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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nickname: "The Windy City"
Motto: "Urbs In Horto" (Latin: "City in a Garden"), "I Will"
Location in Chicagoland
Coordinates 41°54'00?N, 87°39'00?W
Counties United States
Mayor Richard M. Daley (D)
City 606.2 kmē (234.0 sq mi)
Land 588.3 kmē (227.1 sq mi)
Water 17.9 kmē (6.9 sq mi)
Urban 5,498.1 kmē (2,122.8 sq mi)
Metro 28,163 kmē (10,874 sq mi)
City (2004) 2,862,244
Density 4,867/kmē (12,604/sq mi)
Metro 9,750,000 (2006)
Elevation 179 m (587 ft)
Summer (DST) CST (UTC-6)
"Chicago" redirects here. For other uses, see Chicago (disambiguation).
Chicago listen (help·info) is the largest city in the Midwestern U.S. state of Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. Known as the "Second City," the "Windy City," the "City of Big Shoulders," and "Chi-town" (as well as other nicknames, and a variety of colloquial nicknames that reflect the city's character), Chicago is located along the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. When combined with its suburbs and nine surrounding counties in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana, the greater metropolitan area known as Chicagoland encompasses a population of nearly 10 million people.
Growing from its 1833 founding as a frontier town of the Old Northwest into one of the world's premier cities, Chicago is ranked as one of 10 "Alpha" (most influential) world cities by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network. Chicago was the site of the world's first skyscraper, and today is the architectural, financial, and cultural capital of the Midwest. The city is also the transportation center of the U.S., with more rail lines and interstates radiating from Chicago than any other city in the U.S. The city's skyscrapers, local cuisine, political traditions, and sports teams are some of its most recognized symbols.
A resident of Chicago is referred to as a Chicagoan. There is some ambiguity regarding the suburbs - some residents call themselves "Chicagoans" and identify with the central city, while others rarely deal with or visit the central city. Typically, residents of Chicago will identify themselves with one of the many neighborhoods of Chicago. About one-third of central-city Chicagoans are Caucasian, another third African American, around a quarter Hispanic and one-twentieth Asian, with small amounts of other groups filling in the remainder. Chicago also has several dozen distinct neighborhoods to match its ethnic diversity; the city is divided into 77 official community areas.
1 Origin of name
3 Geography and climate
6 Law and government
8.1 Public education
8.2 Higher education
9.1 Sites of interest
10.1 Health and medicine
Origin of name
Main article: Windy City, Origin of Name (Chicago)
The indigenous Potawatomi tribe called the marshes on which Chicago was later built "Checagou," which translates to "wild onion" or "garlic" (also referred to as "skunk cabbage"). This name was transferred by European explorers to the Chicago River, and then by settlers to the name of the city. Before Chicago's founding, the name of the river was spelled several ways, such as "Chetagu" or "Shikago".
The origin of Chicago's nickname as "The Windy City" is debated and has many possible politically-motivated origins (see List of nicknames for Chicago). The most common explanation is that the phrase was created by New York newspapers in the 1880s, during a national debate over which city would host the 1893 World's Fair. However, the Chicago citizenry turned the intended slur into a compliment of the city's new life and vitality following a quick recovery from the previous decade's Great Chicago Fire. As a result, the name remains in common usage. However, there has been evidence that the term Windy City had been in use prior to this common explanation.
Chicago, looking North from State and Washington StreetsMain article: History of Chicago
During the mid-1700s, the Chicago area was inhabited primarily by Potawatomis, who took the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox. The first non-native settler in Chicago was African-American/French Canadian Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable, who arrived in the 1770s, married a Potawatomi woman, and founded the area's first trading post. In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, which was destroyed in 1812 in the Fort Dearborn Massacre. The Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi then ceded the land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty with the Ottawa, etc. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of 350. Within seven years the town grew to a population of over 4,000. The City of Chicago was incorporated on March 4, 1837.
The opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848 allowed shipping from the Great Lakes through Chicago to the Mississippi River. The first rail line to Chicago, the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad, was completed in the same year. The city soon became an important transportation link between the eastern and western United States and experienced massive growth. Between 1870 and 1900, Chicago grew from a city of 299,000 to nearly 1.7 million. Chicago's flourishing economy brought many new residents from rural communities and immigrants from Europe. Chicago's manufacturing and retail sectors came to dominate the Midwest and greatly influenced the American economy. The Chicago Union Stock Yards dominated the packing trade, while Chicago became the world's largest rail hub and one of its busiest ports.
