Chicago

Chicago

Overview
Chicago is the largest city in the US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 state of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 and the third most populous in the US, after New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

. Its metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

, sometimes called "Chicagoland," is the third largest in the United States, the largest in the Great Lakes Megalopolis
Great Lakes Megalopolis
The Great Lakes Megalopolis consists of the group of North American metropolitan areas which surround the Great Lakes region mainly within the Midwestern United States, the Southern Ontario area of Canada, along with large parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and Quebec...

, and the 27th most populous urban agglomeration in the world, with an estimated 9.8 million people in the three US states of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, and Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

.
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Timeline

1833   Chicago is founded.

1837   Chicago is incorporated as a city.

1871   Four major fires break out on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Peshtigo, Wisconsin, Holland, Michigan, and Manistee, Michigan including the Great Chicago Fire, and the much deadlier Peshtigo Fire.

1889   Hyde Park and several other Illinois townships vote to be annexed by Chicago, forming the largest United States city in area and second largest in population.

1890   Chicago is selected to host the Columbian Exposition

1891   The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago, Illinois.

1892   Opening ceremonies for the World's Columbian Exposition are held in Chicago, though because construction was behind schedule, the exposition did not open until May 1, 1893.

1893   The World's Columbian Exposition opens in Chicago.

1894   The troops sent by Grover Cleveland to Chicago to end the Pullman Strike are recalled.

1895   The first American automobile race takes place over the 54 miles from Chicago's Jackson Park to Evanston, Illinois. Frank Duryea wins in approximately 10 hours.

 
Quotations

“It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago — she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.”

“I'm impressed with the people from Chicago. Hollywood is hype, New York is talk, Chicago is work.”

“Chicago was a town where nobody could forget how the money was made. It was picked up from floors still slippery with blood.”

"Once you've come to be a part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real." - Chicago: City on the Make

“My first day in Chicago, September 4, 1983. I set foot in this city, and just walking down the street, it was like roots, like the motherland. I knew I belonged here.”

Encyclopedia
Chicago is the largest city in the US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 state of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 and the third most populous in the US, after New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

. Its metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

, sometimes called "Chicagoland," is the third largest in the United States, the largest in the Great Lakes Megalopolis
Great Lakes Megalopolis
The Great Lakes Megalopolis consists of the group of North American metropolitan areas which surround the Great Lakes region mainly within the Midwestern United States, the Southern Ontario area of Canada, along with large parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and Quebec...

, and the 27th most populous urban agglomeration in the world, with an estimated 9.8 million people in the three US states of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, and Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

. Chicago is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Cook County
Cook County, Illinois
Cook County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois, with its county seat in Chicago. It is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles County. The county has 5,194,675 residents, which is 40.5 percent of all Illinois residents. Cook County's population is larger than...

, the second most populous county in the United States, after Los Angeles County, California
Los Angeles County, California
Los Angeles County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 9,818,605, making it the most populous county in the United States. Los Angeles County alone is more populous than 42 individual U.S. states...

.

Chicago was incorporated as a town in 1833, near a portage
Chicago Portage
The Chicago Portage connects the watersheds and the navigable waterways of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. It crosses the continental divide that separates the Great Lakes and Gulf of St. Lawrence watersheds from the Gulf of Mexico watershed.Near Chicago, the St...

 between the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 and the Mississippi River watershed. Today, the city retains its status as a major hub for industry, telecommunications and infrastructure, with O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare International Airport
Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, Chicago Airport, Chicago International Airport, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, northwest of the Chicago Loop...

 being the second busiest airport in the world in terms of traffic movements
World's busiest airports by traffic movements
The thirty world's busiest airports by aircraft movements are measured by total movements . One total movement is a landing or take off of an aircraft.- 2010 final statistics :-2009 final statistics:...

. , the city hosted 45.6 million domestic and overseas visitors. As of 2010, Chicago's metropolitan area has the 4th largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) among world metropolitan areas, after Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, and Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

.

The city is a center for services, business and finance and is listed as one of the world's top ten Global Financial Centers
Global Financial Centres Index
The Global Financial Centres Index is a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres based on 26,629 financial centre assessments from an online questionnaire together with over 60 indices...

. The World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University
Loughborough University
Loughborough University is a research based campus university located in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England...

 rated Chicago as an "alpha+ world city." In a 2010 survey collaboration between Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy is a bimonthly American magazine founded in 1970 by Samuel P. Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel.Originally, the magazine was a quarterly...

 and A.T Kearney ranking cities, Chicago ranked 6th, just after Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

. The ranking assesses five dimensions: value of capital markets, diversity of human capital, international information resources, international cultural resources, and political influence. Chicago has been ranked by The Atlantic as the world's 4th most economically powerful city, and by Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

as 5th most powerful. Chicago is a stronghold of the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 and has been home to many influential politicians, including the current President of the United States, Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

.

The city's notoriety expressed in popular culture is found in novels, plays, movies, songs, various types of journals (for example, sports, entertainment, business, trade, and academic), and the news media. Chicago has numerous nicknames, which reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. The best known include: "Chi-town," "Windy City," "Second City," and the "City of Big Shoulders." Chicago has also been called "the most American of big cities."

History


During the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by a native American tribe known as the Potawatomi, who had taken the place of the Miami
Miami tribe
The Miami are a Native American nation originally found in what is now Indiana, southwest Michigan, and western Ohio. The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma is the only federally recognized tribe of Miami Indians in the United States...

 and Sauk and Fox
Sac and Fox Nation
The Sac and Fox Nation is the largest of three federally recognized tribes of Sac and Meskwaki Native Americans. They are located in Oklahoma and are predominantly Sac....

 peoples. The 1780s saw the arrival of the first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, who is believed to be of African and European (French) descent. In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War
Northwest Indian War
The Northwest Indian War , also known as Little Turtle's War and by various other names, was a war fought between the United States and a confederation of numerous American Indian tribes for control of the Northwest Territory...

, an area that was to be part of Chicago was turned over by some Native Americans in the Treaty of Greenville
Treaty of Greenville
The Treaty of Greenville was signed at Fort Greenville , on August 3, 1795, between a coalition of Native Americans & Frontiers men, known as the Western Confederacy, and the United States following the Native American loss at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. It put an end to the Northwest Indian War...

 to the United States for a military post.

In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn
Fort Dearborn
Fort Dearborn was a United States fort built in 1803 beside the Chicago River in what is now Chicago, Illinois. It was constructed by troops under Captain John Whistler and named in honor of Henry Dearborn, then United States Secretary of War. The original fort was destroyed following the Battle of...

, which was destroyed in the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, Battle of Fort Dearborn. The Ottawa
Odawa people
The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi had ceded additional land to the United States in the 1804 Treaty of St. Louis
Treaty of St. Louis
The Treaty of St. Louis is one of many treaties signed between the United States and various Native American tribes.-1804 - Sauk and Fox :...

. The Potawatomi were eventually forcibly removed from their land following the Treaty of Chicago
Treaty of Chicago
The Treaty of Chicago may refer to either of two treaties made and signed in Chicago, Illinois between the United States and the Ottawa, Ojibwe , and Potawatomi Native American peoples.-1821 Treaty of Chicago:...

 in 1833. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of around 200 at that time. Within seven years it would grow to a population of over 4,000. On the 15th day of June, 1835, the first public land sales commenced with Edmund Dick Taylor as U. S. receiver of public moneys. The City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837.

The name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the Native American word shikaakwa, translated as "wild onion" or "wild garlic," from the Miami-Illinois language. The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de LaSalle was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico...

 around 1679 in a memoir written about the time. The wild garlic plants, Allium tricoccum, were described by LaSalle's comrade, naturalist-diarist Henri Joutel, in his journal of LaSalle's last expedition.
As the site of the Chicago Portage
Chicago Portage
The Chicago Portage connects the watersheds and the navigable waterways of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. It crosses the continental divide that separates the Great Lakes and Gulf of St. Lawrence watersheds from the Gulf of Mexico watershed.Near Chicago, the St...

, the city emerged as an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States. Chicago's first railway, Galena and Chicago Union Railroad
Galena and Chicago Union Railroad
The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad was a railroad running west from Chicago to Clinton, Iowa and Freeport, Illinois, never reaching Galena, Illinois...

, opened in 1848, which also marked the opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal
Illinois and Michigan Canal
The Illinois and Michigan Canal ran from the Bridgeport neighborhood in Chicago on the Chicago River to LaSalle-Peru, Illinois, on the Illinois River. It was finished in 1848 when Chicago Mayor James Hutchinson Woodworth presided over its opening; and it allowed boat transportation from the Great...

. The canal allowed steamboats and sailing ships on the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 to connect to the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. A flourishing economy brought residents from rural communities and immigrants
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 abroad. Manufacturing and retail sectors became dominant among Midwestern cities, influencing the American economy, particularly in meatpacking, with the advent of the refrigerated rail car
Refrigerator car
A refrigerator car is a refrigerated boxcar , a piece of railroad rolling stock designed to carry perishable freight at specific temperatures. Refrigerator cars differ from simple insulated boxcars and ventilated boxcars , neither of which are fitted with cooling apparatus...

 and the regional centrality of the city's Union Stock Yards
Union Stock Yards
The Union Stock Yard & Transit Co., or The Yards, was the meat packing district in Chicago for over a century starting in 1865. The district was operated by a group of railroad companies that acquired swampland, and turned it to a centralized processing area...

.

In the 1850s Chicago gained national political prominence as the home of Senator Stephen Douglas, the champion of the Kansas-Nebraska Act
Kansas-Nebraska Act
The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opening new lands for settlement, and had the effect of repealing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing settlers in those territories to determine through Popular Sovereignty if they would allow slavery within...

 and "popular sovereignty" approach to the issue of the spread of slavery. These issues also helped propel another Illinoisan, Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, to the national stage. Lincoln was nominated in Chicago for the nation's presidency at the 1860 Republican National Convention
1860 Republican National Convention
The 1860 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States, held in Chicago, Illinois at the Wigwam, nominated former U.S. Representative Abraham Lincoln of Illinois for President and U.S. Senator Hannibal Hamlin of Maine for Vice President...

 and went on to defeat Douglas in the general election, setting the stage for the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

.

Chicago experienced some of the fastest population growth in the world, requiring infrastructure investments. In February 1856, the Chesbrough plan for the building of Chicago's and the United States' first comprehensive sewerage system was approved by the Common Council. The project raised much of central Chicago
Raising of Chicago
During the 1850s and 1860s engineers carried out a piecemeal raising of the level of central Chicago. Streets, sidewalks and buildings were either built up or else physically raised up on jacks...

 to a new grade. While raising Chicago out of its mud and sewage, and at first improving the health of the city, the untreated sewage and industrial waste now flowed into the Chicago River
Chicago River
The Chicago River is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of that runs through the city of the same name, including its center . Though not especially long, the river is notable for being the reason why Chicago became an important location, as the link between the Great Lakes and...

, thence into Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

, polluting the primary source of fresh water for the city. Chicago responded by tunneling two miles (3 km) out into Lake Michigan to newly built water crib
Water crib
The Water cribs in Chicago supply the City of Chicago with drinking water from Lake Michigan. The first water crib, the Two-Mile Crib was constructed as part of a scheme by Ellis S. Chesbrough in 1865. Water was collected and transported through a tunnel 60 feet below the lake surface to the...

s. In 1900, the problem of sewage was largely resolved when the city undertook a major engineering feat. The city reversed the flow of the Chicago River so that water flowed from Lake Michigan into the river, instead of the water flowing from the river into the lake. It began with the construction and improvement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and completed with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, historically known as the Chicago Drainage Canal, is the only shipping link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River system, by way of the Illinois and Des Plaines Rivers...

 leading to the Illinois River
Illinois River
The Illinois River is a principal tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately long, in the State of Illinois. The river drains a large section of central Illinois, with a drainage basin of . This river was important among Native Americans and early French traders as the principal water route...

 which joins the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

.

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871
Great Chicago Fire
The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration that burned from Sunday, October 8, to early Tuesday, October 10, 1871, killing hundreds and destroying about in Chicago, Illinois. Though the fire was one of the largest U.S...

 destroyed a third of the city, including the entire central business district, Chicago experienced rapid rebuilding and growth. During its rebuilding period, Chicago constructed the world's first skyscraper
Home Insurance Building
The Home Insurance Building was built in 1884 in Chicago, Illinois, USA and destroyed in 1931 to make way for the Field Building . It was the first building to use structural steel in its frame, but the majority of its structure was composed of cast and wrought iron...

 in 1885, using steel-skeleton
Steel frame
Steel frame usually refers to a building technique with a "skeleton frame" of vertical steel columns and horizontal -beams, constructed in a rectangular grid to support the floors, roof and walls of a building which are all attached to the frame...

 construction. Labor conflicts
Labor history of the United States
The labor history of the United States describes the history of organized labor, as well as the more general history of working people, in the United States. Pressures dictating the nature and power of organized labor have included the evolution and power of the corporation, efforts by employers...

 and unrest followed, including the Haymarket affair
Haymarket affair
The Haymarket affair was a demonstration and unrest that took place on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at the Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a rally in support of striking workers. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they dispersed the public meeting...

 on May 4, 1886. Concern for social problems among Chicago's lower classes led Jane Addams
Jane Addams
Jane Addams was a pioneer settlement worker, founder of Hull House in Chicago, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in woman suffrage and world peace...

 to be a co-founder of Hull House
Hull House
Hull House is a settlement house in the United States that was co-founded in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. Located in the Near West Side of , Hull House opened its doors to the recently arrived European immigrants. By 1911, Hull House had grown to 13 buildings. In 1912 the Hull...

 in 1889. Programs developed there became a model for the new field of social work.

During the 1870s and 1880s, Chicago and the state of Illinois together attained national stature as leaders in the movement to improve public health. City and state laws that upgraded standards for the medical profession and fought urban epidemics of cholera, small pox and yellow fever were not only passed, but also enforced. These in turn became templates for public health reform in many other states. The city invested in many large, well-landscaped municipal parks
Chicago Park District
The Chicago Park District is the oldest and largest park district in the U.S.A, with a $385 million annual budget. It has the distinction of spending the most per capita on its parks, even more than Boston in terms of park expenses per capita...

, which also included public sanitation facilities. The chief advocate and driving force for improving public health in Chicago was Dr. John H. Rauch, M.D.
John Henry Rauch
John Henry Rauch was an American sanitarian. He brought attention to public health problems posed by cemeteries in large cities and handled the public health emergencies posed by the Chicago fire of 1871...

, who established a plan for Chicago's park system in 1866, created Lincoln Park by closing a cemetery filled with festering, shallow graves, and helped establish a new Chicago Board of Health in 1867 in response to an outbreak of cholera. Ten years later he became the secretary and then the president of the first Illinois State Board of Health, which carried out most of its activities in Chicago.

In the 19th century, Chicago became an important railroad center and in 1883 the standardized system of North American Time Zones was adopted by the general time convention of railway managers in Chicago. This gave the continent its uniform system for telling time.

In 1893, Chicago hosted the World's Columbian Exposition
World's Columbian Exposition
The World's Columbian Exposition was a World's Fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. Chicago bested New York City; Washington, D.C.; and St...

 on former marshland at the present location of Jackson Park
Jackson Park (Chicago)
Jackson Park is a 500 acre park on Chicago's South Side, located at 6401 South Stony Island Avenue in the Woodlawn community area. It extends into the South Shore and Hyde Park community areas, bordering Lake Michigan and several South Side neighborhoods...

. The Exposition drew 27.5 million visitors, and is considered the most influential world's fair in history. The University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 was founded in 1892 on the same South Side location. The term "midway" for a fair or carnival referred originally to the Midway Plaisance
Midway Plaisance
The Midway Plaisance, also known locally as the Midway, is a park on the South Side of the city of Chicago, Illinois. It is one mile long by 220 yards wide and extends along 59th and 60th streets, joining Washington Park at its east end and Jackson Park at its west end. It divides the Hyde Park...

, a strip of park land that still runs through the University of Chicago campus and connects Washington
Washington Park (Chicago park)
On December 6, 1879, former U.S. President Ulysses Grant took part in a tree planting ceremony in the park. A memorial boulder with a plaque commemorated the event. In the 1920s black semiprofessional baseball teams played at Washington Park...

 and Jackson Parks.

Chicago's flourishing economy attracted huge numbers of new immigrants from Europe and migrants from the eastern states. Of the total population in 1900 not less than 77.4% were foreign-born, or born in the United States of foreign parentage. Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

, Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

, Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

, Swedes
Swedes
Swedes are a Scandinavian nation and ethnic group native to Sweden, mostly inhabiting Sweden and the other Nordic countries, with descendants living in a number of countries.-Etymology:...

 and Czechs made up nearly two-thirds of the foreign-born population.

20th and 21st centuries


The 1920s brought notoriety to Chicago as gangsters
American gangsters during the 1920s
The terms "gangster" and "mobster" are mostly used in the United States to refer to members of criminal organizations who became prominent and are largely associated with Prohibition era in the 1920s.-Origins:...

, including the notorious Al Capone
Al Capone
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. The Chicago Outfit, which subsequently became known as the "Capones", was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early...

, battled each other and law enforcement on the city streets during the Prohibition
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

 era. Chicago had over 1,000 gangs in the 1920s.
The 1920s also saw a major expansion in industry. The availability of jobs attracted African Americans from the South. Between 1910 and 1930, the black population of Chicago increased from 44,103 to 233,903. Arriving in the hundreds of thousands during the Great Migration
Great Migration (African American)
The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1970. Some historians differentiate between a Great Migration , numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration , in which 5 million or more...

, the newcomers had an immense cultural impact. It was during this wave that Chicago became a center for jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, with King Oliver leading the way.

In 1933, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak
Anton Cermak
Anton Joseph Cermak was the mayor of Chicago, Illinois, from 1931 until his assassination by Giuseppe Zangara in 1933.-Early life and career:...

 was fatally wounded in Miami during a failed assassination attempt on President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

. In 1933 and 1934, the city celebrated its centennial by hosting the Century of Progress
Century of Progress
A Century of Progress International Exposition was the name of a World's Fair held in Chicago from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city's centennial. The theme of the fair was technological innovation...

 International Exposition Worlds Fair. The theme of the fair was technological innovation over the century since Chicago's founding.

On December 2, 1942, physicist Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi was an Italian-born, naturalized American physicist particularly known for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics...

 conducted the world's first controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

.
Mayor Richard J. Daley
Richard J. Daley
Richard Joseph Daley served for 21 years as the mayor and undisputed Democratic boss of Chicago and is considered by historians to be the "last of the big city bosses." He played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F...

 was elected in 1955, in the era of machine politics
Political machine
A political machine is a political organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and businesses , who receive rewards for their efforts...

. Starting in the early 1960s due to blockbusting, many white residents, as in most American cities, left the city for the suburbs. Whole neighborhoods were completely changed based on race. Structural changes in industry caused heavy losses of jobs for lower skilled workers. In 1966, James Bevel
James Bevel
James L. Bevel was an American minister and leader of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement who, as the Director of Direct Action and Director of Nonviolent Education of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference initiated, strategized, directed, and developed SCLC's three major successes of the era:...

, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

, and Albert Raby
Albert Raby
Albert Anderson Raby was a teacher at Chicago's Hess Upper Grade Center who secured the support of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to desegregate schools and housing in Chicago between 1965 and 1967.-Early life:...

 led the Chicago Open Housing Movement, which culminated in agreements between Mayor Richard J. Daley and the movement leaders. Two years later, the city hosted the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention
1968 Democratic National Convention
The 1968 Democratic National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1968. Because Democratic President Lyndon Johnson had announced he would not seek a second term, the purpose of the convention was to...

, which featured physical confrontations both inside and outside the convention hall, including full-scale riot
Riot
A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots are thought to be typically chaotic and...

s, or in some cases police riot
Police riot
A police riot is a confrontation between police and civilians. The term can also describe a riot by civilians caused or instigated by police...

s, in city streets. Major construction projects, including the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower, which in 1974 became the world's tallest building), University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, near the Chicago Loop...

, McCormick Place
McCormick Place
McCormick Place is the largest convention center in the United States. It is made up of four interconnected buildings sited on and near the shore of Lake Michigan, about 4 km south of downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA. McCormick Place hosts numerous trade shows, including the Chicago Auto Show,...

, and O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare International Airport
Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, Chicago Airport, Chicago International Airport, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, northwest of the Chicago Loop...

, were undertaken during Richard J. Daley's tenure. When Richard J. Daley died, Michael Anthony Bilandic
Michael Anthony Bilandic
Michael Anthony Bilandic was an Illinois politician who served as the mayor of Chicago, Illinois and as Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. He was a member of the Democratic Party....

 served as mayor for three years. Bilandic's subsequent loss in a primary election has been attributed to the city's inability to properly plow city streets during a heavy snowstorm. In 1979, Jane Byrne
Jane Byrne
Jane Margaret Byrne was the first and to date only female Mayor of Chicago. She served from April 16, 1979 to April 29, 1983. Chicago is the largest city in the United States to have had a female mayor as of 2011.-Early political career:...

, the city's first female mayor, was elected. She popularized the city as a movie location
Filming location
A filming location is a place where some or all of a film or television series is produced, in addition to or instead of using sets constructed on a movie studio backlot or soundstage...

 and tourist
Tourism in the United States
Tourism in the United States is a large industry that serves millions of international and domestic tourists yearly. Tourists visit the US to see natural wonders, cities, historic landmarks and entertainment venues...

 destination.

