Chicago is known by many nicknames, but the most popular of all is “Windy City,” for its weather and location – near a lake. On the other hand, Chicago-style hot dogs, Chicago-style pizza, Maxwell Street Polish Sausage, jazz music, Al Capone, and 1920s gangsters – are part of the state’s rich and well-known culture.
Chicago, incorporated as a city in 1837; is the third most populous city in America. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the city’s construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades and by 1900, Chicago was the fifth largest city in the world.
Chicago is not only famous for the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan, nor the formidable Jane Addams. Apart from being an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, education, technology, telecommunications, and transportation; Chicago takes pride for its cultural landmarks and historical attractions that has been preserved for century for their heritage value.
Let’s check out at some of the city’s best historical places to visit.
One of the country’s legendary Victorian graveyards can be found in Chicago. Since 1860, Graceland Cemetery has been an Oasis of Art, Architecture, and Landscape Design where the tombs embrace the remains of a few famous Chicago personalities. In 1861, its grounds were designed by a prominent landscape architect H.W.S. Cleveland. To create the cemetery’s pastoral landscape, Ossian Simonds, also a landscape architect; added native plants making the “Cemetery of Architects” one of the most beautiful places to visit in Chicago.
Robie House, built between 1909 and 1910 is one of the best examples of the visionary architect’s organic Prairie-style design. The building, which is a masterpiece of architect Frank Lloyd Wright boasts stained-glass windows, characteristic horizontal lines, earthy tones, and balconies. On November 27, 1963, the building which is now situated on the campus of the University of Chicago was designated a National Historic Landmark. Tourists and design buffs pack the place for its radical design concept.
Opened in 1925, Union Station – an icon of a great age – remains Chicago’s intercity rail terminal and the largest terminal for commuter trains. This century-old massive, iconic beaux arts train station with urban & commuter rail lines, and shops & eateries; costs $75 million dollars to build, that is now more than a billion dollars. It has an exterior of Indiana Bedford limestone and the station’s Great Hall is a peek into America’s past and the architectural beauty of a bygone era.
CHICAGO WATER TOWER
Built in 1869, the Chicago Water Tower is the second oldest water tower in the country. This tower with a 135 foot iron standpipe is not only pretty and mysterious in a Gothic Revival way, it is also a symbol of old Chicago and its recovery from the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Today, it serves as an art gallery where the work of local artists, photographers, and filmmakers are being featured.
CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER
The magnificent building served as Chicago’s first central public library from 1897 to 1991.The building features two stunning stained-glass domes, lovely staircases, mother-of-pearl and colored stone, rich hardwoods andintricate mosaics of Favrile glass. It is home to the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass domeand is one of the most visited attractions in the city for its history, beauty and impressive free public events that thrill locals and tourists.
These sites are only some of the best places to visit in the city. If you want to maximize your stay to wander and discover more of the city’s culture, history, heritage and locals; it is recommended that you rent out a property in Chicago such as an apartment. There are decent studio-type apartments which you can rent for as low as $490. Renting is more practical than staying in a hotel, especially when you are staying in a city for a week or more, because the cost is lower and you have better options for good locations.