In 1871, much of the city burned in the Great Chicago Fire. In the following years during the city's reconstruction, Chicago architecture became influential throughout the world. The world's first skyscraper was constructed in 1885 using novel steel-skeleton construction. In 1893, Chicago hosted the World's Columbian Exposition on former marshland at the present location of Jackson Park. The constant lobbying by the city's boasting lobbyists and politicians earned Chicago the nickname "Windy City" in the New York press. The World's Columbian Exposition drew 27.5 million visitors, and is considered among the most influential world's fairs in history. Nevertheless, the city was the site of the Haymarket Riot on May 4, 1886, which was a culmination of a strike at the McCormick reaper plant.
State Street circa 1907The geography of Chicago presented early citizens with many problems, including transportation and sewage. Lake Michigan the primary source of fresh water for the city was already highly polluted from rapidly growing industries in and around Chicago and from population growth. The city embarked on several large public works projects, including a large excavation project which built tunnels below Lake Michigan to newly built water cribs which were two miles (3 km) off the shore of Lake Michigan. The cribs failed to bring enough clean water since spring rains would wash the polluted water from the Chicago River into them. Beginning in 1855, Chicago constructed the first comprehensive sewer system in the U.S. In 1900 the problem of sewage was solved by reversing the direction of the River's flow with the construction of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal leading to the Illinois River.
The 1920s brought international notoriety to Chicago as gangsters, such as Al Capone, battled each other and the law during the Prohibition era. Nevertheless, the 1920s also saw a large increase in Chicago industry as well as the first arrivals of the Great Migration that would lead thousands of mostly Southern blacks to Chicago and other Northern cities. On December 2, 1942, the world's first controlled nuclear reaction was conducted at the University of Chicago as part of the top secret Manhattan Project.
Starting in the 1950s, many upper- and middle-class citizens left the inner-city of Chicago for the suburbs, leaving many impoverished neighborhoods in their wake. However, since the early 1990s, Chicago has seen a turnaround from the decline common to American cities following World War II. Many formerly abandoned neighborhoods are starting to show new life and the city's diversity has grown with larger percentages of ethnic groups such as Asians and Hispanics.
Mayor Richard J. Daley was elected in 1955, in the era of so-called machine politics. During Daley's tenure the 1968 Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago, four major expressways were built, McCormick Place was constructed, the Sears Tower became the world's tallest building and O'Hare Airport (which later became the world's busiest airport) was constructed. In 1979 Jane Byrne, the city's first female mayor, was elected, and in 1983 Harold Washington became the first African American to be elected to the office of mayor. Richard M. Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, became mayor in 1989. New projects during the younger Daley's administration have made world headlines and have made Chicago larger, environmentally friendlier, and more accessible.
The skyline of Chicago at sunset (taken from the West)
Geography and climate
Main article: Geography of Chicago
USGS Landsat ImageChicago is located in northeastern Illinois at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan, its official Latitude/Longitude is 41°53'0?N, 87°39'0?W. It sits on the continental divide, at the site of the Chicago Portage, connecting the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes watersheds.
When Chicago was founded in the 1830s most of the early building began around the mouth of the Chicago River. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Chicago has a total area of 234.0 square miles (606.1 kmē), of which 227.1 square miles (588.3 kmē) is land and 6.9 square miles (17.8 kmē) is water. The total area is 2.94% water. The city has been built on relatively flat land; the average elevation of land is 579 feet (176 m) above sea level. The lowest points are along the lake shore at 577 feet (176 m). The highest point at 735 feet (224 m) is in the landfill on the city's far south side (41°39'18?N, 87°34'44?W). The highest naturally occurring point is near 95th street and Western Avenue at 666 feet (203 m). The city lies beside Lake Michigan and two rivers, the Chicago in downtown and the Calumet in the industrial far South Side, entirely or partially flow through Chicago. The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal connects the Chicago River with the Des Plaines River, which runs to the west of the city.