In 1983, Harold Washington
Harold Washington
Harold Lee Washington was an American lawyer and politician who became the first African-American Mayor of Chicago, serving from 1983 until his death in 1987.- Early years and military service :...

 became the first African American to be elected to the office of mayor, in one of the closest mayoral elections in Chicago. After Washington won the Democratic primary, racial motivations caused a few Democratic alderman and ward committeemen to back the Republican candidate Bernard Epton
Bernard Epton
Bernard Epton was an American politician who served in the Illinois House of Representatives. In 1983 he lost a close and contentious election for Mayor of Chicago; he would have become the city's first Jewish mayor, and its first Republican mayor since William "Big Bill" Thompson was defeated in...

, who ran on the race-baiting slogan Before it's too late.
Washington's term in office saw new attention given to poor and minority neighborhoods. Washington died in office of a heart attack in 1987, shortly after being elected to a second term. Richard M. Daley
Richard M. Daley
Richard Michael Daley is a United States politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party, and former Mayor of Chicago, Illinois. He was elected mayor in 1989 and reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He was the longest serving Chicago mayor, surpassing the tenure of his...

, son of Richard J. Daley, was elected in 1989. His accomplishments included improvements to parks and creating incentives for sustainable development
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

. After successfully standing for reelection five times and becoming Chicago's longest serving Mayor, Richard M. Daley announced he would step down at the end of his final term in 2011.

On February 23, 2011, former White House chief of staff and congressman Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Israel Emanuel is an American politician and the 55th and current Mayor of Chicago. He was formerly White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama...

 won the municipal election to succeed Daley, beating five rivals with 55 percent of the vote. Emanuel was sworn in as Mayor on May 16, 2011.

Topography



Chicago is located in northeastern Illinois at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

. It sits on a continental divide
Continental divide
A continental divide is a drainage divide on a continent such that the drainage basin on one side of the divide feeds into one ocean or sea, and the basin on the other side either feeds into a different ocean or sea, or else is endorheic, not connected to the open sea...

 at the site of the Chicago Portage
Chicago Portage
The Chicago Portage connects the watersheds and the navigable waterways of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. It crosses the continental divide that separates the Great Lakes and Gulf of St. Lawrence watersheds from the Gulf of Mexico watershed.Near Chicago, the St...

, connecting the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 watersheds
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

. The city lies beside freshwater Lake Michigan, and two rivers—the Chicago River
Chicago River
The Chicago River is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of that runs through the city of the same name, including its center . Though not especially long, the river is notable for being the reason why Chicago became an important location, as the link between the Great Lakes and...

 in downtown and the Calumet River
Calumet River
The Calumet River refers to a system of heavily industrialized rivers and canals in the region between the neighborhood of South Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, and the city of Gary, Indiana.-Background:...

 in the industrial far South Side—flow entirely or partially through Chicago. The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, historically known as the Chicago Drainage Canal, is the only shipping link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River system, by way of the Illinois and Des Plaines Rivers...

 connects the Chicago River with the Des Plaines River
Des Plaines River
The Des Plaines River is a river that flows southward for through southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois in the U.S. Midwest, eventually meeting the Kankakee River west of Channahon to form the Illinois River, a tributary of the Mississippi River....

, which runs to the west of the city. Chicago's history and economy are closely tied to its proximity to Lake Michigan. While the Chicago River historically handled much of the region's waterborne cargo, today's huge lake freighter
Lake freighter
Lake freighters, or Lakers, are bulk carrier vessels that ply the Great Lakes. The best known was the , the most recent and largest major vessel to be wrecked on the Lakes. These vessels are traditionally called boats, although classified as ships. In the mid-20th century, 300 lakers worked the...

s use the city's Lake Calumet Harbor
Port of Chicago
The Port of Chicago consists of several major port facilities within the city of Chicago, Illinois operated by the Illinois International Port District . The central element of the Port District, Calumet Harbor, is maintained by the U.S...

 on the South Side. The lake also provides another positive effect, moderating Chicago's climate; making waterfront neighborhoods slightly warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

When Chicago was founded in 1833, most of the early building began around the mouth of the Chicago River, as can be seen on a map of the city's original 58 blocks. The overall grade
Land grading
Grading in civil engineering and construction is the work of ensuring a level base, or one with a specified slope, for a construction work such as a foundation, the base course for a road or a railway, or landscape and garden improvements, or surface drainage...

 of the city's central, built-up areas, is relatively consistent with the natural flatness of its overall natural geography, generally exhibiting only slight differentiation otherwise. The average land elevation is 579 ft (176.5 m) above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

. The lowest points are along the lake shore at 577 ft (175.9 m), while the highest point, at 735 ft (224 m), is a landfill located in the Hegewisch
Hegewisch, Chicago
Hegewisch , one of the 77 community areas of Chicago, Illinois, is located on the city's far south side. It is bordered by the neighborhoods of Riverdale and South Deering to the west, the East Side to the north, the village of Burnham to the south and the city of Hammond, Indiana to the east. It...

 community area on the city's far south side.


The Chicago Loop
Chicago Loop
The Loop or Chicago Loop is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas located in the City of Chicago, Illinois. It is the historic commercial center of downtown Chicago...

 is the central business district but Chicago is also a city of neighborhoods. Lake Shore Drive
Lake Shore Drive
Lake Shore Drive is a mostly freeway-standard expressway running parallel with and alongside the shoreline of Lake Michigan through Chicago, Illinois, USA. Except for the portion north of Foster Avenue , Lake Shore Drive is designated as part of U.S...

 runs adjacent to a large portion of Chicago's lakefront. Some of the parks along the waterfront include Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park is an urban park in Chicago, which gave its name to the Lincoln Park, Chicago community area.Lincoln Park may also refer to:-Urban parks:*Lincoln Park , California*Lincoln Park, San Francisco, California...

, Grant Park
Grant Park (Chicago)
Grant Park, with between the downtown Chicago Loop and Lake Michigan, offers many different attractions in its large open space. The park is generally flat. It is also crossed by large boulevards and even a bed of sunken railroad tracks...

, Burnham Park
Burnham Park (Chicago)
Burnham Park is a public park in Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The park, which lines along six miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, connects Grant Park at 14th st. to Jackson Park at 56th St. The of parkland is owned and managed by Chicago Park District. It was named for urban...

 and Jackson Park
Jackson Park (Chicago)
Jackson Park is a 500 acre park on Chicago's South Side, located at 6401 South Stony Island Avenue in the Woodlawn community area. It extends into the South Shore and Hyde Park community areas, bordering Lake Michigan and several South Side neighborhoods...

. 29 public beaches are also found along the shore. Landfill extends into portions of the lake providing space for Navy Pier
Navy Pier
Navy Pier is a long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area. The pier was built in 1916 at a cost of $4.5 million, equivalent to $ today. It was a part of the Plan of Chicago developed by architect and...

, Northerly Island
Northerly Island
Northerly Island is a man-made peninsula along Chicago's lakefront. The site of the Adler Planetarium, Northerly Island connects to the mainland through a narrow isthmus along Solidarity Drive dominated by Neoclassical sculptures of Kościuszko, Havliček and Copernicus...

, the Museum Campus
Museum Campus Chicago
Museum Campus Chicago is a lakefront park in Chicago that surrounds three of the city's most notable museums, all dedicated to the natural sciences: the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History...

, and large portions of the McCormick Place
McCormick Place
McCormick Place is the largest convention center in the United States. It is made up of four interconnected buildings sited on and near the shore of Lake Michigan, about 4 km south of downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA. McCormick Place hosts numerous trade shows, including the Chicago Auto Show,...

 Convention Center. Most of the city's high-rise commercial and residential buildings can be found close to the waterfront.

An informal name for the Chicago metropolitan area is Chicagoland, used primarily by copywriters, advertising agencies, and traffic reporters. There is no precise definition for the term "Chicagoland," but it generally means the city and its suburbs together. The Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

, which coined the term, includes the city of Chicago, the rest of Cook County
Cook County, Illinois
Cook County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois, with its county seat in Chicago. It is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles County. The county has 5,194,675 residents, which is 40.5 percent of all Illinois residents. Cook County's population is larger than...

, eight nearby Illinois counties: Lake
Lake County, Illinois
Lake County is a county in the northeastern corner of the state of Illinois, on the shore of Lake Michigan. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 703,462, which is an increase of 9.2% from 644,356 in 2000. Its county seat is Waukegan. The county is part of the Chicago metropolitan area...

, McHenry
McHenry County, Illinois
McHenry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 308,760, which is an increase of 18.7% from 260,077 in 2000. Its county seat is Woodstock. This county is part of the Chicago metropolitan area. It is the sixth largest county, in...

, DuPage
DuPage County, Illinois
As of the 2010 Census, the population of the county was 916,924, White Americans made up 77.9% of Dupage County's population; non-Hispanic whites represented 70.5% of the population. Black Americans made up 4.6% of the population. Native Americans made up 0.3% of Dupage County's population...

, Kane
Kane County, Illinois
Kane County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 515,269, which is an increase of 27.5% from 404,119 in 2000. Its county seat is Geneva, and its largest city is Aurora.- Geography :...

, Kendall
Kendall County, Illinois
Kendall County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois, about 40 miles southwest of Chicago. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 114,736, which is an increase of 110% from 54,544 in 2000. It was the fastest-growing county in the United States between the years 2000 and...

, Grundy, Will
Will County, Illinois
As of the census of 2000, there were 502,266 people, 167,542 households, and 131,017 families residing in the county. The population density was 600 people per square mile . There were 175,524 housing units at an average density of 210 per square mile...

 and Kankakee
Kankakee County, Illinois
Kankakee County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 113,449, which is an increase of 9.3% from 103,833 in 2000. Its county seat is Kankakee....

, and three counties in Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

: Lake
Lake County, Indiana
Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. In 2010, its population was 496,005, making it Indiana's second-most populous county. The county seat is Crown Point. This county is part of Northwest Indiana and the Chicago metropolitan area. The county contains a mix of urban,...

, Porter
Porter County, Indiana
Porter County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 164,343. Much of the population growth has to do with the expansion of the Chicago Metropolitan Area eastward into Indiana. The county seat is Valparaiso...

 and LaPorte
LaPorte County, Indiana
LaPorte County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. As of 2010, the population was 111,467. The county seat is the city of La Porte. This county is part of the Chicago metropolitan area, Northwest Indiana and Michiana. The largest city is Michigan City...

. The Illinois Department of Tourism defines Chicagoland as Cook County without the city of Chicago, and only Lake, DuPage, Kane and Will counties. The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization promoting business in the Chicago metropolitan area of the United States. The Chamber is a voice at local, state and national levels for approximately 2,600 member companies and their 1.3 million employees...

 defines it as all of Cook and DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

Climate


The city lies within the humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 zone, and experiences four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, with a July daily average of 84.7 °F (29.3 °C). In a normal summer, temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on 21 days. Winters are cold, snowy, and windy, with some sunny days, and with a January average of 23.5 °F (-4.7 °C). Temperatures often (43 days) stay below freezing for an entire day, and lows below 0 °F (-18 °C) occur on eight nights per year. Spring and fall are mild seasons with low humidity.

According to the National Weather Service
National Weather Service
The National Weather Service , once known as the Weather Bureau, is one of the six scientific agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States government...

, Chicago's highest official temperature reading of 107 °F (41.7 °C) was recorded on June 1, 1934 and July 11, 1936, both at Midway Airport. The lowest temperature of −27 °F was recorded on January 20, 1985, at O'Hare Airport. The city can experience extreme winter cold spells that may last for several consecutive days.

Cityscape


Architecture


The outcome of the Great Chicago Fire led to the largest building boom in the history of the nation. Perhaps the most outstanding of these events was the relocation of many of the nation's most prominent architects from New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 to the city for construction of the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

In 1885, the first steel-framed high-rise building
Steel frame
Steel frame usually refers to a building technique with a "skeleton frame" of vertical steel columns and horizontal -beams, constructed in a rectangular grid to support the floors, roof and walls of a building which are all attached to the frame...

, the Home Insurance Building
Home Insurance Building
The Home Insurance Building was built in 1884 in Chicago, Illinois, USA and destroyed in 1931 to make way for the Field Building . It was the first building to use structural steel in its frame, but the majority of its structure was composed of cast and wrought iron...

, rose in Chicago, ushering in the skyscraper era. Today, Chicago's skyline is among the world's tallest and most dense. The nation's two tallest buildings are both located in Chicago; Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), and Trump International Hotel and Tower
Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago)
The Trump International Hotel and Tower, also known as Trump Tower Chicago and locally as the Trump Tower, is a skyscraper condo-hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The building, named after real estate developer Donald Trump, was designed by architect Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill...

. The Loop's historic buildings include the Chicago Board of Trade Building
Chicago Board of Trade Building
The Chicago Board of Trade Building is a skyscraper located in :Chicago, Illinois, United States. It stands at 141 W. Jackson Boulevard at the foot of the LaSalle Street canyon, in the Loop community area in Cook County. Built in 1930 and first designated a Chicago Landmark on May 4, 1977, the...

, the Fine Arts Building
Fine Arts Building (Chicago)
The ten-story Fine Arts Building, also known as the Studebaker Building, is located on Michigan Avenue across from Grant Park in Chicago in the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District. It was built for the Studebaker company in 1884–5 by Solon Spencer Beman, and extensively remodeled...

, 35 East Wacker
35 East Wacker
__notoc__35 East Wacker, also known as the Jewelers' Building, is a 40-story historic building in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, located at the intersections of Wabash Avenue, and facing the Chicago River. It was built from 1925 to 1927, and was co-designed by Joachim G. Giaver and...

, and the Chicago Building
Chicago Building
The Chicago Building or Chicago Savings Bank Building was built in 1904-1905. It is located at 7 W. Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois. It was designed by architectural firm Holabird & Roche, it is an early and highly visible example of the Chicago school of architecture...

, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments
860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments
860–880 Lake Shore Drive is a twin pair of glass-and-steel apartment towers on N. Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Construction began in 1949 and the project was completed in 1951.They were designated as Chicago Landmarks on June 10, 1996....

 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
Merchandise Mart
When opened in 1930, the Merchandise Mart or the Merch Mart, located in the Near North Side, Chicago, Illinois, was the largest building in the world with of floor space. Previously owned by the Marshall Field family, the Mart centralized Chicago's wholesale goods business by consolidating vendors...

, once first on the list of largest buildings in the world, and still listed as 20th with its own ZIP code, 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), Trump International Hotel and Tower
Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago)
The Trump International Hotel and Tower, also known as Trump Tower Chicago and locally as the Trump Tower, is a skyscraper condo-hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The building, named after real estate developer Donald Trump, was designed by architect Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill...

, the Aon Center
Aon Center (Chicago)
The Aon Center is a modern skyscraper in the Chicago Loop, Chicago, Illinois, United States, designed by architect firms Edward Durell Stone and The Perkins and Will partnership, and completed in 1973 as the Standard Oil Building...

 (previously the Standard Oil Building), and the John Hancock Center
John Hancock Center
John Hancock Center at 875 North Michigan Avenue in the Streeterville area of Chicago, Illinois, is a 100-story, 1,127-foot tall skyscraper, constructed under the supervision of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, with chief designer Bruce Graham and structural engineer Fazlur Khan...

. Industrial district
Industrial district
Industrial district was initially introduced as a term to describe an area where workers of a monolithic heavy industry live within walking-distance of their places of work...

s, such as on the South Side
South Side (Chicago)
The South Side is a major part of the City of Chicago, which is located in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Much of it has evolved from the city's incorporation of independent townships, such as Hyde Park Township which voted along with several other townships to be annexed in the June 29,...

, the areas along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, historically known as the Chicago Drainage Canal, is the only shipping link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River system, by way of the Illinois and Des Plaines Rivers...

, Chicago Southland
Chicago Southland
The Chicago Southland is the suburban region south and southwest of the City of Chicago, made up of approximately 70 municipalities. This region has been known as the Chicago Southland by the local populace and regional media for about 20 years....

, and Northwest Indiana
Northwest Indiana
Northwest Indiana, also known as the South Shore and The Calumet Region or simply The Region, comprises Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana. This region neighbors Lake Michigan and is part of the Chicago metropolitan area...

 are clustered.

Chicago gave its name to the Chicago School
Chicago school (architecture)
Chicago's architecture is famous throughout the world and one style is referred to as the Chicago School. The style is also known as Commercial style. In the history of architecture, the Chicago School was a school of architects active in Chicago at the turn of the 20th century...

 and was home to the Prairie School
Prairie School
Prairie School was a late 19th and early 20th century architectural style, most common to the Midwestern United States.The works of the Prairie School architects are usually marked by horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves, windows grouped in horizontal bands,...

, movements in architecture. Multiple kinds and scales of houses, townhouses, condominiums, and apartment buildings can be found in Chicago. Large swaths of Chicago's residential areas away from the lake are characterized by bungalow
Bungalow
A bungalow is a type of house, with varying meanings across the world. Common features to many of these definitions include being detached, low-rise , and the use of verandahs...

s built from the early 20th century through the end of World War II. Chicago is also a prominent center of the Polish Cathedral style
Polish Cathedral style
The Polish Cathedral architectural style is a North American genre of Catholic church architecture found throughout the Great Lakes and Middle Atlantic regions as well as in parts of New England...

 of church architecture
Church architecture
Church architecture refers to the architecture of buildings of Christian churches. It has evolved over the two thousand years of the Christian religion, partly by innovation and partly by imitating other architectural styles as well as responding to changing beliefs, practices and local traditions...

. One of Chicago's suburbs, Oak Park
Oak Park, Illinois
Oak Park, Illinois is a suburb bordering the west side of the city of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is the twenty-fifth largest municipality in Illinois. Oak Park has easy access to downtown Chicago due to public transportation such as the Chicago 'L' Blue and Green lines,...

, was home to the architect Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...

, who had designed The Robie House
Robie House
The Frederick C. Robie House is a U.S. National Historic Landmark in the Chicago, Illinois neighborhood of Hyde Park at 5757 S. Woodlawn Avenue on the South Side. It was designed and built between 1908 and 1910 by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and is renowned as the greatest example of his Prairie...

 located near the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

.

One of the city's most famous thoroughfares, Western Avenue
Western Avenue (Chicago)
Western Avenue is the longest continuous street within the city of Chicago at in length. Western Avenue extends south as a continuous road to the Dixie Highway at Sibley Boulevard in Dixmoor, giving the road a total length of . However, Western Avenue extends intermittently through the...

, is one of the longest urban streets in the world. Other famous streets include Belmont Avenue
Belmont Avenue (Chicago)
Belmont Avenue is a major east-west street on the North Side of Chicago. Belmont is a central commercial street in Lakeview and, west of the North Branch of the Chicago River, Avondale...

, Pulaski Road
Pulaski Road (Chicago)
Pulaski Road is a major north-south thoroughfare in the city of Chicago, at 4000 W., or exactly five miles west of State Street. It is named after revolutionary war hero Casimir Pulaski...

, and Division Street
Division Street (Chicago)
Division Street is a major east-west street in Chicago, Illinois, located at 1200 North . Division Street begins in the Gold Coast neighborhood near Lake Shore Drive, passes through Polonia Triangle at Milwaukee Avenue into Wicker Park and continues to Chicago's city limits and into the city's...

. The City Beautiful movement
City Beautiful movement
The City Beautiful Movement was a reform philosophy concerning North American architecture and urban planning that flourished during the 1890s and 1900s with the intent of using beautification and monumental grandeur in cities. The movement, which was originally associated mainly with Chicago,...

 inspired Chicago's Boulevards and Parkways.

Culture and contemporary life



The city's waterfront allure and nightlife has attracted residents and tourists alike. Over one-third of the city population is concentrated in the lakefront neighborhoods (from Rogers Park
Rogers Park, Chicago
Rogers Park is one of the 77 Chicago community areas on the far north side of Chicago, Illinois, and is also the name of the Chicago neighborhood that constitutes most of the community area...

 in the north to South Shore
South Shore, Chicago
South Shore is one of 77 well-defined community areas of the City of Chicago, Illinois in the United States. A predominately black neighborhood located along Chicago's southern lakefront, it is a relatively stable and gentrifying neighborhood...

 in the south). The city has many upscale dining establishments as well as many ethnic restaurant districts. These districts include the Mexican villages, such as Pilsen along 18th street, and La Villita along 26th Street, the Puerto Rican
Puerto Rican people
A Puerto Rican is a person who was born in Puerto Rico.Puerto Ricans born and raised in the continental United States are also sometimes referred to as Puerto Ricans, although they were not born in Puerto Rico...

 enclave Paseo Boricua in the Humboldt Park
Humboldt Park, Chicago
Humboldt Park is one of 77 officially designated community areas located on the northwest side of Chicago, Illinois. The Humboldt Park neighborhood is widely known for its large Puerto Rican presence...

 neighborhood, "Greektown" along South Halsted St, "Little Italy" along Taylor St, "Chinatown, Chicago
Chinatown, Chicago
The Chinatown neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, is on the South Side , centered on Cermak and Wentworth Avenues, and is an example of an American Chinatown, or ethnic-Chinese neighborhood. By the [ftp://ftp2.census.gov/census_2000/datasets/demographic_profile/Illinois/2kh17.pdf 2000 Census], has...

