photo album)
Chicago’s Lakefront in 1940
The 1932 World Series
(The cheap seats)
It was built in 1914 as Weeghman Park for the Chicago
Federal League baseball team, the Chicago Whales. It was
called Cubs Park between 1920 and 1926 before being
renamed for then Cubs team owner and chewing gum
magnate, William Wrigley, Jr..
1901: Entering their first season as a Major League franchise the White Sox were the defending
champions of the Western League, and it was a clear that in the inaugural season of the American
League the Chicago White Sox were the team to beat. It would only seem fitting, that the new league's
best team plays in the first official game. The Sox would win that game 8-2 over the Cleveland Blues on
April 22nd. With a team built around strong pitching the White Sox would go on to finish 83-53, witch
was good enough for 1st place and the first ever American League Championship.
Chicago White Sox
1915: The White Sox purchase the contract of
Shoeless Joe Jackson from the Cleveland Indians.
1916: In his first full season with the White Sox
Shoeless Joe Jackson bats an impressive .341, and
becomes an instant hit with Chicago fans. Along the
way Jackson hits a league high 21 triples, and makes
the Sox contenders again, as they finish with an 86-
65 record, would fall just 5 games short of the
Shoeless Joe Jackson
The 1919 Chicago “Black” Sox
“Say it ain’t so, Joe!”
The Chicago Cardinals – 1920-1959
Played As: Racine Cardinals 1920-1921
Chicago Cardinals 1922-1943
Chicago Cardinals 1945-1959
The Cardinals roots stretch back to 1898 when a neighborhood group that gathered to play football in
a predominantly Irish area of Chicago's South Side, playing under the name Morgan Athletic Club.
Chris O'Brien acquired the team and soon its playing site changed to nearby Normal Field, prompting
the new name Normals.
The Normal Athletic Club football team
In 1901, the team gained longstanding identification when O'Brien, finding a bargain, bought used
jerseys from the nearby University of Chicago. The jerseys were faded maroon in color, prompting
O'Brien to declare, "That's not maroon, it's Cardinal red!" The club's permanent nickname had been
Here is the Chicago Cardinals Logo from 1920 to 1934
In 1922, the Cardinals moved their home games to Comiskey Park, and officially & became the
Chicago Cardinals, so as not to confuse themselves with a new team in the league from
Racine, Wisconsin. Comiskey Park would be the Cardinals nest for the next 37 years. Here is a team
picture from 1921:
The Chicago Bears
The organization that eventually became the Chicago Bears, the Decatur Staleys, was
originally conceived by the A. E. Staley food starch company of Decatur, Illinois, in 1919 as a
company team. The company hired George Halas and Edward "Dutch" Sternaman in 1920
to run the team, and turned over full control of the team to them in 1921.
The Staleys moved to Chicago from Decatur, IL in 1921. Halas, who was given the team
and $5000 by Staley to keep the name Staleys for another year, made the move. In the
1921 season, the Chicago Staleys finished first in the league and captured their first
league championship. In 1922, Halas changed the team name to the Bears to reflect
baseball's Chicago Cubs, the team's host at Wrigley Field.
Bears Vs. Packers - 1921
During the teams’ very first meeting in 1921, Chicago’s John (Tarzan) Taylor threw a sucker punch
that broke the nose of Packers tackle Howard Buck. It set the tone for all Packers-Bears matchups
for years to come.
Bears playing at Wrigley Field
1924 Bears game at Soldier FieldDick Butkus
The Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are the third NBA franchise in Chicago, after the Packers–Zephyrs (now the
Washington Wizards) and the Stags (1946–50). The Bulls' founder, Dick Klein, was the only owner
to ever play professional basketball (for the Chicago Gears). He served as the Bulls' president and
general manager in their first years.
The team started in the 1966–67 NBA season, and posted the best record by an expansion team in
NBA history. Coached by Chicagoan and former NBA star Johnny "Red" Kerr, and led by former NBA
assist leader Guy Rodgers and forward Bob Boozer, the Bulls qualified for the playoffs.
The Chicago Black Hawks joined the NHL in 1926 as part of the league's first wave of expansion into the
United States. Most of the Hawks' original players came from the Portland Rosebuds of the Western
Hockey League (Canada), which had folded the previous season.
The team's first owner was coffee tycoon Frederic McLaughlin. He had been a commander with a Machine
Gun Battalion in WWII that was nicknamed the "Blackhawk Division," after a Native American of the Sauk
nation, Black Hawk, who was a prominent figure in the history of Illinois. McLaughlin evidently named the
hockey team in honor of the military unit. For many years, the name was spelled "Black Hawks." This
ambiguity was finally settled in the summer of 1986 when the club officially decided on the one-word
version based on the spelling found in the original franchise documents.
Chicago Board of Trade in 1933
The Chicago River
The River in 1930
The River in 1936
A Century of Progress – World’s Fair 1933 & 1934
It was an international showpiece set on Chicago's Lakefront that transcended the Great
Depression. The 1933 International Exposition not only provided entertainment to
millions, it paid for itself and made a profit.
Aladdin's Castle at Riverview
is now at Six Flags in Atlanta
Shoot The Chutes
The best day of the summer was the day
we visited Riverview!