Since the first recorded earthquake in 1804, Chicago has occasionally experienced earthquakes. More recently, an earthquake with an epicenter in Ottawa, Illinois, registering about 4.3 on the Richter scale shook some buildings in Chicago on June 28, 2004. This earthquake sparked worries that the New Madrid fault might become active again. An earthquake of 6 or higher in the Missouri Fault might cause moderate to high damage in Chicago.
Downtown Chicago at nightSince the first steel-framed high-rise building was constructed in the city in 1885, Chicago has been known for the skyscraper. Today, many high-rise buildings are located in the downtown area, notably in the Loop and along the lakefront and the Chicago River. The three tallest buildings in the city are the Sears Tower (also the tallest building in North America), the Aon Center, and the John Hancock Center. Chicago, whose streets are laid out in a grid pattern, also has several multilevel streets, with Wacker Drive's being an example. The rest of the city consists of low-rise buildings and single-family homes. There are clusters of industrialized areas, including the lakefront near the Indiana border, the area south of Midway Airport, and the banks of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
Along with Lake Shore Drive, parks line the lakefront. The most notable of these parks are Grant Park, which borders the southeast end of the Loop, and Jackson Park in the Hyde Park neighborhood. The McCormick Place Convention Center, the Navy Pier, Soldier Field, and a water treatment plant are also located on the lakefront, as well as several of Chicago's major museums.
See also: Chicago architecture, Parks of Chicago, and List of tallest buildings in Chicago
Main article: Climate of Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, like much of the Midwest, has a climate that is prone to variable weather. The city experiences four distinct seasons. In July, the warmest month, high temperatures average 84 °F (29 °C) and low temperatures 63 °F (17 °C). In January, the coldest month, high temperatures average 29 °F (-2 °C) with low temperatures averaging 13 °F (-11 °C).
Chicago's yearly precipitation averages about 38 inches (965 mm). Summer is the rainiest season, with short-lived rainfall and thunderstorms more common than prolonged rainy periods. Winter is the driest season, with most of the precipitation falling as snow.
Month  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F (°C) 32 (0) 38 (3) 47 (8) 59 (15) 70 (19) 80 (27) 84 (29) 83 (28) 76 (24) 64 (18) 49 (9) 37 (3) 60 (16)
Avg low °F (°C) 18 (-8) 24 (-4) 32 (0) 42 (6) 51 (11) 61 (16) 66 (19) 65 (18) 57 (14) 46 (8) 35 (2) 24 (-4) 43 (6)
Rainfall in. (mm) 2.2 (55) 1.8 (45) 3.0 (77) 3.7 (93) 3.7 (94) 4.3 (109) 3.7 (94) 3.9 (98) 3.2 (82) 2.7 (69) 3.3 (84) 2.7 (67) 38.0 (965)
Main article: Demographics of Chicago
City of Chicago
Population by year 
year Population Rank
1840 4,470 92
1850 29,963 24
1860 112,172 9
1870 298,977 5
1880 503,185 4
1890 1,099,850 2
1900 1,698,575 2
1910 2,185,283 2
1920 2,701,705 2
1930 3,376,438 2
1940 3,396,808 2
1950 3,620,962 2
1960 3,550,404 2
1970 3,366,957 2
1980 3,005,072 2
1990 2,783,726 3
2000 2,896,016 3
People living in Chicago are called "Chicagoans." The metropolitan area is referred to as "Chicagoland," and the term "Chicagoan" is therefore applied colloquially to those living in one of the neighboring communities.
As of the 2000 census, there were 2,896,016 people, 1,061,928 households, and 632,909 families residing in the city of Chicago proper. This encompasses about one-fifth of the entire population of the state of Illinois and 1% of the population of the United States. The population density was 12,750.3 people per square mile (4,923.0/kmē). There were 1,152,868 housing units at an average density of 5,075.8 per square mile (1,959.8/kmē). The racial makeup of the city was 36.39% Black or African American, 31.32% White, 26.02% Hispanic or Latino, 4.33% Asian and Pacific Islander, 1.64% from two or more races, 0.15% Native American, and 0.15% from other races. The city itself makes up 23.3% percent of the total population of Illinois, down from a high of 44.3% in 1930.