" on the South Side, "Polish Patches" in Avondale
Avondale, Chicago
Avondale is one of 77 officially designated Chicago, Illinois community areas. It is located on the Northwest Side of Chicago. Its main borders are the North Branch of the Chicago River, Diversey Avenue, Addison Street, Pulaski Road and the Union Pacific/Northwest rail line; bisecting the community...

 and Belmont-Central, "Little Seoul" around Lawrence Avenue, a cluster of Vietnamese restaurants on Argyle Street, and South Asian (Indian/Pakistani) along Devon Avenue.

Downtown is the center of Chicago's financial, cultural, and commercial institutions and home to Grant Park
Grant Park (Chicago)
Grant Park, with between the downtown Chicago Loop and Lake Michigan, offers many different attractions in its large open space. The park is generally flat. It is also crossed by large boulevards and even a bed of sunken railroad tracks...

 and many of the city's skyscrapers. Many of the city's financial institutions (for example, CBOT
Chicago Board of Trade
The Chicago Board of Trade , established in 1848, is the world's oldest futures and options exchange. More than 50 different options and futures contracts are traded by over 3,600 CBOT members through open outcry and eTrading. Volumes at the exchange in 2003 were a record breaking 454 million...

, Chicago Fed) are located within a section of downtown called "The Loop", which is an eight block by five block square of city streets that are encircled by elevated rail tracks. The term "The Loop" is largely used to refer to the entire downtown area as well. The central area includes the Near North Side
Near North Side, Chicago
The Near North Side is one of 77 well-defined community areas of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is located north and east of the Chicago River, just north of the central business district . To its east is Lake Michigan and its northern boundary is the 19th-century city limit of Chicago,...

, the Near South Side
Near South Side, Chicago
The Near South Side is a community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is located just south of the downtown central business district, the Loop, which is itself a community area...

, and the Near West Side, as well as the Loop
Chicago Loop
The Loop or Chicago Loop is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas located in the City of Chicago, Illinois. It is the historic commercial center of downtown Chicago...

. These areas contribute famous skyscrapers, abundant restaurants, shopping
Magnificent Mile
The Magnificent Mile, sometimes referred to as The Mag Mile, is a neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, that runs along a portion of Michigan Avenue extending from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side community area. The district is located adjacent to downtown; it is also one block...

, museums, a stadium
Soldier Field
Soldier Field is located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, United States, in the Near South Side. It is home to the NFL's Chicago Bears...

 for the Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

, convention facilities
McCormick Place
McCormick Place is the largest convention center in the United States. It is made up of four interconnected buildings sited on and near the shore of Lake Michigan, about 4 km south of downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA. McCormick Place hosts numerous trade shows, including the Chicago Auto Show,...

, parkland
Grant Park
Grant Park may refer to:Parks*Grant Park , Georgia, USA*Grant Park , Illinois, USA*Grant Park , Oregon, USACommunities*Grant Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, a neighborhood*Grant Park, Illinois, USA, a village...

, and beaches.

The North Side is the most densely populated section of the city outside of downtown and many high-rises line this side of the city along the lakefront. Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park is an urban park in Chicago, which gave its name to the Lincoln Park, Chicago community area.Lincoln Park may also refer to:-Urban parks:*Lincoln Park , California*Lincoln Park, San Francisco, California...

 is a 1200 acre (485.6 ha) park stretching for 5.5 mi (8.9 km) along the waterfront and containing the Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo is a free zoo located in Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois. The zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the nation. The zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums ....

 and the Lincoln Park Conservatory
Lincoln Park Conservatory
The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a conservatory and botanical garden in Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois. The conservatory is situated at 2391 North Stockton Drive just south of Fullerton Avenue, west of Lake Shore Drive, and part of the Lincoln Park, Chicago community area. Positioned near the...

. The River North
River North Gallery District, Near North Side, Chicago
The River North Gallery District, in Chicago, is in the Near North Side, Chicago. It hosts the largest concentration of art galleries in the United States, outside of Manhattan. A common definition puts the District in the area north of the Merchandise Mart, south of Chicago Avenue, east of...

 neighborhood features the nation's largest concentration of contemporary art galleries outside of New York City. As a Polonia
Polonia
The Polish diaspora refers to people of Polish origin who live outside Poland. The Polish diaspora is also known in modern Polish language as Polonia, which is the name for Poland in Latin and in many other Romance languages....

 center, due to the city having a very large Polish population, Chicago celebrates every Labor Day weekend at the Taste of Polonia
Taste of Polonia
The Taste of Polonia is a Chicago festival held at the Copernicus Cultural and Civic Center in the Jefferson Park community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States every Labor Day weekend since 1979. It is the Copernicus Foundation's major fundraiser and a four-day celebration of...

 Festival in the Jefferson Park
Jefferson Park, Chicago
Jefferson Park is one of Chicago's 77 well-defined community areas located on the city's Northwest Side. The neighborhood of Jefferson Park occupies a larger swath of territory than the community area by including within it land of adjacent community areas...

 area. The Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 play in the North Side's Lakeview
Lakeview, Chicago
Lake View, or Lakeview, is one of the 77 community area of the Chicago, Illinois, located in the city's North Side. It is bordered by West Diversey Parkway on the south, West Irving Park Road on the north, North Ravenswood Avenue on the west, and the shore of Lake Michigan on the east...

 neighborhood, in the Wrigleyville district.

The South Side is home to the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 (UC), ranked one of the world's top ten universities; and the Museum of Science and Industry
Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago)
The Museum of Science and Industry is located in Chicago, Illinois, USA in Jackson Park, in the Hyde Park neighborhood adjacent to Lake Michigan. It is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition...

. Burnham Park
Burnham Park (Chicago)
Burnham Park is a public park in Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The park, which lines along six miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, connects Grant Park at 14th st. to Jackson Park at 56th St. The of parkland is owned and managed by Chicago Park District. It was named for urban...

 stretches along the waterfront of the South Side. Two of the city's largest parks are also located on this side of the city: Jackson Park
Jackson Park (Chicago)
Jackson Park is a 500 acre park on Chicago's South Side, located at 6401 South Stony Island Avenue in the Woodlawn community area. It extends into the South Shore and Hyde Park community areas, bordering Lake Michigan and several South Side neighborhoods...

, bordering the waterfront, hosted the World's Columbian Exposition
World's Columbian Exposition
The World's Columbian Exposition was a World's Fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. Chicago bested New York City; Washington, D.C.; and St...

 in 1893, and is home of the aforementioned museum; and slightly west sits Washington Park
Washington Park (Chicago park)
On December 6, 1879, former U.S. President Ulysses Grant took part in a tree planting ceremony in the park. A memorial boulder with a plaque commemorated the event. In the 1920s black semiprofessional baseball teams played at Washington Park...

. The two parks themselves are connected by a wide strip of parkland called the Midway Plaisance
Midway Plaisance
The Midway Plaisance, also known locally as the Midway, is a park on the South Side of the city of Chicago, Illinois. It is one mile long by 220 yards wide and extends along 59th and 60th streets, joining Washington Park at its east end and Jackson Park at its west end. It divides the Hyde Park...

, running adjacent to the UC. The South Side hosts one of the city's largest parades, the annual African American Bud Billiken Day parade. The American automaker Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 has an assembly plant located on the South Side, and most of the facilities of the Port of Chicago
Port of Chicago
The Port of Chicago consists of several major port facilities within the city of Chicago, Illinois operated by the Illinois International Port District . The central element of the Port District, Calumet Harbor, is maintained by the U.S...

 are here. The Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since , the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans...

 play in the South Side's Armour Square
Armour Square, Chicago
Armour Square is both the name of a Chicago neighborhood on the city's South Side, as well as the larger, officially defined community area that the neighborhood is located in. The Armour Square community area also includes Chinatown and the CHA Wentworth Gardens housing project...

 neighborhood.

The West Side holds the Garfield Park Conservatory
Garfield Park Conservatory
Garfield Park is a site located in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Chicago's West Side. It was designed as a pleasure ground by William LeBaron Jenney and is the oldest of the three great original Chicago West Side parks .It is home to the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest and...

, one of the largest collections of tropical plants of any US city. Prominent Latino cultural attractions found here include Humboldt Park
Humboldt Park, Chicago
Humboldt Park is one of 77 officially designated community areas located on the northwest side of Chicago, Illinois. The Humboldt Park neighborhood is widely known for its large Puerto Rican presence...

's Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Puerto Rican Day Parade, as well as the National Museum of Mexican Art and St. Adalbert's Church
St. Adalbert's in Chicago
St. Adalbert Church is a historic church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago located in Chicago, Illinois.It is a prime example of the so-called 'Polish Cathedral style' of churches in both its opulence and grand scale. The church is located on 17th Street between Paulina Street and...

 in Pilsen. The Near West Side holds the University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, near the Chicago Loop...

 and television production company of Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...

's Harpo Studios. The Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, playing in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1966. They play their home games at the United Center...

 and Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They have won four Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926, most recently coming in 2009-10...

 play on Madison Street.

Entertainment, the arts, and performing arts




Chicago's theatre community spawned modern improvisational theatre
Improvisational theatre
Improvisational theatre takes many forms. It is best known as improv or impro, which is often comedic, and sometimes poignant or dramatic. In this popular, often topical art form improvisational actors/improvisers use improvisational acting techniques to perform spontaneously...

. Two renowned comedy troupes emerged—The Second City
The Second City
The Second City is a improvisational comedy enterprise which originated in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood.The Second City Theatre opened on December 16, 1959 and has since expanded its presence to several other cities, including Toronto and Los Angeles...

 and I.O.
I.O.
iO, or iO Chicago, is a theater located at 3541 N. Clark St., in Chicago, Illinois, one-half block south of Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. The theater both has performances of, and teaches improvisational comedy. It was founded in the 1980s by Del Close and Charna Halpern...

 (formerly known as ImprovOlympic). Renowned Chicago theater companies include the Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a Tony Award-winning Chicago theatre company founded in 1974 by Gary Sinise, Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry in the basement of a church in Highland Park, Illinois. It has since relocated to Chicago's Halsted Street, in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Its name comes from...

 (on the city's north side), the Goodman Theatre
Goodman Theatre
The Goodman Theatre is a professional theater company located in Chicago's Loop. A major part of Chicago theatre, it is the city's oldest currently active nonprofit theater organization...

, and the Victory Gardens Theater
Victory Gardens Theater
Victory Gardens Theater is a theater in Chicago, Illinois dedicated to the development and production of new plays and playwrights. The theater was founded in 1974 when seven Chicago artists, Warren Casey, Cordis Heard, Roberta Maguire, Mac McGuinnes, Cecil O'Neal, June Pyskaček, and David Rasche...

. Chicago offers Broadway-style entertainment at theaters such as Broadway In Chicago
Broadway In Chicago
Broadway In Chicago is a theatrical production company. It was formed in July 2000 by the Nederlander Organization to present touring Broadway productions in Chicago and to operate four theaters in downtown Chicago.-Theaters:...

's Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre, Broadway In Chicago
Broadway In Chicago
Broadway In Chicago is a theatrical production company. It was formed in July 2000 by the Nederlander Organization to present touring Broadway productions in Chicago and to operate four theaters in downtown Chicago.-Theaters:...

's Bank of America Theatre, Broadway In Chicago
Broadway In Chicago
Broadway In Chicago is a theatrical production company. It was formed in July 2000 by the Nederlander Organization to present touring Broadway productions in Chicago and to operate four theaters in downtown Chicago.-Theaters:...

's Cadillac Palace Theatre
Cadillac Palace Theatre
The Cadillac Palace Theatre is operated by Broadway In Chicago, a Nederlander Presentation. It is located at 151 West Randolph Street in the Chicago Loop area downtown.-History:...

, Auditorium Building of Roosevelt University, and Broadway In Chicago
Broadway In Chicago
Broadway In Chicago is a theatrical production company. It was formed in July 2000 by the Nederlander Organization to present touring Broadway productions in Chicago and to operate four theaters in downtown Chicago.-Theaters:...

's Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. Polish language
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 productions for Chicago's large Polish speaking population
Poles in Chicago
Chicago Polonia, refers to both immigrant Poles and Americans of Polish heritage living in Chicago, Illinois. They are a part of worldwide Polonia, the proper term for the Polish Diaspora outside of Poland. Poles in Chicago have contributed to the economic, social and cultural well-being of Chicago...

 can be seen at the historic Gateway Theatre in Jefferson Park
Jefferson Park, Chicago
Jefferson Park is one of Chicago's 77 well-defined community areas located on the city's Northwest Side. The neighborhood of Jefferson Park occupies a larger swath of territory than the community area by including within it land of adjacent community areas...

. Since 1968, the Joseph Jefferson Awards
Joseph Jefferson Awards
The Joseph Jefferson Awards are given annually by a volunteer non-profit committee to acknowledge excellence in theatre in the Chicago area. Founded in 1968, the awards are given in tribute to actor Joseph Jefferson...

 are given annually to acknowledge excellence in theater in the Chicago area.

Classical music offerings include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the five American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five". Founded in 1891, the Symphony makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and plays a summer season at the Ravinia Festival...

, recognized as one of the best orchestras in the world, which performs at Symphony Center
Symphony Center
Symphony Center is a music complex located at 220 South Michigan Avenue in the Loop area of Chicago, Illinois. Home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta, Symphony Center includes the 2,522-seat Orchestra Hall, which dates from 1904; Buntrock Hall, a rehearsal and...

. Also performing regularly at Symphony Center
Symphony Center
Symphony Center is a music complex located at 220 South Michigan Avenue in the Loop area of Chicago, Illinois. Home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta, Symphony Center includes the 2,522-seat Orchestra Hall, which dates from 1904; Buntrock Hall, a rehearsal and...

 is the Chicago Sinfonietta
Chicago Sinfonietta
The Chicago Sinfonietta is an American orchestra based in Chicago, Illinois. The stated mission of the orchestra is to "serve as a national model for inclusiveness and innovation in classical music" and to "help America become a true cultural democracy, in which everyone can share fully in its...

, a more diverse and multicultural counterpart to the CSO. In the summer, many outdoor concerts are given in Grant Park
Grant Park (Chicago)
Grant Park, with between the downtown Chicago Loop and Lake Michigan, offers many different attractions in its large open space. The park is generally flat. It is also crossed by large boulevards and even a bed of sunken railroad tracks...

 and Millennium Park
Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago in Illinois, USA and originally intended to celebrate the millennium. It is a prominent civic center near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously...

. Ravinia Park
Ravinia Park
Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, with a series of outdoor concerts and performances held every summer from June to September. It has been the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1936...

, located 25 miles (40 km) north of Chicago, is also a favorite destination for many Chicagoans, with performances occasionally given in Chicago locations such as the Harris Theater. The Civic Opera House
Civic Opera House (Chicago)
The Civic Opera House is an opera house located at 20 North Wacker Drive in Chicago. It is part of a building which contains a 45-story office tower and two 22-story wings. This structure opened on November 4, 1929 and has an Art Deco interior....

 is home to the Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. It was founded in Chicago in 1952, under the name 'Lyric Theatre of Chicago' by Carol Fox, Nicolà Rescigno and Lawrence Kelly, with a season that included Maria Callas's American debut in Norma...

. The Lithuanian Opera Company of Chicago
Lithuanian Opera Company of Chicago
The Lithuanian Opera Company of Chicago was founded by Lithuanian emigrants in 1956, and presents operas in Lithuanian. It celebrated fifty years of existence in 2006, and operates as a not-for-profit organization...

 was founded by Lithuanian Chicagoans in 1956, and presents operas in Lithuanian
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

. It celebrated fifty years of existence in 2006, and operates as a not-for-profit organization. It is noteworthy for performing
Performance
A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers behave in a particular way for another group of people, the audience. Choral music and ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience...

 the rarely staged Rossini's William Tell
William Tell (opera)
Guillaume Tell is an opera in four acts by Gioachino Rossini to a French libretto by Etienne de Jouy and Hippolyte Bis, based on Friedrich Schiller's play Wilhelm Tell. Based on the legend of William Tell, this opera was Rossini's last, even though the composer lived for nearly forty more years...

(1986) and Ponchielli's
Amilcare Ponchielli
Amilcare Ponchielli was an Italian composer, largely of operas.-Biography:Born in Paderno Fasolaro, now Paderno Ponchielli, near Cremona, Ponchielli won a scholarship at the age of nine to study music at the Milan Conservatory, writing his first symphony by the time he was ten years old.Two years...

 I Lituani
I Lituani
I Lituani is an opera consisting of a prologue and three acts by Amilcare Ponchielli to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on the historical poem Konrad Wallenrod written by Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz...

(1981, 1983 and 1991), and also for contributing experienced chorus members to the Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. It was founded in Chicago in 1952, under the name 'Lyric Theatre of Chicago' by Carol Fox, Nicolà Rescigno and Lawrence Kelly, with a season that included Maria Callas's American debut in Norma...

. The opera Jūratė and Kastytis
Jurate and Kastytis
Jūratė and Kastytis is one of the most famous and popular Lithuanian legends and tales. For the first time it was recorded in 1842 in the writings of Liudvikas Adomas Jucevičius. Since then it has been adapted many times for modern poems, ballets, and even rock operas...

by Kazimieras Viktoras Banaitis was presented in Chicago in 1996.

The Joffrey Ballet
Joffrey Ballet
The Joffrey Ballet is a dance company in Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1956. From 1995 to 2004, the company was known as The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. The company regularly performs classical ballets including Romeo & Juliet and The Nutcracker, while balancing those classics with pioneering modern...

 and Chicago Festival Ballet
Chicago Festival Ballet
Chicago Festival Ballet is a professional ballet company performing a repertoire of classical, romantic and neoclassical works in venues around the United States. Chicago Festival Ballet is also known as Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet...

 perform in various venues, including the Harris Theater in Millennium Park
Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago in Illinois, USA and originally intended to celebrate the millennium. It is a prominent civic center near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously...

. Chicago is home to several other modern and jazz dance troupes, such as the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is an American dance company based in Chicago. HSDC performs in downtown Chicago and its metropolitan area and tours nationally and internationally throughout the year....

.

Other live music genre which are part of the city's cultural heritage include Chicago blues
Chicago blues
The Chicago blues is a form of blues music that developed in Chicago, Illinois, by taking the basic acoustic guitar and harmonica-based Delta blues, making the harmonica louder with a microphone and an instrument amplifier, and adding electrically amplified guitar, amplified bass guitar, drums,...

, Chicago soul
Chicago soul
Chicago soul is a style of soul music that arose during the 1960s in Chicago. Along with Detroit, the home of Motown, and Memphis, with its hard-edged, gritty performers , Chicago and the Chicago soul style helped spur the album-oriented soul revolution of the early 1970s.The sound of Chicago...

, jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, and gospel
Gospel music
Gospel music is music that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music....

. The city is the birthplace of house music
House music
House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago, Illinois, United States in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino American, and gay communities; first in Chicago circa 1984, then in other...

 and is the site of an influential hip-hop scene
Chicago hip hop
-Gritty/Grimy:Chicago hip hop or Chicago rap music, has no uniform sound or standard style similar to East Coast hip hop. Chicago hip hop often varies between Alternative hip hop, Gangsta rap, and Hardcore rap depending on the area of Chicago the rapper is from....

. In the 1980s, the city was a center for industrial, punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 and new wave. This influence continued into the alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

 of the 1990s. The city has been an epicenter for rave
Rave
Rave, rave dance, and rave party are parties that originated mostly from acid house parties, which featured fast-paced electronic music and light shows. At these parties people dance and socialize to dance music played by disc jockeys and occasionally live performers...

 culture since the 1980s. A flourishing independent rock music culture brought forth Chicago indie. Annual festivals feature various acts such as Lollapalooza
Lollapalooza
Lollapalooza is an annual music festival featuring popular alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip hop bands, dance and comedy performances, and craft booths. It has also provided a platform for non-profit and political groups. The music festival hosts more than 160,000 people over a...

, the Intonation Music Festival
Intonation Music Festival
The Intonation Music Festival was a yearly summer music festival held at in Chicago, Illinois.-2005:The festival was held on July 16 - July 17, 2005...

 and Pitchfork Music Festival
Pitchfork Music Festival
The Pitchfork Music Festival is an annual summer music festival organized by Pitchfork Media and held in Union Park in Chicago, IL. The festival, which is normally held over three days in July, focuses primarily on artists and bands from alternative rock, rap & hip-hop, electronica, and dance...

.

Chicago has a distinctive fine art tradition. For much of the twentieth century it nurtured a strong style of figurative surrealism
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

, as in the works of Ivan Albright
Ivan Albright
Ivan Le Lorraine Albright was an American magic realist painter and artist, most renowned for his self-portraits, character studies, and still lifes.-Youth:...

 and Ed Paschke
Ed Paschke
Edward Francis Paschke was a Polish American painter. His childhood interest in animation and cartoons, as well as his father's creativity in wood carving and construction, led him toward a career in art...

. In 1968 and 1969, members of the Chicago Imagists
Chicago Imagists
The Chicago Imagists is the name of a group of representational artists associated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who exhibited at the Hyde Park Art Center in the late 1960s. Their work was known for grotesquerie, surrealism and complete uninvolvement with New York art world trends...

, such as Roger Brown
Roger Brown (artist)
Roger Brown was an American artist who was a member of the Chicago Imagists, a group in the 1960s and 1970s who turned to representational art. His paintings are owned by many of the most important art museums in the US.He was born in Hamilton, Alabama and raised in Opelika...