Chinatown at S. Wentworth AvenueThe main European ethnic groups are the Irish, Germans, Italians and Polish. Chicago has a large Irish-American population on its South Side. Many of the city's politicians have come from this population, including current mayor Richard M. Daley. Chicago has the largest population of Swedish-Americans of any city in the U.S. with approximately 123,000. After the Great Chicago Fire, many Swedish carpenters helped to rebuild the city, which led to the saying the Swedes built Chicago.
Today, Chicago has the largest ethnically Polish population outside of Poland, making it one of the most important Polonia centers. Chicago is also considered to be the second-largest Serbian and Lithuanian city in the world, as well as the third largest Greek city in the world. The city also has a large Assyrian population, numbering as many as 80,000 and is the location of the seat of the head of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV. It is also the location of the ELCA headquarters.
The Chicago Metropolitan area is also becoming a major center for Indian-Americans and South Asians. Chicago has the third largest South Asian population in the country, after New York City and San Francisco. The Devon Avenue corridor on Chicago's north side is one of the largest South Asian neighborhoods in North America.
There are 1,061,928 households, of which 28.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.1% were married couples living together, 18.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.4% were non-families. Of all households, 32.6% are made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.50.
Of the city population, 26.2% are under the age of 18, 11.2% are from 18 to 24, 33.4% are from 25 to 44, 18.9% are from 45 to 64, and 10.3% are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $38,625, and the median income for a family was $42,724. Males had a median income of $35,907 versus $30,536 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,175. Below the poverty line are 19.6% of the population and 16.6% of the families. Of the total population, 28.1% of those under the age of 18 and 15.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Main article: Economy of Chicago
Chicago is the United States' second financial center with the nation's second largest central business district and third largest gross metropolitan product. The city's gross metropolitan product is approximately $390 billion. Manufacturing, printing and publishing, and food processing also play major roles in the city's economy.
Chicago Board of TradeThe construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which helped move goods from the Great Lakes south on the Mississippi River, and the railroads in the 1800s made the city a major transportation center in the United States. In the 1840s, Chicago became a major grain port, and in the 1850s and 1860s Chicago's pork and beef industry expanded. As the major meat companies grew in Chicago many, such as Armour, created global enterprises and communicated with divisions spread around the world via telegraph. Today, Chicago is a major tranportation and distribution center. The city is also a major convention destination; Chicago is third in the U.S. behind Las Vegas and Orlando as far as the number of conventions hosted annually.
The city is the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (the Seventh District of the Federal Reserve). Chicago is also home to four major financial and futures exchanges, including the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (Merc). Chicago and the surrounding areas also house many major brokerage firms and insurance companies, such as Allstate Corporation.
Chicago is home to eleven Fortune 500 companies, while the metropolitan area hosts an additional 21 Fortune 500 companies. Chicago also hosts 12 Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 Financial Times 500 companies. The city and its surrounding metropolitan area are also home to the second largest labor pool in the United States, numbering approximately 4.25 million workers.
See also: List of major companies in Chicagoland
Law and government
A Critical Mass gathering on the Daley Plaza, with the Chicago City Hall in the backgroundMain article: Law and government of Chicago
Chicago is the county seat of Cook County. The government of the City of Chicago is divided into executive and legislative branches. The mayor of Chicago is the chief executive, elected by general election for a term of four years. The mayor appoints commissioners and other officials who oversee the various departments. In addition to the mayor, Chicago's two other citywide elected officials are the clerk and the treasurer.
The City Council is the legislative branch and is made up of 50 aldermen, one elected from each ward in the city. The council enacts local ordinances and approves the city budget. Government priorities and activities are established in a budget ordinance usually adopted each November. The council takes official action through the passage of ordinances and resolutions.
During much of the last half of the 19th century, Chicago's politics were dominated by a growing Democratic Party organization dominated by ethnic ward-healers. During the 1880s and 1890s, Chicago also had a powerful radical tradition with large and highly organized socialist, anarchist and labor organizations. For much of the 20th century, Chicago has been among the largest and most reliable Democratic strongholds in the United States. The citizens of Chicago have not elected a Republican mayor since 1927, when William Thompson was voted into office.
Former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley's mastery of machine politics preserved the Chicago Democratic Machine long after the demise of similar machines in other large American cities. During much of that time the city administration found opposition mainly from a liberal "independent" faction of the Democratic Party. The independents finally won control of city government in 1983 with the election of Harold Washington. Since Washington's death, Chicago has returned to the leadership of the traditional Democratic organization led by Richard M. Daley.
Beyond local elections, Chicago also votes heavily for the Democratic Party in national elections. Democratic vote totals in the city have led the state of Illinois to be "solid blue" in the past four presidential elections. Barack Obama's landslide victory to U.S. Senate in 2004 was considerably helped by vote totals in the city.
See also: List of Chicago city departments, Municipal Flag of Chicago, and Sister Cities of Chicago
CPD Officer.Despite its prosperity and reputation as a world-class city, Chicago's crime situation in the latter half of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st has been poor. In addition to its gangland problems, starting in the late 1960s, Chicago saw a major rise in violent crime. Murders in the city peaked first in 1974, with 970 murders for the year when the city's population was over three million., resulting in a murder rate of around 29 per 100,000; and again in 1992, with 943 murders for the year when the city had fewer than three million people, resulting in a murder rate of 34 per 100,000. Following 1992, the murder count slowly decreased to 705 by 1999; by this time, it had the most murders of any big city in the U.S. until 2004. After adopting crime-fighting techniques recommended by the New York Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department in 2004, Chicago recorded 448 homicides, the lowest total since 1965. Nevertheless, the city's murder rate of 15.65 is still significantly higher than those of New York City and Los Angeles.
Chicago has been among the first U.S. cities to build an integrated emergency response center to coordinate the city's response to terrorist attacks, gang violence, and natural disasters. Built in 1995, the center is integrated with over 2000 cameras, a direct link to the National Counterterrorism Center, and communications with all levels of city government. Recently installed anti-crime cameras have been introduced and are capable of pinpointing gunshot sounds, calculating where the shots were fired, and pointing and zooming the cameras in the direction of the shots within a two block radius. Early results show these new cameras to be highly effective in reducing crime. Placed in residential areas, these cameras cause some Chicagoans to feel uneasy about being so closely watched. They have prompted some calls of discrimination since these cameras are prevalent in Black and Latino communities.
The FBI often does not accept crime statistics submitted by the Chicago Police Department, which tallies data differently than other cities. The police record all criminal sexual assaults as opposed to only rape as with other police departments. Aggravated battery is counted along with the standard category of aggravated assault. As a result, Chicago is often omitted from studies like Morgan Quitno's annual "Safest/Most Dangerous City" survey.
See also: Organized crime in Chicago
The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the school district that controls over 600 public elementary and high schools in Chicago. The school district, with more 400,000 students enrolled, is led by CEO Arne Duncan. The CPS also includes a number of selective-admission magnet schools, such as Whitney Young Magnet High School, William Jones College Prep, Walter Payton College Prep, Lane Tech College Prep, and Northside College Preparatory High School.
Like many urban U.S. school districts, CPS suffered with a number of problems throughout the latter half of the 20th century, including overcrowding, underfunding, mismanagement and a high dropout rate. In 1987, then U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett named the Chicago Public Schools as the "worst in the nation." A number of school reform initiatives have since been undertaken to improve the system's performance. Reforms have included a system of Local School Councils, Charter Schools, and efforts to end social promotion.
Main article: Colleges and universities of Chicago
Chicago is home to many institutions of higher education within its city limits and nearby environs. While some of these institutions are primarily located outside of central Chicago, many have downtown branches. The city is home to the University of Chicago in Hyde Park on the near South Side and Northwestern University in nearby northside suburb Evanston. Both maintain campuses near the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago. The Illinois Institute of Technology in Bronzeville has notable engineering and architecture programs.
Gated entrance to the University of Chicago's main quadrangleThe city is also home to several Catholic universities. Loyola University has campuses in Rogers Park, Edgewater and Water Tower Place. DePaul University, which is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private institution in Chicago, has campuses in Lincoln Park and the Loop.
The Chicago region boasts 12 accredited theological schools representing Catholic and most mainline Protestant traditions. Those in Chicago are the United Church of Christ-related Chicago Theological Seminary (which is the city's oldest institution of higher education), Presbyterian-related McCormick Theological Seminary, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Unitarian-Universalist-related Meadville Lombard Theological School, the Catholic Theological Union, and the Evangelical Covenant Church related North Park Theological Seminary. These and the other accredited seminaries in the region are joined in a consortium known as the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS). The Moody Bible Institute is near downtown Chicago.