, Leon Golub
Leon Golub
Leon Golub was an American painter. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, where he also studied, receiving his BA at the University of Chicago in 1942, his BFA and MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1949 and 1950, respectively.He was married to and collaborated with the artist Nancy Spero...

, Robert Lostutter
Robert Lostutter
Robert Lostutter is a Chicago-based artist. He was a member of the Chicago Imagists, a breakaway group of surrealist iconoclasts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who showed in the Hyde Park Art Center in 1969 and later....

, Jim Nutt
Jim Nutt
James T "Jim" Nutt is an American artist who was a founding member of the Chicago surrealist art movement known as the Chicago Imagists, or the Hairy Who...

, and Barbara Rossi
Barbara Rossi
Barbara Rossi is a Chicago artist, one of the original Chicago Imagists, a group in the 1960s and 1970s who turned to representational art. She first exhibited with them at the Hyde Park Art Center in 1969...

 produced bizarre representational paintings. Today Robert Guinan
Robert Guinan
Robert Guinan is a Chicago-based American painter. The subject matter of his work includes but has not been limited to street performers, musicians, barflies, historical scenes, landscapes and building structures...

 paints gritty realistic portraits of Chicago people which are popular in Paris, although he is little known in Chicago itself.

Chicago is home to a number of large, outdoor works by well known artists. These include the Chicago Picasso
Chicago Picasso
The Chicago Picasso is an untitled monumental sculpture by Pablo Picasso in Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture, dedicated on August 15, 1967, in Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop, is tall and weighs 162 tons...

, Miró's Chicago
Miro's Chicago
Miró's Chicago is a sculpture by Joan Miró. It is tall, and is made of steel, wire mesh, concrete, bronze, and ceramic tile.-History:...

, Flamingo
Flamingo (sculpture)
Flamingo, created by noted American artist Alexander Calder, is a 53 foot tall stabile located in the Federal Plaza in front of the Kluczynski Federal Building in Chicago, Illinois, United States...

and Flying Dragon
Flying Dragon (Calder)
Flying Dragon is a sculpture by Alexander Calder in the Art Institute of Chicago North Stanley McCormick Memorial Court north of the Art Institute of Chicago Building in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. It is a painted steel plate work of art created in 1975 measuring 365 x 579 x...

by Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder was an American sculptor and artist most famous for inventing mobile sculptures. In addition to mobile and stable sculpture, Alexander Calder also created paintings, lithographs, toys, tapestry, jewelry and household objects.-Childhood:Alexander "Sandy" Calder was born in Lawnton,...

, Monument with Standing Beast
Monument With Standing Beast
Monument with Standing Beast is a sculpture by Jean Dubuffet in front of the Helmut Jahn designed James R. Thompson Center in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. Its location is across the street from Chicago City Hall to the South and diagonal across the street from the Daley Center to...

by Jean Dubuffet
Jean Dubuffet
Jean Philippe Arthur Dubuffet was a French painter and sculptor. His idealistic approach to aesthetics embraced so called "low art" and eschewed traditional standards of beauty in favor of what he believed to be a more authentic and humanistic approach to image-making.-Life and work:Dubuffet was...

, Batcolumn
Batcolumn
Batcolumn is a outdoor sculpture in Chicago. Designed by Claes Oldenburg, it takes the shape of a baseball bat standing on its knob. It consists of gray-painted Corten steel arranged into an open latticework structure....

by Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg is a Swedish sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring very large replicas of everyday objects...

, Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate, a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, is the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park within the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States. The sculpture and AT&T Plaza are located on top of Park Grill, between the Chase Promenade and...

by Anish Kapoor
Anish Kapoor
Anish Kapoor CBE RA is a British sculptor of Indian birth. Born in Mumbai , Kapoor has lived and worked in London since the early 1970s when he moved to study art, first at the Hornsey College of Art and later at the Chelsea School of Art and Design.He represented Britain in the XLIV Venice...

, Crown Fountain
Crown Fountain
Crown Fountain is an interactive work of public art and video sculpture featured in Chicago's Millennium Park, which is located in the Loop community area. Designed by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa and executed by Krueck and Sexton Architects, it opened in July 2004. The fountain is composed of a...

by Jaume Plensa
Jaume Plensa
Jaime Plensa is an Spanish artist and sculptor.-Biography:Plensa was born at Barcelona. Plensa studied art in his home city, in the "Llotja" School and in the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Jorge....

, and the Four Seasons
Four Seasons (Chagall)
Four Seasons is a mosaic by Marc Chagall that is located in Chase Tower Plaza in the Loop district of Chicago, Illinois. The mosaic was a gift to the City of Chicago by Frederick H. Prince ; it is wrapped around four sides of a long, high, wide rectangular box, and was dedicated on September 27,...

mosaic by Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."According to art historian Michael J...

.

Tourism


, Chicago attracted 32.4 million domestic leisure travelers, 11.7 million domestic business travelers and 1.3 million overseas visitors. These visitors contributed more than billion to Chicago's economy. Upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile
Magnificent Mile
The Magnificent Mile, sometimes referred to as The Mag Mile, is a neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, that runs along a portion of Michigan Avenue extending from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side community area. The district is located adjacent to downtown; it is also one block...

 and State Street
State Street (Chicago)
State Street is a large south-north street in Chicago, Illinois, USA and its south suburbs. It begins on the Near North Side at North Avenue. For much of its course, it lies between Wabash Avenue on the east and Dearborn Street/Lafayette Avenue on the west...

, thousands of restaurants, as well as Chicago's eminent architecture, continue to draw tourists. The city is the United States' third-largest convention destination. A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Chicago the fourth most walkable of fifty largest cities in the United States.Most conventions are held at McCormick Place
McCormick Place
McCormick Place is the largest convention center in the United States. It is made up of four interconnected buildings sited on and near the shore of Lake Michigan, about 4 km south of downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA. McCormick Place hosts numerous trade shows, including the Chicago Auto Show,...

, just south of Soldier Field
Soldier Field
Soldier Field is located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, United States, in the Near South Side. It is home to the NFL's Chicago Bears...

. The historic Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Cultural Center
The Chicago Cultural Center, opened in 1897, is a Chicago Landmark building that houses the city's official reception venue where the Mayor of Chicago has welcomed Presidents and royalty, diplomats and community leaders. It is located in the Loop, across Michigan Avenue from Millennium Park...

 (1897), originally serving as the Chicago Public Library
Chicago Public Library
The Chicago Public Library is the public library system that serves the City of Chicago in Illinois. It consists of 79 branches, including a central library, two regional libraries, and branches distributed throughout the city....

, now houses the city's Visitor Information Center, galleries and exhibit halls. The ceiling of its Preston Bradley Hall includes a 38 ft (11.6 m) Tiffany glass
Tiffany glass
Tiffany glass refers to the many and varied types of glass developed and produced from 1878 to 1933 at the Tiffany Studios, by Louis Comfort Tiffany....

 dome. Grant Park
Grant Park (Chicago)
Grant Park, with between the downtown Chicago Loop and Lake Michigan, offers many different attractions in its large open space. The park is generally flat. It is also crossed by large boulevards and even a bed of sunken railroad tracks...

 holds Millennium Park
Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago in Illinois, USA and originally intended to celebrate the millennium. It is a prominent civic center near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously...

, Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain is a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park. Dedicated in 1927, it is one of the largest fountains in the world. Built in a rococo wedding cake style and inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, it is meant to allegorically represent Lake Michigan...

 (1927), and the Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is one of America's largest accredited independent schools of art and design, located in the Loop in Chicago, Illinois. It is associated with the museum of the same name, and "The Art Institute of Chicago" or "Chicago Art Institute" often refers to either...

. The park also hosts the annual Taste of Chicago
Taste of Chicago
The Taste of Chicago is the world's largest food festival, held annually for ten days in Grant Park, in Chicago starting the Friday before the 4th of July and ending the Sunday after . The event is the largest festival in Chicago...

 festival. In Millennium Park, there is the reflective Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate, a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, is the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park within the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States. The sculpture and AT&T Plaza are located on top of Park Grill, between the Chase Promenade and...

sculpture. Also, an outdoor restaurant transforms into an ice rink
Ice rink
An ice rink is a frozen body of water and/or hardened chemicals where people can skate or play winter sports. Besides recreational ice skating, some of its uses include ice hockey, figure skating and curling as well as exhibitions, contests and ice shows...

 in the winter season. Two tall glass sculptures make up the Crown Fountain
Crown Fountain
Crown Fountain is an interactive work of public art and video sculpture featured in Chicago's Millennium Park, which is located in the Loop community area. Designed by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa and executed by Krueck and Sexton Architects, it opened in July 2004. The fountain is composed of a...

. The fountain's two towers display visual effects from LED images of Chicagoans' faces, along with water spouting from their lips. Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry
Frank Owen Gehry, is a Canadian American Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles, California.His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions...

's detailed, stainless steel band shell, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, also known as Pritzker Pavilion or Pritzker Music Pavilion, is a bandshell in Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is located on the south side of Randolph Street and east of the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan...

, hosts the classical Grant Park Music Festival
Grant Park Music Festival
Grant Park Music Festival is an annual ten-week classical music concert series held in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It features the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and Grant Park Chorus along with featured guest performers and conductors. The Festival has earned non-profit organization status...

 concert series. Behind the pavilion's stage is the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, an indoor venue for mid-sized performing arts companies, including the Chicago Opera Theater
Chicago Opera Theater
The Chicago Opera Theater is an opera company that was founded as the Chicago Opera Studio in 1974 by Alan Stone to give vocal students performance experience, although it has grown into a professional opera company...

 and Music of the Baroque.

Navy Pier
Navy Pier
Navy Pier is a long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area. The pier was built in 1916 at a cost of $4.5 million, equivalent to $ today. It was a part of the Plan of Chicago developed by architect and...

, located just east of Streeterville
Streeterville
Streeterville is a neighborhood in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States, north of the Chicago River in Cook County...

, is 3000 ft (914.4 m) long and houses retail stores, restaurants, museums, exhibition halls and auditoriums. Its 150 feet (46 m) tall Ferris wheel
Ferris wheel
A Ferris wheel is a nonbuilding structure consisting of a rotating upright wheel with passenger cars attached to the rim in such a way that as the wheel turns, the cars are kept upright, usually by gravity.Some of the largest and most modern Ferris wheels have cars mounted on...

 is one of the most visited landmarks in the Midwest, attracting about 8 million people annually.

In 1998, the city officially opened the Museum Campus
Museum Campus Chicago
Museum Campus Chicago is a lakefront park in Chicago that surrounds three of the city's most notable museums, all dedicated to the natural sciences: the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History...

, a 10 acre (4 ha) lakefront park, surrounding three of the city's main museums, each of which is of national importance: the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History
Field Museum of Natural History
The Field Museum of Natural History is located in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It sits on Lake Shore Drive next to Lake Michigan, part of a scenic complex known as the Museum Campus Chicago...

, and the Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium
The John G. Shedd Aquarium is an indoor public aquarium in Chicago, Illinois in the United States that opened on May 30, 1930. The aquarium contains over 25,000 fish, and was for some time the largest indoor aquarium in the world with of water. The Shedd Aquarium was the first inland aquarium with...

. The Museum Campus joins the southern section of Grant Park
Grant Park (Chicago)
Grant Park, with between the downtown Chicago Loop and Lake Michigan, offers many different attractions in its large open space. The park is generally flat. It is also crossed by large boulevards and even a bed of sunken railroad tracks...

, which includes the renowned Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is one of America's largest accredited independent schools of art and design, located in the Loop in Chicago, Illinois. It is associated with the museum of the same name, and "The Art Institute of Chicago" or "Chicago Art Institute" often refers to either...

. Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain is a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park. Dedicated in 1927, it is one of the largest fountains in the world. Built in a rococo wedding cake style and inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, it is meant to allegorically represent Lake Michigan...

 anchors the downtown park along the lakefront. The University of Chicago Oriental Institute has an extensive collection of ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ian and Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

ern archaeological artifacts. Other museums and galleries in Chicago include the Chicago History Museum, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is a contemporary art museum near Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The museum, which was established in 1967, is one of the world's largest contemporary art venues...

, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - The Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is a nature museum located in Chicago, Illinois. The museum, which opened in a new facility in October 1999, is located at the intersection of Fullerton Parkway and Cannon Drive in Lincoln Park. The museum focuses on...

, the Polish Museum of America
Polish Museum of America
The Polish Museum of America is located in West Town, in what had been the historical Polish Downtown neighborhood of Chicago. It is home to a plethora of Polish artifacts, artwork, and embroidered folk costumes among its growing collection...

, the Museum of Broadcast Communications
Museum of Broadcast Communications
The Museum of Broadcast Communications is an American museum that currently exists exclusively on the Internet and not in any physical capacity. Its stated mission is "to collect, preserve, and present historic and contemporary radio and television content as well as educate, inform and entertain...

 and the Museum of Science and Industry
Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago)
The Museum of Science and Industry is located in Chicago, Illinois, USA in Jackson Park, in the Hyde Park neighborhood adjacent to Lake Michigan. It is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition...

.

The top activity while visitors tour Chicago for leisure is entertainment, approximately 33% of all leisure travelers. Facilities such as McCormick Place and the Chicago Theatre contribute to this percentage.

Parks


When Chicago was incorporated in 1837, it chose the motto Urbs in Horto, a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 phrase which translates into English as "City in a Garden". Today, the Chicago Park District
Chicago Park District
The Chicago Park District is the oldest and largest park district in the U.S.A, with a $385 million annual budget. It has the distinction of spending the most per capita on its parks, even more than Boston in terms of park expenses per capita...

 consists of 552 parks with over 7300 acres (2,954.2 ha) of municipal parkland. There are 33 sand Chicago beaches, a plethora of museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, and 10 bird and wildlife gardens. Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park is an urban park in Chicago, which gave its name to the Lincoln Park, Chicago community area.Lincoln Park may also refer to:-Urban parks:*Lincoln Park , California*Lincoln Park, San Francisco, California...

, the largest of the city's parks, covers 1200 acres (485.6 ha) and has over 20 million visitors each year, making it second only to Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

 in New York City in number of visitors. With berths for more than 5,000 boats, the Chicago Park District operates the nation's largest municipal harbor system; even larger than systems in cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, or Miami. In addition to ongoing beautification and renewal projects for the existing parks, a number of new parks have been added in recent years, such as the Ping Tom Memorial Park
Ping Tom Memorial Park
Ping Tom Memorial Park is a public urban park in Chicago's Chinatown owned and operated by the Chicago Park District . Located on the south bank of the Chicago River, the park is divided into three sections by a Santa Fe rail track and 18th Street. Currently, only development in the area south of...

 in Chinatown, DuSable Park on the Near North Side, and most notably, Millennium Park
Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago in Illinois, USA and originally intended to celebrate the millennium. It is a prominent civic center near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously...

 in a section of one of Chicago's oldest parks, Grant Park
Grant Park (Chicago)
Grant Park, with between the downtown Chicago Loop and Lake Michigan, offers many different attractions in its large open space. The park is generally flat. It is also crossed by large boulevards and even a bed of sunken railroad tracks...

 in the Chicago Loop.

The wealth of greenspace afforded by Chicago's parks is further augmented by the Cook County Forest Preserves
Cook County Forest Preserves
The Cook County Forest Preserves are a network of open spaces, containing forest, prairie, wetland, streams, and lakes, that are set aside as natural areas. Cook County contains Chicago, Illinois, and is the center of a densely-populated urban metropolitan area in northeastern Illinois...

, a network of open spaces containing forest, prairie
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

, wetland
Wetland
A wetland is an area of land whose soil is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. Wetlands are categorised by their characteristic vegetation, which is adapted to these unique soil conditions....

, streams, and lakes that are set aside as natural areas which lie along the city's periphery, home to both the Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago Botanic Garden
Located at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Illinois, USA, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a living plant museum situated on nine islands featuring 24 display gardens and surrounded by four natural habitats: McDonald Woods, Dixon Prairie, Skokie River Corridor, and Lakes and Shores. The Garden is open...

 in Glencoe and the Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo
The Brookfield Zoo is zoo located in the Chicago suburb of Brookfield, Illinois. The zoo covers an area of and houses around 450 species of animals....

 in Brookfield.

Cuisine



Chicago lays claim to a large number of regional specialties, all of which reflect the city's ethnic and working class roots. Included among these are its nationally renowned deep-dish pizza
Chicago-style pizza
Chicago-style pizza is a deep-dish pizza style developed in Chicago. Chicago-style pizza has a buttery crust up to three inches tall at the edge, slightly higher than the large amounts of cheese and chunky tomato sauce, acting as a large bowl. The term also refers to "stuffed" pizza, another...

, this style is said to have originated at Pizzeria Uno
Uno Chicago Grill
Uno Chicago Grill, or more informally as Unos, is the title for a franchised pizzeria restaurant chain under the parent company Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation...

. The Chicago-style thin crust is also popular in the city.

The Chicago-style hot dog
Chicago-style hot dog
A Chicago-style hot dog, or Chicago Dog, is a steamed or water-simmered all-beef frankfurter on a poppy seed bun, originating from the city of Chicago, Illinois...

, typically a Vienna Beef
Vienna Beef
Vienna Beef is a manufacturer of hot dog used in the classic Chicago style hot dog, as well as Polish sausage and Italian beef, delicacies of independent Chicago-style hot dog and beef stands...

 dog, is loaded with an array of fixings that often includes neon green pickle relish
Relish
A relish is a cooked, pickled, or chopped vegetable or fruit food item which is typically used as a condiment.In North America, relish commonly alludes to sweet pickle relish-like sauce that often condiments hot dogs, hamburgers and other types of fast food.-Description and ingredients:The item...

, yellow mustard, pickled sport peppers
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

, tomato wedges, dill pickle spear and topped off with celery salt all on a S. Rosen's poppy seed bun. Enthusiasts of the Chicago-style dog frown upon the use of ketchup as a garnish, but may prefer to add giardiniera
Giardiniera
Giardiniera is an Italian or Italian-American relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil.-Varieties and uses:Italian giardiniera is also called "sotto aceti", which means "under vinegar", a common term for pickled foods...

.

There are several distinctly Chicago sandwiches, among them the Italian beef
Italian beef
An Italian beef is a sandwich of thin slices of seasoned roast beef, dripping with meat juices, on a dense, long Italian-style roll, believed to have originated in Chicago, where its history dates back at least to the 1930s...

 sandwich, which is thinly sliced beef slowly simmered au jus
Au jus
Au jus is French for "with [its own] juice"; jus is the juice itself.In American cuisine, the term is mostly used to refer to a light sauce for beef recipes, which may be served with the food or placed on the side for dipping...

 and served on an Italian roll with sweet peppers or spicy giardiniera. A popular modification is the Combo – an Italian beef sandwich with the addition of an Italian sausage. Another is the Maxwell Street Polish
Maxwell Street Polish
A Maxwell Street Polish consists of a grilled or fried length of Polish sausage topped with grilled onions and yellow mustard and optional sport peppers, served on a bun...

, a grilled or deep-fried kielbasa
Kielbasa
Kielbasa, kołbasa, kobasa, kovbasa, kobasa, kobasi, and kubasa are common North American anglicizations for a type of Eastern European sausage. Synonyms include Polish sausage, Ukrainian sausage, etc...

 – on a hot dog roll, topped with grilled onions, yellow mustard, and hot sport peppers.

Ethnically originated creations include chicken Vesuvio
Chicken Vesuvio
Chicken Vesuvio, a specialty of Chicago, is an Italian-American dish made from chicken on the bone and wedges of potato, sauteed with garlic, oregano, white wine and olive oil, then baked until the chicken's skin becomes crisp...

, with roasted bone-in chicken cooked in oil and garlic next to garlicky oven-roasted potato wedges and a sprinkling of green peas. Another is the Puerto Rican-influenced jibarito
Jibarito
The jibarito , a specialty of Chicago, is a sandwich made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread, garlic-flavored mayonnaise, and a filling that typically includes meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato...

, a sandwich made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread. There is also the tamale with chile, mother-in-law sandwich
Mother-in-law (tamale)
The mother-in-law sandwich is a Chicago area fast food dish that features a Chicago-style corn-roll tamale nestled in a hot dog bun and smothered with chili...

. Yet another is the Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 saganaki
Saganaki
Saganaki refers to various dishes prepared in Greek cuisine and is named after the single-serving frying pan in which it is cooked....

, an appetizer of cheese served flambé
Flambé
Flambé is a cooking procedure in which alcohol is added to a hot pan to create a burst of flames. The word means flamed in French ....

 at the table.

The Taste of Chicago
Taste of Chicago
The Taste of Chicago is the world's largest food festival, held annually for ten days in Grant Park, in Chicago starting the Friday before the 4th of July and ending the Sunday after . The event is the largest festival in Chicago...

 in Grant Park
Grant Park (Chicago)
Grant Park, with between the downtown Chicago Loop and Lake Michigan, offers many different attractions in its large open space. The park is generally flat. It is also crossed by large boulevards and even a bed of sunken railroad tracks...

 runs from the final week of June through Fourth of July
Independence Day (United States)
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain...

 weekend. Hundreds of local restaurants take part.