The University of Illinois at Chicago is the city's largest university. Other state universities in Chicago include Chicago State University and Northeastern Illinois University. The city also has a large community college system known as the City Colleges of Chicago.
A number of smaller colleges are known for fine arts education, including Roosevelt University, Columbia College Chicago, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Dominican University, recognized for its accredited library and information science graduate program, is located just outside Chicago in River Forest. Many of the library courses are taught at the Chicago Public Library's main Harold Washington building in the Loop.
Main article: Culture of Chicago
Chicago Jazz ClubChicago has a major theater scene, and is the birthplace of modern improvisational comedy. The city is home to two renowned comedy troupes: The Second City and I.O. Renowned Chicago theater companies include the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, on the city's north side, the Goodman Theatre, and the Victory Gardens Theatre. Other theatres, from nearly 100 black box performances spaces like the Strawdog Theatre Company in the Lakeview area to landmark downtown houses like the Chicago Theatre, present a variety of plays and musicals. The city is home to the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet, and several modern and jazz dance troupes.
Chicago is known for its Chicago blues, Chicago soul, Jazz, and Gospel. The city is the birthplace of the House style of music, and is the site of an influential Hip-Hop scene. The city is also home to various alternative bands from the 1990s and a handful of punk rock bands. The independent rock scene is currently flourishing, with multiple festivals featuring various acts each year (Lollapalooza, the Intonation Music Festival and Pitchfork Music Festival being the most prominent).
Chicago has several signature foods which reflect the city's ethnic and working-class roots. These include the deep-dish pizza and the Chicago hot dog, which is almost always made of Vienna Beef and loaded with mustard, chopped onion, sliced tomato, pickle relish, celery salt, sport peppers, and a dill pickle spear. However, putting ketchup on a Chicago hot dog is often taken as an insult. Chicago is also known for Italian Beef sandwiches and the Maxwell Street Polish (always served topped with grilled onions and mustard). The city has many world-renowned upscale dining establishments as well as many ethnic restaurant districts. These include "Greektown" on South Halsted, "Little Italy" on Taylor Street, just west of Halsted, "Chinatown" on the near the South Side, and South Asian on Devon Avenue.
See also: Chicago theatre and List of Chicago music venues
Sites of interest
The Shedd AquariumIn 1998, the city officially opened the Museum Campus, a 10-acre (4-hectare) lakefront park surrounding three of the city's main museums: the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. The Museum Campus was constructed on the southern section of Grant Park. Grant Park is also home to Chicago's other major downtown museum, the Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the premier art museums in the United States and is partnered with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. To the west of Grant Park is Millennium Park, while Navy Pier is located north of Grant Park on the lakefront. The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, located in the Hyde Park neighborhood, is housed in the only in-place surviving building from the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.
The Chicago Cultural Center, built in 1897 as Chicago's first public library, now houses the city's Visitor Information Center, galleries, and exhibit halls. The ceiling of Preston Bradley Hall includes a 38-foot Tiffany glass dome. The Oriental Institute, part of the University of Chicago, has an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeological artifacts, while the Freedom Museum is dedicated to exploring and explaining the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Other museums and galleries in Chicago are the Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum of African-American History, Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
Harpo Studios, home of talk show host Oprah Winfrey.Main article: Media in Chicago
Chicago is the third-largest market in the U.S. (after New York City and Los Angeles). As such, Chicago has many different forms of media and outlets to support its status. All of the major U.S. television networks have subsidiaries in Chicago. WGN-TV, which is owned by the Tribune Company, is carried (with some programming differences) as "Superstation WGN" on cable nation-wide. The city is also the home of the Oprah Winfrey Show.
There are two major daily newspapers published in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, with the former having the larger circulation. There are also a number of regional and special-interest newspapers such as the Daily Southtown, the Chicago Defender, the Newcity News, the Daily Herald, StreetWise and the Chicago Reader.
Chicago Public Radio offers diverse and informative programs and is perhaps best known for producing public radio favorites such as PRI's This American Life and NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!.
New Comiskey Park, now known as U.S. Cellular Field on Chicago's South Side. Home of the 2005 Champion Chicago White SoxClub League Venue Established Championships
Chicago Bandits NPF Women's Softball Benedictine University Sports Complex Softball Stadium
Chicago Bears NFL Football Soldier Field 1919 8 (NFL), 1 (Super Bowl)
Chicago Blackhawks NHL Hockey United Center 1926 3
Chicago Bulls NBA Basketball United Center 1966 6
Chicago Cubs MLB Baseball Wrigley Field 1870 2
Chicago Fire MLS Soccer Toyota Park 1997 1
Chicago Force IWFL Women's Football Lane Stadium at Lane Technical College Prep High School 2005
Chicago Machine MLL Lacrosse Benedictine University 2006 0
Chicago Rockstars ABA Basketball Emil and Patricia Jones Convocation Center 2006 0
Chicago Rush AFL Arena Football Allstate Arena 2001 0
Chicago Shamrox NLL Indoor Lacrosee Sears Centre 2006 0
Chicago Sky WNBA Basketball UIC Pavilion 2006 0
Chicago Storm MISL Indoor Soccer UIC Pavilion 2004 0
Chicago White Sox MLB Baseball U.S. Cellular Field 1900 3
Chicago Wolves AHL Hockey Allstate Arena 1994 2 (IHL), 1 (AHL)
Chicago is the home to 15 pro athletic teams and is one of three U.S. cities that has two Major League Baseball teams. The Chicago Cubs of the National League play at Wrigley Field, which is located in the north side neighborhood of Lakeview. This area is commonly referred to as "Wrigleyville." The Cubs are famous as "lovable losers" whose fans are famously dedicated. The Cubs are the oldest team to play continuously in the same city since the formation of the National League in 1876. The Chicago White Sox of the American League won the World Series championship in 2005, their first since 1917. U.S. Cellular Field, or "The Cell," is located on the city's south side; built in 1990 and originally known as New Comiskey Park, it is located across the street from the original Comiskey Park, where the White Sox played from 1910 to 1990.
The Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association is one of the most recognized basketball teams. The team's most famous player, Michael Jordan, led the Bulls to six NBA championships in eight seasons in the 1990s. The Chicago Bears of the National Football League, who play at Soldier Field, are one of the founding franchises of the NFL. The Bears history includes many well-known NFL personalities, including owner George Halas, players Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Jim McMahon, William "Refrigerator" Perry, Walter Payton, and coach Mike Ditka.
The Chicago Fire soccer club are members of MLS and are one of the league's most successful and best-supported since its founding in 1997, winning one league and three US Open Cups in that timespan. After eight years at Soldier Field, they will begin play at the new Toyota Park at 71st and Harlem Avenue in Summer 2006.
Other major league sports teams in Chicago include the Chicago Sky (Women's National Basketball Association) and the Chicago Blackhawks (National Hockey League). Chicago also has an American Hockey League team (Chicago Wolves), an Arena Football League team (Chicago Rush), a Major Indoor Soccer League team (Chicago Storm), a Major League Lacrosse team (Chicago Machine, which will begin play in 2006), a National Lacrosse League team (Chicago Shamrox), a National Pro Fastpitch softball team (Chicago Bandits), an Independent Women's Football League (IWFL) team (Chicago Force), and an American Basketball Association team (Chicago Rockstars).
The city is currently bidding for the 2016 Summer Olympics, where it is considered the strongest contender among American cities.
1959 Pan American Games in Chicago
Chicago Motor Speedway
Windy City Rollers
Health and medicine
Cook County HospitalChicago has one of the most respected health care system in the U.S. The city is first among the major dental and medical training centers in the United States, and is home to the sprawling Illinois Medical District on the Near West Side, which includes Rush University Medical Center, the University of Illinois at Chicago medical center, and John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, the largest trauma-center in the city.
The University of Illinois College of Medicine at UIC is the largest medical school in the United States (1300 students, including those at campuses in Peoria, Rockford and Urbana-Champaign). Chicago is also home to other nationally recognized medical schools including Rush Medical College, the Pritzker School of Medicine of the University of Chicago, and the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University. In addition, the Chicago Medical School and Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine are located in the suburbs of North Chicago and Maywood, respectively. The Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine is in Downers Grove.