A number of well-known chefs have restaurants in Chicago, including Charlie Trotter
Charlie Trotter
Charlie Trotter is a chef and restaurateur.-Biography:A graduate of New Trier High School, Trotter started cooking professionally in 1982 after earning a degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. For the next 5 years, he worked and studied in Chicago, San Francisco at...

, Rick Tramonto
Rick Tramonto
Richard Michael "Rick" Tramonto is a Chicago chef and cookbook author. He is executive chef and partner in Tru, a contemporary fine-dining restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.-Biography:...

, Grant Achatz
Grant Achatz
Grant Achatz is an American chef and restaurateur often identified as one of the leaders in molecular gastronomy or progressive cuisine...

, and Rick Bayless
Rick Bayless
Rick Bayless is an American chef who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine with modern interpretations. He is perhaps best known for his PBS series Mexico: One Plate at a Time....

. In 2003, Robb Report named Chicago the country's "most exceptional dining destination."

The city is home to 23 Michelin-starred
Michelin Guide
The Michelin Guide is a series of annual guide books published by Michelin for over a dozen countries. The term normally refers to the Michelin Red Guide, the oldest and best-known European hotel and restaurant guide, which awards the Michelin stars...

 restaurants, with one three-star restaurant, Alinea
Alinea (restaurant)
Alinea is a restaurant in Chicago that opened on May 4, 2005. Its head chef and owner, Grant Achatz, is known for his preparations and deconstructions of classic flavors....

.

Chicago features a wide selection of vegetarian cuisine
Vegetarian cuisine
Vegetarian cuisine refers to food that meets vegetarian standards by not including meat and animal tissue products. For lacto-ovo vegetarianism , eggs and dairy products such as milk and cheese are permitted...

, with 22 fully vegetarian restaurants and many vegetarian-friendly establishments within the city.

Religion



Chicago's religious heritage is displayed in its architecture and institutions. Christianity is predominant among the city's population. The city also includes adherents of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

, and the Bahá'í
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

, among others. Chicago has a wealth of sacred architecture.

The city played host to the first two Parliament of the World's Religions
Parliament of the World's Religions
There have been several meetings referred to as a Parliament of the World’s Religions, most notably the World's Parliament of Religions of 1893, the first attempt to create a global dialogue of faiths. The event was celebrated by another conference on its centenary in 1993...

 in 1893 and 1993. Chicago contains many theological institutions, which include seminaries and colleges such as the Moody Bible Institute
Moody Bible Institute
Moody Bible Institute is a Christian institution of higher education and related ministries that was founded by evangelist and businessman Dwight Lyman Moody in 1886. Since its founding, MBI's main campus has been located in the Near North Side of Chicago. MBI's primary ministries are education,...

 and DePaul University
DePaul University
DePaul University is a private institution of higher education and research in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by the Vincentians in 1898, the university takes its name from the 17th century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul...

. Chicago is the seat of numerous religious leaders from a host of bishops of a wide array of Christian denominations as well as other religions. In the northern suburb of Wilmette, Illinois, is the Bahá'í Temple
Bahá'í House of Worship (Wilmette, Illinois)
The Bahá'í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, is the oldest surviving Baha'i House of Worship in the world, and the only one in the United States.-Early plans:...

, the only temple for the Bahá'í Faith in North America.

Prominent religious leaders have visited the city, including the Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

 and Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa , born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu , was a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1950...

. Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 visited Chicago in 1979 as part of his first trip to the United States after being elected to the Papacy in 1978.

Sports


Chicago was named the Best Sports City in the United States by The Sporting News
The Sporting News
Sporting News is an American-based sports magazine. It was established in 1886, and it became the dominant American publication covering baseball — so much so that it acquired the nickname "The Bible of Baseball"...

in 1993, 2006, 2010. The city is home to two Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 (MLB) teams: the Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 of the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 (NL), who play in Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field is a baseball stadium in Chicago, Illinois, United States that has served as the home ballpark of the Chicago Cubs since 1916. It was built in 1914 as Weeghman Park for the Chicago Federal League baseball team, the Chicago Whales...

 on the North Side, and the Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since , the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans...

 of the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 (AL), who play in U.S. Cellular Field
U.S. Cellular Field
U.S. Cellular Field is a baseball ballpark in Chicago, Illinois. Owned by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, it is the home of the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball's American League. The park opened for the 1991 season, after the White Sox had spent 81 years at old Comiskey Park...

 on the South Side. Chicago is the only city that has had more than one MLB franchise every year since the AL began in 1901. The Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

, one of the last two remaining charter members of the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

 (NFL), have won nine NFL Championships, including Super Bowl XX
Super Bowl XX
Super Bowl XX was an American football championship game played on January 26, 1986 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1985 regular season...

. The other remaining charter franchise, the Chicago Cardinals, also started out in the city, but are now known as the Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

. The Bears play their home games at Soldier Field
Soldier Field
Soldier Field is located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, United States, in the Near South Side. It is home to the NFL's Chicago Bears...

 just off the shore of Lake Michigan.

The Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, playing in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1966. They play their home games at the United Center...

 of the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 (NBA) are one of the most recognized basketball teams in the world. During the 1990s with Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan
Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a former American professional basketball player, active entrepreneur, and majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats...

 leading them, the Bulls took six NBA championships in eight seasons. The Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They have won four Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926, most recently coming in 2009-10...

 of the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 (NHL), who began play in 1926, and are one of the "Original Six
Original Six
The Original Six is a term for the group of six teams that composed the National Hockey League for the 25 seasons between the 1942–43 season and the 1967 NHL Expansion. These six teams are the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and the...

," teams of the National Hockey League (NHL), have won four Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

s. The Blackhawks are the 2010 Stanley Cup champion
2010 Stanley Cup Finals
The 2010 Stanley Cup Final was the championship series of the National Hockey League season. As the culmination of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia Flyers faced the Western Conference champion Chicago Blackhawks...

s, and hosted the 2009 NHL Winter Classic
2009 NHL Winter Classic
The 2009 NHL Winter Classic, also known as the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009, was a specially staged National Hockey League regular-season game played outdoors on January 1, 2009 at 12:36 p.m. CST at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois...

 at Wrigley Field. Both the Bulls and Blackhawks play at the United Center
United Center
The United Center is an indoor sports arena located in Chicago. It is named after its corporate sponsor, United Airlines. The United Center is home to both the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League...

 on the Near West Side. The Chicago Rush
Chicago Rush
The Chicago Rush is an arena football team based in Rosemont, Illinois. It is a member of the Central Division of the National Conference of the Arena Football League. The team was founded in 2001 and is co-owned by Mike Ditka, the Hall of Fame player and coach.The Rush have qualified for the...

 has been a member of the Arena Football League
Arena Football League
The Arena Football League is the highest level of professional indoor American football in the United States. It is currently the second longest running professional football league in the United States, after the National Football League. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster...

 since 2001 and won ArenaBowl XX
ArenaBowl XX
ArenaBowl XX, held on Sunday, June 11, 2006, was played to determine the championship of the 2006 season of the Arena Football League. For the second consecutive year, the game was played at the neutral site of the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It pitted the National Conference...

. The team plays in suburban Rosemont. Chicago was also home to the Chicago Bruisers
Chicago Bruisers
The Chicago Bruisers were a charter member of the Arena Football League, playing in the four-team "demonstration season" of 1987. They played their home games in the former Rosemont Horizon, now the Allstate Arena, home of the Chicago Rush.-History:...

, and original member of the AFL. The Chicago Fire are members of Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

 and reside at Toyota Park
Toyota Park (Bridgeview)
Toyota Park is a soccer-specific stadium located at 71st Street and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview, Illinois. It is the home stadium of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, members of Major League Soccer . Toyota Park was developed at a cost of around $100 million. The facility opened June 11, 2006...

 in suburban Bridgeview
Bridgeview, Illinois
Bridgeview is a village in Cook County, Illinois in the United States. It is located approximately from the Chicago Loop. As of the 2010 census, the village population was 16,446...

, after playing its first eight seasons at Soldier Field
Soldier Field
Soldier Field is located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, United States, in the Near South Side. It is home to the NFL's Chicago Bears...

. The Fire have won one league title and four U.S. Open Cups
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a knockout tournament in American soccer. The tournament is the oldest ongoing American soccer competition and is presently open to all United States Soccer Federation affiliated teams, from amateur adult club teams to the professional clubs of Major League...

 since their founding in 1997.

While four of the five major franchises have won championships within recent time: The Bears (1985), The Bulls (91, '92, '93, '96, '97, and '98), The White Sox (2005), and The Blackhawks (2010), the Chicago Cubs are known for their drought of over 100 years without a championship (Currently 103 years as of the 2011 MLB Season). The last time the Cubs were in a World Series was 1945. Local lore amongst Cubs fans often claims the Curse of the Billy Goat
Curse of the Billy Goat
The curse of the Billy Goat was supposedly placed on the Chicago Cubs in 1945 when Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave a World Series game against the Detroit Tigers at the Cubs' home ground of Wrigley Field because his pet goat's odor was bothering other fans...

 is responsible for the drought.
The Chicago Marathon
Chicago Marathon
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a major marathon held yearly in Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Alongside the Boston, New York, London and Berlin Marathons, it is one of the five World Marathon Majors. Thus, it is also an IAAF Gold Label race...

 has been held each year since 1977 except for in 1987, when a half marathon was run in its place. The Chicago Marathon is one of five World Marathon Majors
World Marathon Majors
The World Marathon Majors is a championship-style competition for marathon runners that started in 2006. It comprises five annual races for the cities of Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, and New York City. Two other races are also included in the series: the IAAF World Championships Marathon and...

. In 1994, the United States hosted a successful FIFA World Cup
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

 with games played at Soldier Field
Soldier Field
Soldier Field is located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, United States, in the Near South Side. It is home to the NFL's Chicago Bears...

 on Chicago's downtown lakefront.

After a months long process that saw the elimination of several American and international cities, Chicago was selected on April 14, 2007, to represent the United States internationally in the bidding for the 2016 Summer Olympics
2016 Summer Olympics
The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event to be celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games, as governed by the International Olympic Committee...

. Chicago had previously hosted the 1959 Pan American Games
1959 Pan American Games
The 3rd Pan American Games opened on August 27, 1959 in sunny 90°F heat before 40,000 people in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The first Pan American Games held in North America, they were originally scheduled for Cleveland, Ohio, but the U.S. Congress’s decision to cut $5,000,000 in federal...

 and the 2006 Gay Games. Chicago was selected to host the 1904 Olympics, but they were transferred to St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 to coincide with the World's Fair. On June 4, 2008, the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 narrowed the field further and selected Chicago as one of four candidate cities for the 2016 games. On October 2, 2009, Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

 was selected as the host city with Chicago being eliminated in the first round of voting.

Starting just off Navy Pier
Navy Pier
Navy Pier is a long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area. The pier was built in 1916 at a cost of $4.5 million, equivalent to $ today. It was a part of the Plan of Chicago developed by architect and...

 is Chicago Yacht Club
Chicago Yacht Club
The Chicago Yacht Club is located in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Yacht Club is best known for organizing the Chicago to Mackinac Race each July. It also hosts dozens of other races and regattas throughout the season.- History :...

's Race to Mackinac
Chicago to Mackinac Boat Race
The Chicago to Mackinac Sailboat Race is run by the Chicago Yacht Club. It is one of the longest fresh-water races in the world, with hundreds of boats entering the race each year. It starts off the mouth of the Chicago River in Chicago, crosses Lake Michigan, barely enters Lake Huron, and finishes...

, a 330 miles (531.1 km) offshore sailboat race held each July that is the longest annual freshwater sailing distance race in the world. 2010 marks the 102nd running of the "Mac".

At the collegiate level, the greater Chicago area has four national athletic conferences represented, the Big East Conference
Big East Conference
The Big East Conference is a collegiate athletics conference consisting of sixteen universities in the eastern half of the United States. The conference's 17 members participate in 24 NCAA sports...

 with DePaul University
DePaul University
DePaul University is a private institution of higher education and research in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by the Vincentians in 1898, the university takes its name from the 17th century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul...

, and the Big Ten Conference
Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten Conference is the United States' oldest Division I college athletic conference. Its twelve member institutions are located primarily in the Midwestern United States, stretching from Nebraska in the west to Pennsylvania in the east...

 with Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

 in Evanston are premier national conferences. Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago is a private Jesuit research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1870 under the title St...

 and the University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, near the Chicago Loop...

 play Division I sports as members of the Horizon League
Horizon League
The Horizon League is a ten school, NCAA Division I college athletic conference whose members are located in five of the Midwestern United States....

.

Media



The Chicago metropolitan area is the third-largest media market in North America, after New York City and Los Angeles. Each of the big four U.S. television networks, CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

, ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

, NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 and Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

, directly owns and operates a high-definition television
High-definition television
High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...

 station in Chicago (WBBM
WBBM-TV
WBBM-TV, virtual channel 2 , is the CBS owned-and-operated television station in Chicago, Illinois. WBBM-TV's main studios and offices are located in The Loop section of Chicago, as part of the development at Block 37, and its transmitter is atop the Willis Tower.-History:WBBM-TV traces its history...

, WLS
WLS-TV
WLS-TV, virtual channel 7, is an owned-and-operated television station of the Walt Disney Company-owned American Broadcasting Company, located in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The station operates their full power digital operations on UHF channel 44, with their digital fill-in translator on VHF channel...

, WMAQ
WMAQ-TV
WMAQ-TV, channel 5, is an owned-and-operated television station of the NBC Television Network, located in Chicago, Illinois. WMAQ-TV's main studios and offices are located within the NBC Tower in the Streeterville neighborhood, with an auxiliary street-level studio on the Magnificent Mile at 401...

 and WFLD
WFLD
WFLD, virtual channel 32 , is the Fox owned-and-operated television station, based in Chicago, Illinois; through its parent company News Corporation, the station is owned in a duopoly with area MyNetworkTV affiliate WPWR-TV...

, respectively). WGN-TV
WGN-TV
WGN-TV, virtual channel 9 , is the CW-affiliated television station in Chicago, Illinois built, signed on, and owned by the Tribune Company. WGN-TV's studios and offices are located at 2501 W...

, which is owned by the Tribune Company
Tribune Company
The Tribune Company is a large American multimedia corporation based in Chicago, Illinois. It is the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher, with ten daily newspapers and commuter tabloids including Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida...

, is carried with some programming differences, as "WGN America" on cable and satellite TV
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

 nationwide and in parts of the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. The city is also the home of several talk shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show
The Oprah Winfrey Show
The Oprah Winfrey Show is an American syndicated talk show hosted and produced by its namesake Oprah Winfrey. It ran nationally for 25 seasons beginning in 1986, before concluding in 2011. It is the highest-rated talk show in American television history....

on WLS-TV, while Chicago Public Radio
Chicago Public Radio
WBEZ is a noncommercial, public radio station broadcasting from Chicago, Illinois. Financed primarily by listener contributions, the station is affiliated with both National Public Radio and Public Radio International; they also broadcast content from American Public Media...

 produces programs such as PRI
Public Radio International
Public Radio International is a Minneapolis-based American public radio organization, with locations in Boston, New York, London and Beijing. PRI's tagline is "Hear a different voice." PRI is a major public media content creator and also distributes programs from many sources...

's This American Life
This American Life
This American Life is a weekly hour-long radio program produced by WBEZ and hosted by Ira Glass. It is distributed by Public Radio International on PRI affiliate stations and is also available as a free weekly podcast. Primarily a journalistic non-fiction program, it has also featured essays,...

and NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! is an hour-long weekly radio news panel game show produced by Chicago Public Radio and National Public Radio. It is distributed by NPR in the United States, internationally on NPR Worldwide and on the Internet via podcast, and typically broadcast on weekends by member...

Chicago's PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 station can be seen on WTTW
WTTW
WTTW channel 11 is one of three Public Broadcasting Service member public television stations serving the Chicago, Illinois market; the others are WYCC and WYIN. WTTW began broadcasting on September 6, 1955 and it is owned and operated by Window to the World Communications, Inc., a not-for-profit...

, producer of shows, such as Sneak Previews
Sneak Previews
Sneak Previews was an American film review show, running for over two decades on Public Broadcasting Service . It was created by WTTW, a PBS affiliate in Chicago, Illinois. It premiered on September 4, 1975 as a monthly local-only show called Opening Soon at a Theater Near You, and was renamed in...

, The Frugal Gourmet, Lamb Chop's Play-Along
Lamb Chop's Play-Along
Lamb Chop's Play-Along is a children's television series that was shown on PBS in the United States from 1992 until 1997, as well as on YTV in Canada. It was created and hosted by puppeteer Shari Lewis, and featured her puppet character Lamb Chop. Appropriately, Lamb Chop was a sheep; other...

and The McLaughlin Group
The McLaughlin Group
The McLaughlin Group is a syndicated half-hour weekly public affairs television program in the United States, where a group of five pundits discuss current political issues in a round table format. It has been broadcast since 1982, and is currently sponsored by MetLife...

, just to name a few and WYCC
WYCC
WYCC is a Public Broadcasting Service memebr public television in Chicago, Illinois which broadcasts over digital channel 21, also reached as 20.1, and two other digital channels, 20.2 and 20.3...

.

There are two major daily newspapers published in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

and the Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois. It is the flagship paper of the Sun-Times Media Group.-History:The Chicago Sun-Times is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city...

, with the former having the larger circulation. There are also several regional and special-interest newspapers and magazines, such as Chicago
Chicago (magazine)
Chicago is a monthly magazine published by the Tribune Company. It concentrates on lifestyle and human interest stories, and on reviewing restaurants, travel, fashion, and theatre from or nearby Chicago. Its circulation in 2004 was 165,000, larger than People in its market...

, the Dziennik Związkowy (Polish Daily News)
Dziennik Zwiazkowy (Polish Daily News)
Dziennik Związkowy or Polish Daily News, is the largest and the oldest Polish language newspaper in the United States. Established in 1908 in Chicago as an organ of the Polish National Alliance from whose headquarters at Polonia Triangle in Chicago's Polish Downtown the paper was originally printed...

, Draugas
Draugas
Draugas is the only Lithuanian daily newspaper published abroad. It is read not only in the United States, but in Canada, South America, Australia, and Europe as well.-History:...

(the Lithuanian daily newspaper), the Chicago Reader, the SouthtownStar, the Chicago Defender
Chicago Defender
The Chicago Defender is a Chicago based newspaper founded in 1905 by an African American for primarily African American readers.In just three years from 1919–1922 the Defender also attracted the writing talents of Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks....

, the Daily Herald, Newcity
Newcity
Newcity is an independent, free weekly newspaper in Chicago that specializes in music, stage, film and art and is notable for launching the careers of numerous cartoonists and writers and art critics. The publication was described by the Chicago Tribune as "sophisticated" and as an "alternative...

, StreetWise
StreetWise
StreetWise is a street newspaper sold by people without homes or those at-risk for homelessness in Chicago. Topics covered in the paper vary depending on what is happening in Chicago at the time...

and the Windy City Times
Windy City Times
Windy City Times is Chicago's oldest LGBT newspaper, and the only Chicago gay publication with an independent circulation audit current as of 2008....

. The entertainment and cultural magazine Time Out Chicago is also published in the city.

Chicago is a filming-friendly location
Filming location
A filming location is a place where some or all of a film or television series is produced, in addition to or instead of using sets constructed on a movie studio backlot or soundstage...

. Since the 1980s, many motion pictures have been filmed in the city, most notably The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers (film)
The Blues Brothers is a 1980 musical comedy film directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as "Joliet" Jake and Elwood Blues, characters developed from a musical sketch on the NBC variety series Saturday Night Live. It features musical numbers by R&B and soul singers James...

, Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American teen coming-of-age comedy film written and directed by John Hughes.The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller , who decides to skip school and spend the day in downtown Chicago...

, Home Alone
Home Alone
Home Alone is a 1990 American Christmas comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. The film stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy, who is mistakenly left behind when his family flies to Paris for their Christmas vacation...

, The Fugitive
The Fugitive (1993 film)
The Fugitive is a 1993 American thriller film based on the television series of the same name. The film was directed by Andrew Davis and stars Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. The film was one of the few movies associated with a television series to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best...

, Blade: Trinity
Blade: Trinity
Blade: Trinity is a 2004 American superhero vampire action film, written and directed by David S. Goyer, who also wrote the screenplays to the first two Blade films...

, I, Robot
I, Robot
I, Robot is a collection of nine science fiction short stories by Isaac Asimov, first published by Gnome Press in 1950 in an edition of 5,000 copies. The stories originally appeared in the American magazines Super Science Stories and Astounding Science Fiction between 1940 and 1950. The stories are...

, Wanted, Batman Begins
Batman Begins
Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero action film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson,...

, The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Chicago has also been the setting for many popular television shows. Chicago-based TV shows include the situation comedies Perfect Strangers
Perfect Strangers (TV series)
Perfect Strangers is an American sitcom that ran for eight seasons from March 25, 1986, to August 6, 1993, on the ABC television network. Created by Dale McRaven, the series chronicles the rocky coexistence of midwestern American Larry Appleton and his distant cousin from eastern Mediterranean...

and its spinoff Family Matters and The Bob Newhart Show
The Bob Newhart Show
The Bob Newhart Show is an American situation comedy produced by MTM Enterprises, which aired 142 original episodes on CBS from September 16, , to April 1, . Comedian Bob Newhart portrayed a psychologist having to deal with his patients and fellow office workers...