The leading healthcare informatics organizations are located in Chicago, including the American Medical Informatics Association and the long-standing Health Information Management Systems Society. These organizations include as members most healthcare I.T. vendors and the C.I.O./VP Technology leaders of most American healthcare operations. Medical products and services companies headquartered in the Chicago area include Baxter International, Abbott Laboratories, and the Healthcare Financial Services division of General Electric. The American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Dental Association, and the American College of Surgeons are based in the city. The American Osteopathic Association is also located in Chicago.
CTA Blue Line train station at Chicagos O'hare Airport.Main articles: Streets and highways of Chicago, Mass transit in Chicago, Chicago airports
Chicago is considered to be the premier transportation hub in America. It is an important component in global distribution, as it is the third largest inter-modal port in the world after Hong Kong and Singapore.
The streets of Chicago primarily follow a grid system. The baselines for numbering streets and buildings are State Street (east-west numbering) and Madison (north-south numbering). Street numbers begin at "1" at the baselines and run numerically in directions indicated to the city limits, with N, S, E, and W indicating directions. Chicago is divided into one-mile sections which contain eight blocks to the mile, with each block's addresses occupying a 100-number range. Even-numbered addresses are on the north and west sides of streets; odd-numbered address are on the south and east sides.
Seven interstate highways run through Chicago. Segments that link to the city center are named after influential politicians, and traffic reports tend to use the names rather than interstate numbers. The named interstate segments are the Kennedy Expressway (I-90 from the 'Loop' to O'Hare International Airport), Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94, from south of the 'Circle Interchange' to the I-57 Split), Stevenson Expressway (I-55), Edens Expressway (I-94), Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), Bishop Ford Expressway (I-94 from the I-57 Split south), and the Chicago Skyway (I-90 when it breaks off the Dan Ryan). Interstate 57 is not named.
Chicago Transit Authority
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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) handles public transportation in the City of Chicago and a few adjacent suburbs. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) provides service in forty surrounding suburbs and partially into the city. On an average day, 1.6 million rides are taken on the CTA, which operates public buses, a rapid transit system, and an elevated train known as the "Chicago L" or "El" to Chicagoans. The CTA also operates rapid transit service to Midway and O'Hare Airports.
Metra operates commuter rail service in Chicago and its suburbs. Metra features the Electric District Main Line, which offers commutes from the Far South Suburbs to Chicago's Lakefront attractions. Metra's Electric Line is Chicago's oldest continuing commuter train (1856), sharing the railway with the South Shore Line's NICTD Northwest Indiana Commuter Rail Service, which accesses Chicago/Gary Airport. Pace operates a primarily-suburban bus service that also offers some routes into Chicago.
Chicago is served by two major airports: Midway Airport on the south side and O'Hare International Airport on the far northwest. O'Hare is one of the world's busiest airports. In 2005, O'Hare was the world's busiest airport by aircraft movements and the second busiest by total passenger traffic. Both O'Hare and Midway are owned and operated by the City of Chicago. The State of Illinois has debated opening a new airport near Peotone. Gary/Chicago International Airport, located in nearby Gary, Indiana, serves as the third Chicagoland airport.
Electricity for all of northern Illinois is provided to residents through Commonwealth Edison, also known as ComEd. Their service territory borders Iroquois County to the south, the Wisconsin border to the north, the Iowa border to the west and the Indiana border to the east.
Most landline telephone service is provided by AT&T. There are a number of other smaller players such as RCN that service the city. Cable television services in Chicago are provided through one of three providers over five service territories covering the city. The three players are Comcast, Wide Open West (WOW), and RCN. Comcast services are available city-wide while RCN and WOW only cover the North East and South side respectively. Service providers are regulated by The Office of Cable Communications, which is a division of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
312 (The Loop and central neighborhoods, e.g. the Near North Side)
773 (Everywhere else in the city proper, the neighborhoods)
847 (North and Northwest Suburbs)
708 (Near West and South Suburbs)
630 (Western Suburbs)
224 (Overlay area code for 847)
815 (far northwest and some south suburbs, Joliet)
For more information on Chicago, Illinois, please visit Wikipedia.
Cheapest Gas Prices in Chicago
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