. The city served as the venue for the medical dramas ER
ER (TV series)
ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 19, 1994 to April 2, 2009. It was produced by Constant c Productions and Amblin Entertainment, in association with Warner Bros. Television...

and Chicago Hope
Chicago Hope
Chicago Hope is an American medical drama series created by David E. Kelley that ran from September 18, 1994, to May 5, 2000. It takes place in a fictional private charity hospital.-Premise:The show stars Mandy Patinkin as Dr...

, as well as the science fiction drama series Early Edition
Early Edition
Early Edition is an American television series that aired on CBS from September 28, 1996 to May 27, 2000. Set in the city of Chicago, Illinois, it follows the adventures of a man who mysteriously receives each Chicago Sun-Times newspaper the day before it is actually published, and who uses this...

and 2005-2009 drama Prison Break
Prison Break
Prison Break is an American television serial drama created by Paul Scheuring, that was broadcast on the Fox Broadcasting Company for four seasons, from 2005 until 2009. The series revolves around two brothers; one has been sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit, and the other devises an...

. Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is an American satellite and cable specialty channel , founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It is a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav...

 films two shows in Chicago: Cook County Jail
Cook County Jail
The Cook County Jail, located on in Cook County, Illinois, is the largest jail in the United States of America housing approximately 9,800 men and women. The facility is located at 3015 S California Ave in the city of Chicago...

and the Chicago version of Cash Cab
Cash Cab
Cash Cab is a TV game show devised by Adam Wood that originated in the United Kingdom and has been licensed to television networks in numerous other countries...

.

Chicago is also home to a number of national radio shows, including Beyond the Beltway
Beyond the Beltway
Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont is a political talk show based in Chicago. It airs from 7-9PM every Sunday night on 38 stations, including its flagship WLS-AM 890/Chicago, Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and online at http://www.beyondthebeltway.com....

with Bruce DuMont
Bruce DuMont
Bruce DuMont is an American political analyst and broadcaster based in Chicago, Illinois. He is the host of Beyond the Beltway talk radio, a show that airs on over 30 stations around the United States...

 on Sunday evenings.

Economy


Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product
Gross metropolitan product
Gross Metropolitan Product or Gross Regional Product is one of several measures of the size of the economy of a metropolitan area...

 in the United States—approximately US$532 billion according to 2010 estimates. The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the United States, due to its high level of diversification. Chicago was named the fourth most important business center in the world in the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index. Additionally, the Chicago metropolitan area recorded the greatest number of new or expanded corporate facilities in the United States for six out of the seven years from 2001 to 2008. The Chicago metropolitan area has the third largest science and engineering work force of any metropolitan area in the nation. In 2009, Chicago placed 9th on the UBS
UBS AG
UBS AG is a Swiss global financial services company headquartered in Basel and Zürich, Switzerland, which provides investment banking, asset management, and wealth management services for private, corporate, and institutional clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland...

 list of the world's richest cities. Chicago was the base of commercial operations for industrialists John Crerar, John Whitfield Bunn, Richard Teller Crane, Marshall Field
Marshall Field
Marshall Field was founder of Marshall Field and Company, the Chicago-based department stores.-Life and career:...

, John Farwell, Morris Selz, Julius Rosenwald
Julius Rosenwald
Julius Rosenwald was a U.S. clothier, manufacturer, business executive, and philanthropist. He is best known as a part-owner and leader of Sears, Roebuck and Company, and for the Rosenwald Fund which donated millions to support the education of African American children in the rural South, as well...

 and many other commercial visionaries who laid the foundation for Midwestern and global industry.

Chicago is a major world financial center, with the second largest central business district
Chicago Loop
The Loop or Chicago Loop is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas located in the City of Chicago, Illinois. It is the historic commercial center of downtown Chicago...

 in the US. The city is the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is one of twelve regional Reserve Banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the nation's central bank....

 (the Seventh District of the Federal Reserve). The city is also home to major financial and futures exchange
Futures exchange
A futures exchange or futures market is a central financial exchange where people can trade standardized futures contracts; that is, a contract to buy specific quantities of a commodity or financial instrument at a specified price with delivery set at a specified time in the future. These types of...

s, including the Chicago Stock Exchange
Chicago Stock Exchange
The Chicago Stock Exchange is a stock exchange in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The exchange is a national securities exchange and self-regulated organization, which operates under the oversight of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission . The Chicago Stock Exchange is the third most active stock...

, the Chicago Board Options Exchange
Chicago Board Options Exchange
The Chicago Board Options Exchange , located at 400 South LaSalle Street in Chicago, is the largest U.S. options exchange with annual trading volume that hovered around one billion contracts at the end of 2007...

 (CBOE), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
Chicago Mercantile Exchange
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is an American financial and commodity derivative exchange based in Chicago. The CME was founded in 1898 as the Chicago Butter and Egg Board. Originally, the exchange was a non-profit organization...

 (the "Merc"), which is owned, along with the Chicago Board of Trade
Chicago Board of Trade
The Chicago Board of Trade , established in 1848, is the world's oldest futures and options exchange. More than 50 different options and futures contracts are traded by over 3,600 CBOT members through open outcry and eTrading. Volumes at the exchange in 2003 were a record breaking 454 million...

 (CBOT) by Chicago's CME Group
CME Group
The CME Group bases prices for US gasoline on Brent Crude rather than West Texas Intermediate Crude , which many believe is responsible for artificially high gas prices for US consumers...

. The CME Group, in addition, owns the New York Mercantile Exchange
New York Mercantile Exchange
The New York Mercantile Exchange is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange. It is located at One North End Avenue in the World Financial Center in the Battery Park City section of Manhattan, New York City...

 (NYMEX), the Commodities Exchange Inc. (COMEX) and the Dow Jones Indexes
Dow Jones Indexes
Dow Jones Indexes was formed in 1997 as an entity within Dow Jones & Co. It is now owned by the CME Group. It serves as the marketing name of CME Group Indexes, LLC. It produces, maintains, licenses and markets indexes as benchmarks and as the basis of investible products such as exchange traded...

. Perhaps due to the influence of the Chicago school of economics, the city also has markets trading unusual contracts such as emissions
Emissions trading
Emissions trading is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants....

 (on the Chicago Climate Exchange
Chicago Climate Exchange
The now defunct Chicago Climate Exchange was North America’s only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas reduction and trading system for emission sources and offset projects in North America and Brazil....

) and equity style indices (on the U.S. Futures Exchange
U.S. Futures Exchange
U.S. Futures Exchange was a Chicago-based, electronic futures exchange that terminated all exchange operations effective December 31, 2008. On December 17, 2008, MF Global had announced USFE was for sale or would be closed by December 31, 2008. USFE was originally Eurex US who bought BrokerTec,...

). Chase
Chase (bank)
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., doing business as Chase, is a national bank that constitutes the consumer and commercial banking subsidiary of financial services firm JPMorgan Chase. The bank was known as Chase Manhattan Bank until it merged with J.P. Morgan & Co. in 2000...

 Bank has its commercial and retail banking headquarters in Chicago's Chase Tower
Chase Tower (Chicago)
Chase Tower, located in the Chicago Loop area of Chicago at 10 South Dearborn Street, is a 60 story skyscraper completed in 1969. At 850 feet tall, it is the tenth tallest building in Chicago, the tallest building inside the Chicago 'L' Loop elevated tracks, and the 32nd tallest in the United...

.

The city and its surrounding metropolitan area are home to the second largest labor pool in the United States with approximately 4.25 million workers. In addition, the state of Illinois is home to 66 Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000 is a reference to a list maintained by the American business magazine Fortune. The list is of the 1000 largest American companies, ranked on revenues alone...

 companies, including those in Chicago. The city of Chicago also hosts 12 Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 Financial Times 500 companies. The city claims one Dow 30
Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow Jones Industrial Average , also called the Industrial Average, the Dow Jones, the Dow 30, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index, and one of several indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow...

 company: aerospace
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

 giant Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

, which moved its headquarters from Seattle to the Chicago Loop
Chicago Loop
The Loop or Chicago Loop is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas located in the City of Chicago, Illinois. It is the historic commercial center of downtown Chicago...

 in 2001. Two more Dow 30 companies, Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods Inc. is an American confectionery, food and beverage conglomerate. It markets many brands in more than 170 countries. 12 of its brands annually earn more than $1 billion worldwide: Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Trident, Tang...

 and McDonalds are in Chicago suburbs, as are Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is a retail conglomerate formed in 2005 by the merger of Sears, Roebuck and Co., of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, with Kmart Holdings Corporation, of Troy, Michigan...

 and the technology spin-offs of Motorola
Motorola
Motorola, Inc. was an American multinational telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, which was eventually divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011, after losing $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009...

. Chicago is also home to United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings, Inc. , is a publicly traded airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in the United Building in Chicago, Illinois. UCH owns and operates United Airlines, Inc. and Continental Airlines, Inc. both of which use the trade name United Airlines...

, with headquarters in the United Building and operations center at Willis Tower, and its United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

 and Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

 subsidiaries.

Manufacturing, printing, publishing and food processing also play major roles in the city's economy. Several medical products and services companies are headquartered in the Chicago area, including Baxter International
Baxter International
Baxter International Inc. , is an American health care company with headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois. The company primarily focuses on products to treat hemophilia, kidney disease, immune disorders and other chronic and acute medical conditions...

, Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

, Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Laboratories is an American-based global, diversified pharmaceuticals and health care products company. It has 90,000 employees and operates in over 130 countries. The company headquarters are in Abbott Park, North Chicago, Illinois. The company was founded by Chicago physician, Dr....

, and the Healthcare Financial Services division of General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

. Moreover, the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which helped move goods from the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 south on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, and of the railroads in the 19th century made the city a major transportation center in the United States. In the 1840s, Chicago became a major grain
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

 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 and Company
Armour and Company
Armour & Company was an American slaughterhouse and meatpacking company founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1867 by the Armour brothers, led by Philip Danforth Armour. By 1880, the company was Chicago's most important business and helped make the city and its Union Stock Yards the center of the...

, created global enterprises. Though the meatpacking industry currently plays a lesser role in the city's economy, Chicago continues to be a major transportation and distribution center. Lured by a combination of large business customers, federal research dollars, and a large hiring pool fed by the area's universities, Chicago is also home to a growing number of web startup companies like CareerBuilder
CareerBuilder
CareerBuilder.com is the largest online employment website in the United States, with more than 23 million unique visitors each month and a 34% market share of help-wanted web sites in the United States. CareerBuilder.com provides online career search services for more than 1,900 partners as of...

, Orbitz
Orbitz
Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. is an Internet travel company headquartered in the Citigroup Center in Near West Side, Chicago, Illinois. Through its primary web site Orbitz.com, Orbitz Worldwide enables travelers to research, plan and book a broad range of travel products, facilitating 1.5 million flight...

, 37signals
37signals
37signals is a privately held web application company based in Chicago, Illinois. The firm was co-founded in 1999 by Jason Fried, Carlos Segura, and Ernest Kim as a web design company. Segura left in 2000 and Kim left in 2003, leaving Fried as the only remaining founder.Since mid-2004, the...

, Groupon
Groupon
Groupon is a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies. Groupon was launched in November 2008, the first market for Groupon was Chicago, followed soon thereafter by Boston, New York City, and Toronto...

, and Feedburner
FeedBurner
FeedBurner is a web feed management provider launched in 2004. FeedBurner was founded by Dick Costolo, Eric Lunt, Steve Olechowski, and Matt Shobe. Costolo, a University of Michigan graduate, became CEO of Twitter in 2010...

.

Late in the 19th century, Chicago was part of the bicycle craze, as home to Western Wheel Company, which introduced stamping
Stamping (metalworking)
Stamping includes a variety of sheet-metal forming manufacturing processes, such as punching using a machine press or stamping press, blanking, embossing, bending, flanging, and coining. This could be a single stage operation where every stroke of the press produce the desired form on the sheet...

 to the production process and significantly reduced costs, while early in the 20th century, the city was part of the automobile revolution, hosting the Brass Era car
Brass Era car
The automotive Brass Era is the first period of automotive manufacturing, named for the prominent brass fittings used during this time for such things as lights and radiators. It extends from the first commercial automobiles marketed in the 1890s until about World War I...

 builder Bugmobile, which was founded there in 1907. Chicago was also home to the Schwinn Bicycle Company
Schwinn Bicycle Company
The Schwinn Bicycle Company was founded by German-born mechanical engineer Ignaz Schwinn in Chicago in 1895. It became the dominant manufacturer of American bicycles through most of the 20th century and today it is a sub-brand of Pacific Cycle, owned by the multi-national conglomerate, Dorel...

.

Chicago is a major world convention destination. The city's main convention center is McCormick Place
McCormick Place
McCormick Place is the largest convention center in the United States. It is made up of four interconnected buildings sited on and near the shore of Lake Michigan, about 4 km south of downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA. McCormick Place hosts numerous trade shows, including the Chicago Auto Show,...

. With its four interconnected buildings, it is the largest convention center in the nation and third largest in the world. Chicago also ranks third in the U.S. (behind Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...

 and Orlando
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

) in number of conventions hosted annually.

Demographics


During its first 100 years, Chicago was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. When founded in 1833, less than 200 people had settled on what was then the American frontier. By the time of its first census, seven years later, the population had reached over 4000. Within the span of forty years, the city's population grew from slightly under 30,000 in 1850 to over 1 million by 1890. By the close of the 19th century, Chicago was the fifth largest city in the world, and the largest of the cities that did not exist at the dawn of the century. Within sixty years of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871
Great Chicago Fire
The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration that burned from Sunday, October 8, to early Tuesday, October 10, 1871, killing hundreds and destroying about in Chicago, Illinois. Though the fire was one of the largest U.S...

, the population went from about 300,000 to over 3 million, and reached its highest ever-recorded population of 3.6 million for the 1950 census.

As of the 2010 census, there were 2,695,598 people with 1,045,560 households residing within Chicago. More than half the population of the state of Illinois lives in the Chicago metropolitan area. Chicago is also one of the nation's most densely populated major cities. The racial composition of the city was:
  • 45.0% White
    White American
    White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

     (31.7% non-Hispanic whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites or White, Not Hispanic or Latino are people in the United States, as defined by the Census Bureau, who are of the White race and are not of Hispanic or Latino origin/ethnicity. Hence the designation is exclusive in the sense that it defines who is not included as opposed to who is...

    )
  • 32.9% Black or African American
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

  • 13.4% from some other race
  • 5.5% Asian
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

     (1.6% Chinese, 1.1% Indian, 1.1% Filipino, 0.4% Korean, 0.3% Pakistani, 0.3% Vietnamese, 0.2% Japanese, 0.1% Thai)
  • 2.7% from two or more races
    Multiracial American
    Multiracial Americans, US residents who identify themselves as of "two or more races", were numbered at around 9 million, or 2.9% of the population, in the census of 2010. However there is considerable evidence that the real number is far higher. Prior to the mid-20th century many people hid their...

  • 0.5% American Indian
    Native Americans in the United States
    Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...


Chicago has a Hispanic or Latino
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 population of 28.9%. (Its members may belong to any race; 21.4% Mexican, 3.8% Puerto Rican, 0.7% Guatemalan, 0.6% Ecuadorian, 0.3% Cuban, 0.3% Colombian, 0.2% Honduran, 0.2% Salvadoran, 0.2% Peruvian) The Guatemalan, Colombian and Peruvian communities have skyrocketed in the 2000s, and some estimates give higher percentages.

Based on Census data from 2000, 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. About 16.6% of families and 19.6% of the population lived below the poverty line.

As of the 2007 US Census American Community Survey the largest European ancestries were:
Irish: (201,836)
German: (200,392)
Polish: (179,868)
Italian: (96,599)
English: (60,307)

According to the 2008 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates for Total Ancestry Reported, for the city of Chicago, the majority of residents, or 64% of 2,986,974 people, reported their ancestry as "other groups". Of the 36% of residents that reported their ancestries in groups that were measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, the largest groups, based on the total population, were: Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 (6.6%); German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 (6.5%); Polish
Polish American
A Polish American , is a citizen of the United States of Polish descent. There are an estimated 10 million Polish Americans, representing about 3.2% of the population of the United States...

 (5.3%)Italian
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

 (3.5%); Assyrian
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

 (3.5%); English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 (2.0%); Sub-Saharan African
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 (1.2%); American (1.1%); Filipino
Filipino American
Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy",Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century...

 (1.0%); Russian
Russian American
Russian Americans are primarily Americans who traces their ancestry to Russia. The definition can be applied to recent Russian immigrants to the United States, as well as to settlers of 19th century Russian settlements in northwestern America which includes today's California, Alaska and...

 (0.97%); Swedish
Swedish American
Swedish Americans are Americans of Swedish descent, especially the descendants of about 1.2 million immigrants from Sweden during 1885-1915. Most were Lutherans who affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ; some were Methodists...

 (0.91%); French (except Basque)
French American
French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French or French Canadian descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home.An additional 450,000 U.S...

 (0.9%); Arab
Arab American
An Arab American is a United States citizen or resident of Arab ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage or identity, who identifies themselves as Arab. Arab Americans trace ancestry to any of the various waves of immigrants of the countries comprising the Arab World...

 (0.7%); Greek
Greek American
Greek Americans are Americans of Greek descent also described as Hellenic descent. According to the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimation, there were 1,380,088 people of Greek ancestry in the United States, while the State Department mentions that around 3,000,000 Americans claim to be of Greek descent...

 (0.6%); Dutch (0.5%); Norwegian
Norwegian American
Norwegian Americans are Americans of Norwegian descent. Norwegian immigrants went to the United States primarily in the later half of the 19th century and the first few decades of the 20th century. There are more than 4.5 million Norwegian Americans according to the most recent U.S. census, and...

 (0.5%); Scottish
Scottish American
Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage...

 (0.5%); European
European American
A European American is a citizen or resident of the United States who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

 (0.5%); West Indian (0.5%); Lithuanian (0.4%); Ukrainian (0.38%); Czech
Czech American
Czech Americans are citizens of the United States who were born in, or who descended from, the territory of the historic Czech lands, , or succession states, now known as the Czech Republic...

 (0.4%); Hungarian
Hungarian American
Hungarian Americans Hungarian are American citizens of Hungarian descent. The constant influx of Hungarian immigrants was marked by several waves of sharp increase.-History:...

 (0.3%); Scotch-Irish (0.2%); Welsh
Welsh American
Welsh Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Wales. In the 2008 U.S. Census community survey, an estimated 1.98 million Americans had Welsh ancestry, 0.6% of the total U.S. population. This compares with a population of 3 million in Wales. However,...

 (0.2%); Danish (0.2%); French Canadian
French Canadian
French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

 (0.2%); Slovak
Slovak American
Slovak Americans are Americans of Slovak descent. In the 1990 Census Slovak Americans made up the second-largest portion of Slavic ethnic groups. There are currently about 790,000 people of Slovak descent living in the United States. -Eighteenth century:...

 (0.2%); British
British American
British Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in the United Kingdom . The term is seldom used by people to refer to themselves and is used primarily as a demographic or historical research term...

 (0.1%); Swiss
Swiss American
Swiss Americans are Americans of Swiss descent.There are several ethno-linguistic subgroups among Swiss Americans, including Swiss German-speaking, Swiss French-speaking, and Swiss Italian-speaking....

 (0.1%); and Portuguese
Portuguese American
Portuguese Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates in the southwest European nation of Portugal, including the offshore island groups of the Azores and Madeira....

 (0.1%).
The city also has a large Assyrian population numbering between 80,000–120,000, and it is the location of the seat of the head of the Assyrian Church of the East
Assyrian Church of the East
The Assyrian Church of the East, officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ʻIttā Qaddishtā w-Shlikhāitā Qattoliqi d-Madnĕkhā d-Āturāyē), is a Syriac Church historically centered in Mesopotamia. It is one of the churches that claim continuity with the historical...

, Mar Dinkha IV.

Law and government




Chicago is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Cook County
Cook County, Illinois
Cook County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois, with its county seat in Chicago. It is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles County. The county has 5,194,675 residents, which is 40.5 percent of all Illinois residents. Cook County's population is larger than...

. The government of the City of Chicago is divided into executive and legislative
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 branches. The Mayor of Chicago
Mayor of Chicago
The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive of Chicago, Illinois, the third largest city in the United States. He or she is charged with directing city departments and agencies, and with the advice and consent of the Chicago City Council, appoints department and agency leaders.-Appointment...

 is the chief executive, elected by general election for a term of four years, with no term limits. 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
Chicago City Council
The Chicago City Council is the legislative branch of the government of the City of Chicago in Illinois. It consists of 50 aldermen elected from 50 wards to serve four-year terms...

 is the legislative branch and is made up of 50 aldermen, one elected from each ward
Wards of the United States
In the United States, a ward is an optional division of a city or town, especially an electoral district, for administrative and representative purposes...

 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
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 organization dominated by ethnic ward-heelers. During the 1880s and 1890s, Chicago had a powerful radical tradition with large and highly organized socialist, anarchist
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 and labor organizations. For much of the 20th century, Chicago has been among the largest and most reliable Democratic strongholds in the United States, with Chicago's Democratic vote the state of Illinois has been "solid blue" in presidential elections
United States presidential election
Elections for President and Vice President of the United States are indirect elections in which voters cast ballots for a slate of electors of the U.S. Electoral College, who in turn directly elect the President and Vice President...

 since 1992. The citizens of Chicago have not elected a Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 mayor since 1927, when William Thompson
William Hale Thompson
William Hale Thompson was Mayor of Chicago from 1915 to 1923 and again from 1927 to 1931. Known as "Big Bill", Thompson was the last Republican to serve as Mayor of Chicago, and ranks among the most unethical mayors in American history.Thompson was born in Boston, Massachusetts to William Hale...

 was voted into office. The strength of the party in the city is partly a consequence of Illinois state politics, where the Republicans have come to represent the rural and farm concerns while the Democrats support urban issues such as Chicago's public school funding. Chicago contains close to 25% of the state's population, and as such, eight of Illinois' 19 U.S. Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 have part of Chicago in their districts
Illinois's congressional districts
Illinois has nineteen congressional districts, however, for the 113th Congress it will only have 18. Before statehood, it was represented by a non-voting delegate.-List of districts:CurrentHistorical...

.

Former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley
Richard J. Daley
Richard Joseph Daley served for 21 years as the mayor and undisputed Democratic boss of Chicago and is considered by historians to be the "last of the big city bosses." He played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F...

's mastery of machine politics
Political machine
A political machine is a political organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and businesses , who receive rewards for their efforts...

 preserved the Chicago Democratic Machine long after the demise of similar machines in other large U.S. cities. During much of that time, the city administration found opposition mainly from a liberal "independent" faction of the Democratic Party. The independents finally gained control of city government in 1983 with the election of Harold Washington
Harold Washington
Harold Lee Washington was an American lawyer and politician who became the first African-American Mayor of Chicago, serving from 1983 until his death in 1987.- Early years and military service :...

. From 1989 until May 16, 2011, Chicago was under the leadership of Richard M. Daley
Richard M. Daley
Richard Michael Daley is a United States politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party, and former Mayor of Chicago, Illinois. He was elected mayor in 1989 and reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He was the longest serving Chicago mayor, surpassing the tenure of his...

, the son of Richard J. Daley. Because of the dominance of the Democratic Party in Chicago, the Democratic primary
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 vote held in the spring is generally more significant than the general elections in November for U S House and Illinois State seats. The aldermanic, mayoral, and other city offices are filled through nonpartisan elections with runoffs if needed. On May 16, 2011, Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Israel Emanuel is an American politician and the 55th and current Mayor of Chicago. He was formerly White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama...

 was sworn in as the 55th mayor of Chicago, ending a 22-year era led by Richard M. Daley
Richard M. Daley
Richard Michael Daley is a United States politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party, and former Mayor of Chicago, Illinois. He was elected mayor in 1989 and reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He was the longest serving Chicago mayor, surpassing the tenure of his...

.

City planning




Chicago has four main sections: Downtown (which contains the Loop
Chicago Loop
The Loop or Chicago Loop is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas located in the City of Chicago, Illinois. It is the historic commercial center of downtown Chicago...

), the North Side, the South Side
South Side (Chicago)
The South Side is a major part of the City of Chicago, which is located in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Much of it has evolved from the city's incorporation of independent townships, such as Hyde Park Township which voted along with several other townships to be annexed in the June 29,...

, and the West Side. The three sides of the city are represented on the Flag of Chicago by three horizontal white strips. These sections can further be informally subdivided or grouped, for example as shown on the map (right). Further sectional references are the Northwest side and the Southwest side. In the late 1920s, sociologists at the University of Chicago subdivided the city into 77 distinct community areas, which can further be subdivided into over 200 neighborhoods
Neighborhoods in Chicago
Cartographers distinguish between over 200 neighborhoods and 77 community areas in the City of Chicago . A semi-official by the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development was created in the 1970s by researchers who went from door-to-door in Chicago, asking "What neighborhood is this?"...

.

The central commercial area often is portrayed, as in the map at right, to include parts of Near North Side
Near North Side, Chicago
The Near North Side is one of 77 well-defined community areas of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is located north and east of the Chicago River, just north of the central business district . To its east is Lake Michigan and its northern boundary is the 19th-century city limit of Chicago,...

 and Near South Side
Near South Side, Chicago
The Near South Side is a community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is located just south of the downtown central business district, the Loop, which is itself a community area...

, as well as the Loop
Chicago Loop
The Loop or Chicago Loop is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas located in the City of Chicago, Illinois. It is the historic commercial center of downtown Chicago...

. The North Side is the most densely populated residential section of the city and many high-rises are located on this side of the city along the lakefront.
The South Side is the largest section of the city, encompassing roughly 60% of the city's land area. The South Side contains the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 and most of the facilities of the Port of Chicago
Port of Chicago
The Port of Chicago consists of several major port facilities within the city of Chicago, Illinois operated by the Illinois International Port District . The central element of the Port District, Calumet Harbor, is maintained by the U.S...

.

Chicago's streets were laid out in a street grid
Grid plan
The grid plan, grid street plan or gridiron plan is a type of city plan in which streets run at right angles to each other, forming a grid...

 that grew from the city's original townsite plat. Streets following the Public Land Survey System
Public Land Survey System
The Public Land Survey System is a method used in the United States to survey and identify land parcels, particularly for titles and deeds of rural, wild or undeveloped land. Its basic units of area are the township and section. It is sometimes referred to as the rectangular survey system,...

 section lines later became arterial streets in outlying sections. As new additions to the city were platted, city ordinance required them to be laid out with eight streets to the mile in one direction and 16 in the other direction. The grid's regularity would provide an efficient means to develop new real estate property. A scattering of diagonal streets, many of them originally Indian trails, also cross the city. Many additional diagonal streets were recommended in the Plan of Chicago
Burnham Plan
The Burnham Plan is a popular name for the 1909 Plan of Chicago, co-authored by Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett. It recommended an integrated series of projects including new and widened streets, parks, new railroad and harbor facilities, and civic buildings...

, but only the extension of Ogden Avenue
Ogden Avenue (Chicago)
Ogden Avenue is an arterial street extending from the Near West Side of Chicago to Aurora, Illinois.The street follows the route of the Southwestern Plank Road, which opened in 1848 across swampy terrain between Chicago and Riverside, Illinois, and was extended to Naperville by 1851.The 1909 Plan...

 was ever constructed.

Crime



Murders in the city peaked first in 1974, with 970 murders when the city's population was over three million people (resulting in a murder rate of around 29 per 100,000), and again in 1992 with 943 murders, resulting in a murder rate of 34 per 100,000. Chicago, along with other major US cities, experienced a significant reduction in violent crime rates through the 1990s, eventually recording 448 homicide
Homicide
Homicide refers to the act of a human killing another human. Murder, for example, is a type of homicide. It can also describe a person who has committed such an act, though this use is rare in modern English...

s in 2004, the lowest total since 1965 (15.65 per 100,000.) Chicago's homicide tally remained steady throughout 2005, 2006, and 2007 with 449, 452, and 435 respectively.

In 2008, murders rebounded to 510, 2nd highest in the country, breaking 500 for the first time since 2003. For 2009 the murder count was down about 10% for the year, to 458.

2010 saw Chicago's murder rate at its lowest levels since 1965. Overall, 435 homicides were recorded for the year, a 5% decrease from 2009.

Schools and libraries


There are 675 public schools, 394 private schools, 83 colleges, and 88 libraries in Chicago. Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools, commonly abbreviated as CPS by local residents and politicians and officially classified as City of Chicago School District #299 for funding and districting reasons, is a large school district that manages over 600 public elementary and high schools in Chicago, Illinois...

 (CPS) is the governing body of the school district
School district
School districts are a form of special-purpose district which serves to operate the local public primary and secondary schools.-United States:...

 that contains over 600 public elementary and high schools citywide, including several selective-admission magnet schools. There are 9 selective enrollment high schools in the Chicago Public Schools. They are designed to meet the needs of Chicago’s most academically advanced students. The schools offer a rigorous curriculum with mainly honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Northside College Preparatory High School
Northside College Preparatory High School
Northside College Preparatory High School is a Chicago Public-Selective Enrollment School. Founded in 1999, it was the first new Chicago Public High School to be built in 20 years. It is a selective enrollment school, teaching at the Honors and AP levels only...

 is ranked number one in the city of Chicago. Walter Payton College Prep High School is ranked number two. The Chicago high school rankings are determined by the average test scores on state achievement tests. The oldest magnet school in the City of Chicago, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School is a highly selective Chicago public school that opened its doors to students on September 3, 1975 as the city's first public magnet high school...

, was opened in 1975, and was attended by the First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States is the title of the hostess of the White House. Because this position is traditionally filled by the wife of the president of the United States, the title is most often applied to the wife of a sitting president. The current first lady is Michelle Obama.-Current:The...

, Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is the wife of the 44th and incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady of the United States...

. The district, with an enrollment exceeding 400,000 students (2005 stat.), ranks as the third largest in the US

Chicago's private schools are largely Catholic and Lutheran school
Lutheran school
Lutheran schools and education were a priority for Lutherans who emigrated to the United States and Australia from Germany and Scandinavia. One of the first things they did was to create schools for their children. This strong educational tradition was handed down from Martin Luther himself. The...

s. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago
The Archdiocese of Chicago was established as a diocese in 1843 and as an Archdiocese in 1880. It serves more than 2.3 million Catholics in Cook and Lake counties in Northeastern Illinois, a geographic area of 1,411 square miles. The Archdiocese is divided into six vicariates and 31 deaneries...

 operates the city's Catholic school
Catholic school
Catholic schools are maintained parochial schools or education ministries of the Catholic Church. the Church operates the world's largest non-governmental school system...

s, including the Jesuit preparatory schools. Some of the more prominent Catholic schools are:St. Rita of Cascia High School
St. Rita of Cascia High School
St. Rita of Cascia High School is an all-male Roman Catholic high school located on the southwest side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and is operated by the Order of Saint Augustine...

, De La Salle Institute
De La Salle Institute
De La Salle Institute is a Catholic, Lasallian, secondary school located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. The school is currently housed on two separate campuses. The original school, now called the Institute Campus is for men...

, Gordon Technical High School, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Brother Rice High School, St. Ignatius College Preparatory School, St. Scholastica Academy
St. Scholastica Academy (Chicago, Illinois)
St. Scholastica Academy is a private, Roman Catholic, Benedictine all-girls high school in Chicago, Illinois. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago....

, Mount Carmel High School
Mount Carmel High School (Chicago)
Mount Carmel High School is an all boys, Catholic high school in the city of Chicago, Illinois. Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, the school has been operated by the Carmelite order of priests and brothers since 1900...

, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School
Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School
Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School is an all-girl, Catholic high school located in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois at 3737 West 99th Street. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago...

, Marist High School, St. Patrick High School
St. Patrick High School (Chicago)
St. Patrick High School is an all male college preparatory Catholic high school located in the Portage Park neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago, Illinois. Opened in 1861, it is among the oldest continuously open high schools in the Chicago area...

 and Resurrection High School
Resurrection High School (Chicago, Illinois)
Resurrection High School is a private, Roman Catholic, all-girls high school in Chicago, Illinois. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.-History:...

. In addition to Chicago's network of 32 Lutheran schools, there are also several private schools run by other denominations and faiths, such as the Ida Crown Jewish Academy
Ida Crown Jewish Academy
Ida Crown Jewish Academy is a Modern Orthodox Jewish high school in West Ridge, Chicago, Illinois,Ida Crown Jewish Academy is a Modern Orthodox Jewish high school in West Ridge, Chicago, Illinois,...

 in West Ridge
West Ridge, Chicago
West Ridge is one of 77 Chicago community areas. It is a middle class neighborhood located on the far North Side of the City of Chicago. It is located in the 50th Ward...

. Additionally, a number of private schools are run in a completely secular educational environment, such as the Latin School of Chicago, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools
University of Chicago Laboratory Schools
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools is a private, co-educational day school in Chicago, Illinois. It is affiliated with the University of Chicago...

 in Hyde Park, the Francis W. Parker School
Francis W. Parker School (Chicago)
Francis W. Parker School is an independent day school serving students from junior kindergarten through grade twelve of high school. Located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, the school is based on the progressive educational philosophies of John Dewey and Colonel Francis Wayland Parker,...

, the Chicago City Day School in Lake View, the Feltre School
Feltre School
The Feltre School is a private non profit school teaching liberal arts located at 22 West Erie Street in Chicago, Illinois. The school is incorporated as Etica, Inc, trading as The Feltre School....

 in River North and the Morgan Park Academy
Morgan Park Academy
Morgan Park Academy is a coeducational, college preparatory, independent Pre-Kindergarten-12th grade day school located in the Morgan Park neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1863, Morgan Park Academy was formerly known as Mt...

. Chicago is also home of the private Chicago Academy for the Arts, a high school focused on six different categories of the arts, such as Media Arts, Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Musical Theatre and Theatre.

The Chicago Public Library
Chicago Public Library
The Chicago Public Library is the public library system that serves the City of Chicago in Illinois. It consists of 79 branches, including a central library, two regional libraries, and branches distributed throughout the city....

 system operates 79 public libraries including the central library, two regional libraries, and numerous branches distributed throughout the city.

Colleges and universities


Since the 1850s, Chicago has been a world center of higher education and research with several universities that are in the city proper or in the immediate environs. These institutions consistently rank among the top "National Universities" in the United States, as determined by U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories...

. Top universities in Chicago are: University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

; Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

; Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago is a private Jesuit research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1870 under the title St...

; DePaul University
DePaul University
DePaul University is a private institution of higher education and research in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by the Vincentians in 1898, the university takes its name from the 17th century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul...

; Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology, commonly called Illinois Tech or IIT, is a private Ph.D.-granting university located in Chicago, Illinois, with programs in engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, communications, industrial technology, information technology, design, and law...

; and University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, near the Chicago Loop...

. Other notable schools include: Chicago State University
Chicago State University
Chicago State University is a state university of the U.S. state of Illinois, located in Chicago.-History:Cook County Normal School was founded in 1867, largely through the initiative of John F. Eberhart, the Commissioner of Schools for Cook County...

; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago
Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago
The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago is part of The Art Institutes, a system of for-profit proprietary colleges focusing on creative industries....

; East–West University; National-Louis University
National-Louis University
National–Louis University is a private non-profit American university. NLU has campuses in and near Chicago, Illinois, as well as in Wisconsin, Florida, and Nowy Sącz, Poland. Many NLU courses and programs are also offered at-a-distance. The university practices multi-campus, at-a-distance, and...

; North Park University
North Park University
North Park University is a four-year university located at 3225 W. Foster Avenue on the north side of Chicago, Illinois in the North Park neighborhood. It was founded in 1891 by the Evangelical Covenant Church and shares its campus with the denomination's only seminary...

; Northeastern Illinois University
Northeastern Illinois University
Northeastern Illinois University is a public state university located in Chicago, Illinois. The main campus is located in the community area of North Park with three additional campuses in the metropolitan area. Tracing its founding to 1867, it was first established as a separate branch of a...

; Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College Chicago is one of the largest art colleges in the United States with nearly 12,000 students pursuing degrees within 120 undergraduate and graduate programs...

; Robert Morris University; Roosevelt University
Roosevelt University
Roosevelt University is a coeducational, private university with campuses in Chicago, Illinois and Schaumburg, Illinois. Founded in 1945, the university is named in honor of both former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The university's curriculum is based on...

; Saint Xavier University; and Rush University
Rush University
Rush University is a private university on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois. The university, founded in 1972, is the academic arm of Rush University Medical Center.Rush University comprises:* Rush Medical College* Rush University College of Nursing...

.

William Rainey Harper
William Rainey Harper
William Rainey Harper was one of America's leading academics of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Harper helped to organize the University of Chicago and Bradley University and served as the first President of both institutions.-Early life:Harper was born on July 26, 1856 in New Concord,...

, the first president of the University of Chicago, was instrumental in the creation of the junior college
Junior college
The term junior college refers to different educational institutions in different countries.-India:In India, most states provide schooling through 12th grade...

 concept, establishing nearby Joliet Junior College
Joliet Junior College
Joliet Junior College , a community college based in Joliet, Illinois, was the first public community college founded in the United States. JJC offers pre-baccalaureate programs for students planning to transfer to a four-year university, as well as occupational education leading directly to...

 as the first in the nation in 1901. His legacy continues with the multiple community college
Community college
A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries.-Australia:Community colleges carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults...

s in the Chicago proper, including the seven City Colleges of Chicago
City Colleges of Chicago
The City Colleges of Chicago is a system of seven community colleges which provide learning opportunities for Chicago residents at the schools or online, and also members of the US military through the Navy Campus to enhance their knowledge and skills. Student enrollment was 115,000 in 2007...

, Richard J. Daley College
Richard J. Daley College
Richard J. Daley College is one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago with an enrollment of approximately 4500 students and 81 full-time faculty. The college was founded as William J. Bogan Junior College in 1960 and utilized classrooms in the evenings provided by William J. Bogan High School in...

, Kennedy–King College, Malcolm X College
Malcolm X College
Malcolm X College is a two-year college of the City Colleges of Chicago located on the west side of Chicago, Illinois, USA, at 1900 W Van Buren St. It was founded as Crane Junior College in 1911 to serve graduates of the nearby Crane High School, and was the first of the City Colleges to be...

, Olive–Harvey College, Harry S Truman College
Harry S Truman College
Harry S Truman College, popularly called Truman College and formerly called Mayfair College, is a city college of Chicago, Illinois in the United States. Located at 1145 West Wilson Avenue in the Uptown neighborhood, the school was named in honor of U.S...

, Harold Washington College
Harold Washington College
Harold Washington College is a community college within the City Colleges of Chicago system of Chicago, Illinois. It is located in the Loop at 30 E Lake St...

 and Wilbur Wright College
Wilbur Wright College
Wilbur Wright College, formerly known as Wright Junior College, is a public community college which offers multiple 2-year associate's degrees, as well as occupational training in manufacturing, medical, and business fields.-History:...

, in addition to the privately held MacCormac College
MacCormac College
MacCormac College is a private non for profit two year college in Chicago, Illinois, USA.-References:*...

.

Chicago proper also has a large concentration of graduate schools, seminaries and theological schools such as the Adler School of Professional Psychology
Adler School of Professional Psychology
Adler School of Professional Psychology is a non-profit institution of higher education and independent graduate school of psychology located in Chicago, Illinois and Vancouver, British Columbia. Founded in 1952 as The Adler Institute, the school offers a doctorate in clinical psychology and...

, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, known as "The Chicago School," is a graduate university specializing in psychology. With nearly 3,000 students and 1,500 graduates, it is the nation’s largest not-for-profit graduate school dedicated to psychology and behavioral sciences...

, the Catholic Theological Union
Catholic Theological Union
The Catholic Theological Union, located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, is one of the largest schools of theology in the world and trains men and women for lay and clerical ministry within the Roman Catholic Church...

, Moody Bible Institute
Moody Bible Institute
Moody Bible Institute is a Christian institution of higher education and related ministries that was founded by evangelist and businessman Dwight Lyman Moody in 1886. Since its founding, MBI's main campus has been located in the Near North Side of Chicago. MBI's primary ministries are education,...

 and the University of Chicago Divinity School
University of Chicago Divinity School
The University of Chicago Divinity School is a graduate institution at the University of Chicago dedicated to the training of academics and clergy across religious boundaries...

.

Transportation



Chicago is a major transportation hub in the United States. 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
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

.

Freeways



Nine interstate highways
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, , is a network of limited-access roads including freeways, highways, and expressways forming part of the National Highway System of the United States of America...

 run through Chicago and its suburbs. Segments that link to the city center are named after influential politicians, with three of them named after former U.S. Presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Reagan) and one named after two-time Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson.

The Kennedy Expressway and the Dan Ryan Expressway are the busiest state maintained routes in the City of Chicago and its suburbs.

Transit systems


The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) coordinates the operation of the three service boards: CTA, Metra, and Pace.
  • The Chicago Transit Authority
    Chicago Transit Authority
    Chicago Transit Authority, also known as CTA, is the operator of mass transit within the City of Chicago, Illinois and some of its surrounding suburbs....

     (CTA)
    handles public transportation in the city of Chicago and a few adjacent suburbs outside of the Chicago city limits. The CTA operates an extensive network of buses and a rapid transit
    Rapid transit
    A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

     elevated and subway system known as the 'L'
    Chicago 'L'
    The L is the rapid transit system serving the city of Chicago and some of its surrounding suburbs. It is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority...

     (for "elevated"), with lines designated by colors. These rapid transit lines also serve both Midway and O'Hare Airport
    O'Hare International Airport
    Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, Chicago Airport, Chicago International Airport, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, northwest of the Chicago Loop...

    s. The CTA's rail lines consist of the Red
    Red Line (Chicago Transit Authority)
    The northern terminus of the Red Line is Howard Street in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago , on the City Limits farthest north. The Red Line extends southeasterly on an elevated embankment structure about a half-mile west of the lakefront to Touhy Avenue then turns south along Glenwood...

    , Blue
    Blue Line (Chicago Transit Authority)
    The Blue Line consists of a long trunk line in the Chicago Transit Authority's rapid transit system which extends through Chicago's Loop from O'Hare International Airport at the far northwest end of the city, through downtown via the Milwaukee-Dearborn subway, and across the West Side to its...

    , Green
    Green Line (Chicago Transit Authority)
    The Green Line is part of the CTA rapid transit system known as the Chicago 'L'. It is the only completely elevated route in the 'L' system. It utilizes the system's oldest segments , extending with 29 stops between Forest Park and Oak Park , through Chicago's Loop, to the South Side and Englewood...

    , Orange
    Orange Line (Chicago Transit Authority)
    The Orange Line, is a rapid transit line in Chicago, Illinois run by the Chicago Transit Authority as part of the 'L' system. It is approximately long, and runs below grade and elevated on existing railroad embankments and new concrete and steel structures from Chicago Midway International...

    , Brown
    Brown Line (Chicago Transit Authority)
    The Brown Line starts out in northwest Chicago, at the Kimball and Lawrence Avenue terminal in Albany Park, where there is a storage yard and servicing shop for the trains to the east of the passenger station...

    , Purple
    Purple Line (Chicago Transit Authority)
    The Purple Line of the Chicago Transit Authority is a branch line on the northernmost section of the Chicago 'L' rapid transit network. Normally, it extends south from the Wilmette terminal at Linden Avenue, passing through Evanston to Howard Street, on Chicago's northern city limits...

    , Pink
    Pink Line (Chicago Transit Authority)
    The Pink Line is a rapid transit line in Chicago, run by the Chicago Transit Authority as part of the Chicago 'L' system. It began operation for a 180-day trial period on June 25, 2006, running between 54th/Cermak Station in Cicero, Illinois and the Loop in downtown Chicago...

    , and Yellow
    Yellow Line (Chicago Transit Authority)
    The Yellow Line, formerly known as the Skokie Swift, is part of the Chicago Transit Authority's Chicago 'L' heavy rail rapid transit system in Chicago, Illinois...

     lines. Both the Red and Blue lines offer 24 hour service which makes Chicago one of the few cities in the world (and one of only three cities in the United States of America) to offer rail service every day of the year for 24 hours around the clock.

  • Metra
    Metra
    Metra is the commuter rail division of the Illinois Regional Transportation Authority. The system serves Chicago and its metropolitan area through 240 stations on 11 different rail lines. Throughout the 21st century, Metra has been the second busiest commuter rail system in the United States by...

    , the nation's second-most used passenger regional rail network, operates an 11-line commuter rail service in Chicago and its suburbs. The Metra Electric Line
    Metra Electric Line
    The Metra Electric District is an electrified commuter rail line owned and operated by Metra which connects Millennium Station in downtown Chicago, with the city's southern suburbs...

     shares its trackage with Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District's South Shore Line
    South Shore Line (NICTD)
    The South Shore Line is an electrically powered interurban commuter rail line operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District between Millennium Station in downtown Chicago and the South Bend Regional Airport in South Bend, Indiana...

    , which provides commuter service between South Bend
    South Bend, Indiana
    The city of South Bend is the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a total of 101,168 residents; its Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 316,663...

     and Chicago.

  • Pace
    Pace (transit)
    Pace is the suburban bus division of the Regional Transportation Authority in the Chicago metropolitan area. It was created in 1983 by the RTA Act, which established the formula that provides funding to CTA, Metra and Pace. In 2010, Pace had 35.077 million riders. Pace's headquarters are in...

    provides bus and paratransit
    Paratransit
    Paratransit is an alternative mode of flexible passenger transportation that does not follow fixed routes or schedules. Typically mini-buses are used to provide paratransit service, but also share taxis and jitneys are important providers....

     service in over 200 surrounding suburbs with some extensions into the city as well. A 2005 study found that one quarter of commuters used public transit.


Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

provides inter-city bus service to and from the city, and Chicago is also the hub for the Midwest network of Megabus (North America).

Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

long distance services originate from Union Station
Union Station (Chicago)
Union Station is a major train station that opened in 1925 in Chicago, replacing an earlier 1881 station. It is now the only intercity rail terminal in Chicago, as well as being the city's primary terminal for commuter trains. The station stands on the west side of the Chicago River between Adams...

. Chicago is one of the largest hubs of passenger rail service in the nation. The services terminate in San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York City, Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

, New Orleans, Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, Seattle, Milwaukee, Quincy
Quincy, Illinois
Quincy, known as Illinois' "Gem City," is a river city along the Mississippi River and the county seat of Adams County. As of the 2010 census the city held a population of 40,633. The city anchors its own micropolitan area and is the economic and regional hub of West-central Illinois, catering a...

, St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, Carbondale
Carbondale, Illinois
Carbondale is a city in Jackson County, in the state of Illinois, within the Southern Illinois region. It is located at the junction of Illinois Route 13 and U.S. Route 51, southeast of St. Louis, Missouri, on the northern edge of the Shawnee National Forest...

, Boston, Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. The city is located on the Grand River about 40 miles east of Lake Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 188,040. In 2010, the Grand Rapids metropolitan area had a population of 774,160 and a combined statistical area, Grand...

, Port Huron
Port Huron, Michigan
Port Huron is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of St. Clair County. The population was 30,184 at the 2010 census. The city is adjacent to Port Huron Township but is administratively autonomous. It is joined by the Blue Water Bridge over the St. Clair River to Sarnia,...

, Pontiac
Pontiac, Michigan
Pontiac is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan named after the Ottawa Chief Pontiac, located within the Detroit metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 59,515. It is the county seat of Oakland County...

, Los Angeles, and San Antonio. An attempt was made in the early 20th century to link Chicago with New York City via the Chicago – New York Electric Air Line Railroad. Parts of this were built, but it was ultimately never completed.

Six of the seven Class I railroad
Class I railroad
A Class I railroad in the United States and Mexico, or a Class I rail carrier in Canada, is a large freight railroad company, as classified based on operating revenue.Smaller railroads are classified as Class II and Class III...

s meet in Chicago, with the exception being the Kansas City Southern Railway
Kansas City Southern Railway
The Kansas City Southern Railway , owned by Kansas City Southern Industries, is the smallest and second-oldest Class I railroad company still in operation. KCS was founded in 1887 and is currently operating in a region consisting of ten central U.S. states...

. As of 2002, severe freight train congestion caused trains to take as long to get through the Chicago region as it took to get there from the West Coast of the country (about 2 days). About one-third of the country's freight trains pass through the city, making it a major national bottleneck. Announced in 2003, the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) initiative is using about $1.5B in private railroad, state, local, and federal funding to improve rail infrastructure in the region to reduce freight rail congestion by about one third. This is also expected to have a positive impact on passenger rail and road congestion, as well as create new greenspace.http://www.createprogram.org/faq.html

Airports




Chicago is served by Midway International Airport on the South Side and O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare International Airport
Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, Chicago Airport, Chicago International Airport, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, northwest of the Chicago Loop...

, the world's third busiest airport, on the far Northwest Side. In 2005, O'Hare was the world's busiest airport by aircraft movements and the second busiest by total passenger traffic (due to government enforced flight caps). Both O'Hare and Midway are owned and operated by the City of Chicago. Gary/Chicago International Airport
Gary/Chicago International Airport
Gary/Chicago International Airport is a public airport located three miles northwest of the central business district of Gary, a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The airport, which serves the Chicago metropolitan area, is 25 miles southeast of the Chicago Loop...

 and Chicago Rockford International Airport, located in nearby Gary, Indiana
Gary, Indiana
Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city is in the southeastern portion of the Chicago metropolitan area and is 25 miles from downtown Chicago. The population is 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the seventh-largest city in the state. It borders Lake Michigan and is known...

 and Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois
Rockford is a mid-sized city located on both banks of the Rock River in far northern Illinois. Often referred to as "The Forest City", Rockford is the county seat of Winnebago County, Illinois, USA. As reported in the 2010 U.S. census, the city was home to 152,871 people, the third most populated...

, respectively, serve as alternate Chicago area airports. Chicago is the world headquarters for United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

, the world's second-largest airline by revenue-passenger-kilometers and the city is a hub for American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

. In 2010 United Airlines merged with Continental to create the world's largest airline, moving ahead of Delta, known as United Continental Holdings with world headquarters in Chicago. Midway is a hub for low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines Co. is an American low-cost airline based in Dallas, Texas. Southwest is the largest airline in the United States, based upon domestic passengers carried,...

.

Port authority



The Port of Chicago consists of several major port facilities within the city of Chicago operated by the Illinois International Port District (formerly known as the Chicago Regional Port District). The central element of the Port District, Calumet Harbor, is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Iroquois Landing Lakefront Terminal: at the mouth of the Calumet River, it includes 100 acre (0.404686 km²) of warehouses and facilities on Lake Michigan with over 780,000 square meters (8,390,000 square feet) of storage.
  • Lake Calumet terminal: located at the union of the Grand Calumet River and Little Calumet River 6 miles (9.7 km) inland from Lake Michigan. Includes three transit sheds totaling over 29,000 square meters (315,000 square feet) adjacent to over 900 linear meters (3000 linear feet) of ship and barge berthing.
  • Grain (14 million bushels) and bulk liquid (800,000 barrels) storage facilities along Lake Calumet
    Lake Calumet
    Lake Calumet is the largest body of water within the city of Chicago. Formerly a shallow, postglacial lake draining into Lake Michigan, it has been changed beyond recognition by industrial redevelopment and decay...

    .
  • The Illinois International Port district also operates Foreign trade zone
    Foreign trade zone
    A foreign-trade zone in the United States is a geographical area, in United States Ports of Entry Ports of Entry, where commercial merchandise, both domestic and foreign receives the same Customs treatment it would if it were outside the commerce of the United States...

     #22, which extends 60 miles (96.6 km) from Chicago's city limits.

Utilities


Electricity for most of northern Illinois
Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois is a region generally covering the northern third of the U.S. state of Illinois.-Economics:Northern Illinois is dominated by the metropolitan areas of Chicago, Rockford, and the Quad Cities, which contain a majority of Illinois' population and economic activity, including...

 is provided by Commonwealth Edison
Commonwealth Edison
Commonwealth Edison is the largest electric utility in Illinois, serving the Chicago and Northern Illinois area...

, also known as ComEd. Their service territory borders Iroquois County
Iroquois County, Illinois
Iroquois County is a county located in the northeast part of the U.S. state of Illinois along the border with Indiana. It is the third largest county in the state in terms of area, covering over . According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 29,718, which is a decrease of 5.2% from 31,334...

 to the south, the Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 border to the north, the Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 border to the west and the Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 border to the east. In northern Illinois, ComEd (a division of Exelon
Exelon
Exelon Corporation is an electricity generating and distributing company headquartered in the Chase Tower in the Chicago Loop area of Chicago. It was created in October, 2000 by the merger of PECO Energy Company and Unicom, of Philadelphia and Chicago respectively. Unicom owned Commonwealth Edison...

) operates the greatest number of nuclear generating plants in any US state. Because of this, ComEd reports indicate that Chicago receives about 75% of its electricity from nuclear power. Recently, the city started the installation of wind turbines on government buildings with the aim to promote the use of renewable energy.

Natural Gas is provided by Peoples Gas, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, which is headquartered in Chicago.

Domestic and industrial waste was once incinerated but it is now landfill
Landfill
A landfill site , is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial and is the oldest form of waste treatment...

ed, mainly in the Calumet area
Lake Calumet
Lake Calumet is the largest body of water within the city of Chicago. Formerly a shallow, postglacial lake draining into Lake Michigan, it has been changed beyond recognition by industrial redevelopment and decay...

. From 1995 to 2008, the city had a blue bag
Blue bag
A blue bag is a blue coloured, semi-transparent bag for waste, mandated for use in some localities for refuse or for certain specific types of refuse: the distinguishing color serves to assist in recycling programs. Typically, it would be used for glass, plastic or polyethylene content.-Chicago,...

 program to divert certain refuse from landfills. In the fall of 2007 the city began a pilot program for blue bin recycling similar to that of other cities due to low participation rates in the blue bag program. After completion of the pilot the city will determine whether to roll it out to all wards.


Health systems


Chicago is home to the Illinois Medical District
Illinois Medical District
The Illinois Medical District is a special-use zoning district on the Near West Side of Chicago. It was designated as such by an act of the Illinois General Assembly in 1941. The District is bounded on the north by Congress Parkway, on the east by Ashland Avenue, on the west by Oakley Boulevard...

, on the Near West Side. It includes Rush University Medical Center
Rush University Medical Center
Rush University Medical Center is a 676-bed academic medical center that includes hospital facilities for adults and children. It also includes the Johnston R. Bowman Health Center...

, the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago
University of Illinois College of Medicine
The University of Illinois College of Medicine offers a four-year program leading to the MD degree at four different sites in Illinois: Chicago, Peoria, Rockford, and Urbana–Champaign....

, Jesse Brown VA Hospital, and John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County
John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County
The John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, formerly Cook County Hospital is a public urban teaching hospital in Chicago that provides primary, specialty and tertiary healthcare services to the five million residents of Cook County, Illinois. The hospital has a staff of 300 attending...

, the largest trauma-center in the city.

Two of the country's premier academic medical centers reside in Chicago, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the nation's preeminent academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital for Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. It is the second tallest hospital in the United States and the fourth tallest hospital in the world...

 and the University of Chicago Medical Center. The Chicago campus of Northwestern University includes the Feinberg School of Medicine
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, located in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois and situated near Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile, is one of Northwestern University's 11 schools and colleges...

; Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the nation's preeminent academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital for Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. It is the second tallest hospital in the United States and the fourth tallest hospital in the world...

, which is ranked as the best hospital in the Chicago metropolitan area by U.S. News & World Report for 2010–11; the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago , ranked the "#1 Rehabilitation in America" by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991 is a rehabilitation hospital located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It also operates a network of alliance hospitals and outpatient and day rehabilitation...

, which is ranked the best U.S. rehabilitation hospital by U.S. News & World Report; the new Prentice Women's Hospital; and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, which is currently under construction.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine
University of Illinois College of Medicine
The University of Illinois College of Medicine offers a four-year program leading to the MD degree at four different sites in Illinois: Chicago, Peoria, Rockford, and Urbana–Champaign....

 at UIC is the largest medical school in the United States (2,600 students including those at campuses in Peoria, Rockford and Urbana–Champaign).

In addition, the Chicago Medical School
Chicago Medical School
The Chicago Medical School is one of the graduate schools of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Founded in 1912, The Chicago Medical School has nearly a 100 year history of a broadly-based socially constructive admission process relatively unlike that of other medical colleges....

 and Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine
Stritch School of Medicine
Stritch School of Medicine is the medical school affiliated with Loyola University Chicago. It is located at the heart of the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. The medical campus includes Foster G...

 are located in the suburbs of North Chicago
North Chicago, Illinois
North Chicago is an outer suburb/exurb of the Chicago metropolitan area and is an incorporated city in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The population was 35,918 at the 2000 census....

 and Maywood
Maywood, Illinois
Maywood is a village in Proviso Township, Cook County, Illinois, United States. It was founded on April 6, 1869 and organized October 22, 1881. The population was 26,987 at the 2000 census.-Overview:...

, respectively. The Midwestern University
Midwestern University
Midwestern University is a graduate degree-granting institution specializing in the health sciences with eight colleges and two campuses....

 Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine is in Downers Grove
Downers Grove, Illinois
Downers Grove is a village in Downers Grove and Lisle Townships, DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 48,724 at the 2000 census, with an official estimated population of 49,250 in 2008.-History:...

.

The American Medical Association
American Medical Association
The American Medical Association , founded in 1847 and incorporated in 1897, is the largest association of medical doctors and medical students in the United States.-Scope and operations:...

, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is the body responsible for the accreditation for graduate medical training programs for medical doctors in the United States. It is a non-profit private council that evaluates and accredits medical residency and internship programs...

, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education sets and enforces standards in physician continuing education within the United States...

, American Osteopathic Association
American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association is the representative member organization for the over 78,000 osteopathic medical physicians in the United States...

, American Dental Association
American Dental Association
The American Dental Association is an American professional association established in 1859 which has more than 155,000 members. Based in Chicago, the ADA is the world's largest and oldest national dental association and promotes good oral health to the public while representing the dental...

, Academy of General Dentistry
Academy of General Dentistry
The Academy of General Dentistry is a professional association of general dentists from Canada and the United States.-Foundation and mission:...

, American Dietetic Association
American Dietetic Association
The American Dietetic Association is the United States' largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, with nearly 72,000 members. The American Dietetic Association is officially changing its name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The announcement was made Saturday, September...

, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists is the professional association of nurse anesthetists in the United States. The organization states that it has a membership of 39,000, includes certified , recertified, and student members. The organization represents around 90 percent of nurse...

, American College of Surgeons
American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is an educational association of surgeons created in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice.-Membership:...

, American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society for Clinical Pathology
The American Society for Clinical Pathology is a professional association based in Chicago, Illinois encompassing 130,000 pathologists and laboratory professionals....

, American College of Healthcare Executives
American College of Healthcare Executives
The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional association of healthcare executives Its central offices are located at 1 N. Franklin Street in Chicago, Illinois, USA. ACHE is one of the healthcare industry's top professional associations...

 and the American Hospital Association
American Hospital Association
The American Hospital Association is an organization that promotes the quality provision of health care by hospitals and health care networks through such efforts as promoting effective public policy and providing information related to health care and health administration to health care...

, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a federation of 39 separate health insurance organizations and companies in the United States. Combined, they directly or indirectly provide health insurance to over 100 million Americans. The history of Blue Cross dates back to 1929, while the history of...

 are all based in Chicago.

Telecommunications


Using only 3% of the total available bandwidth capacity and 13% of the available fiber pairs, Chicago area data centers move data for local, area, regional and international networks.

Sister cities


Chicago has 28 Sister Cities. Like Chicago, many of them are or were, the second city of their country, or they are the main city of a country that has had many immigrants settle in Chicago. Paris is a Partner City, due to the one sister city policy of their respective French commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

.

To celebrate the sister cities, Chicago hosts a yearly festival in Daley Plaza, which features cultural acts and food tastings from the other cities. In addition, the Chicago Sister Cities program hosts a number of delegation and formal exchanges. In some cases, these exchanges have led to further informal collaborations, such as the academic relationship between the Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society at the Feinberg School of Medicine
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, located in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois and situated near Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile, is one of Northwestern University's 11 schools and colleges...

 of Northwestern University and the Institute of Gerontology of Ukraine (originally of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

), that was originally established as part of the Chicago-Kiev sister cities program.

Partner City Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

(France) 1996
Sister Cities Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

(Poland) 1960 Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

(Italy) 1973 Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

(Japan) 1973 Casablanca
Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture...

(Morocco) 1982 Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

(China) 1985 Shenyang
Shenyang
Shenyang , or Mukden , is the capital and largest city of Liaoning Province in Northeast China. Currently holding sub-provincial administrative status, the city was once known as Shengjing or Fengtianfu...

(China) 1985 Gothenburg
Gothenburg
Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden and the fifth-largest in the Nordic countries. Situated on the west coast of Sweden, the city proper has a population of 519,399, with 549,839 in the urban area and total of 937,015 inhabitants in the metropolitan area...

(Sweden) 1987 Accra
Accra
Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an urban population of 1,658,937 according to the 2000 census. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous...

(Ghana) 1989 Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

(Czech Republic) 1990 Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

(Ukraine) 1991 Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

(Mexico) 1991 Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

(Canada) 1991 Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

(United Kingdom) 1993 Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

(Lithuania) 1993 Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

(Germany) 1994 Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva
Petah Tikva known as Em HaMoshavot , is a city in the Center District of Israel, east of Tel Aviv.According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2009, the city's population stood at 209,600. The population density is approximately...

(Israel) 1994 Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

(Greece) 1997 Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

(South Africa) 1997 Galway
Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

(Ireland) 1997 Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

(Russia) 1997 Lucerne
Lucerne
Lucerne is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking portion of that country. Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district of the same name. With a population of about 76,200 people, Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland, and...

(Switzerland) 1998 Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

(India) 2001 Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

(Jordan) 2004 São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

(Brazil) 2004 Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

(Serbia) 2005 Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

(Pakistan) 2007 Busan
Busan
Busan , formerly spelled Pusan is South Korea's second largest metropolis after Seoul, with a population of around 3.6 million. The Metropolitan area population is 4,399,515 as of 2010. It is the largest port city in South Korea and the fifth largest port in the world...

(South Korea) 2007 Bogotá
Bogotá
Bogotá, Distrito Capital , from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital, and largest city, of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district...

(Colombia) 2009

See also


  • List of cities with most skyscrapers
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Central Chicago
    National Register of Historic Places listings in Central Chicago
    Currently there are 114 National Register of Historic Places listings in Central Chicago, out of 326 listings in the City of Chicago. Central Chicago includes 3 of the 77 well-defined community areas of Chicago: the historic business and cultural center of Chicago, the Loop, as well as the Near...

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in North Side Chicago
    National Register of Historic Places listings in North Side Chicago
    There are 81 sites in the National Register of Historic Places listings in North Side Chicago, out of 326 listings in the City of Chicago. The North Side is defined for this article as the area west of Lake Michigan, north of North Avenue and east of the Chicago River plus the area north of...

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in South Side Chicago
    National Register of Historic Places listings in South Side Chicago
    There are 78 sites on the National Register of Historic Places listings in South Side Chicago, out of 326 listings in the City of Chicago. The South Side is defined for this article as the area west of Lake Michigan and south of 26th Street and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to the southern...

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in West Side Chicago
    National Register of Historic Places listings in West Side Chicago
    There are 54 sites in the National Register of Historic Places listings in West Side Chicago, out of 326 listings in the City of Chicago. The West Side is defined for this article as the area north of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, south of Fullerton Avenue, west of the Chicago River and east...


External links