Living Landmarks of Chicago (E-book)


Tantalizing tales and skyscraper stories: bringing Chicago’s landmarks to life

From the man shipped home in a rum barrel to the most dangerous woman in America, Chicago history comes to life in these tantalizing tales.

“A wonderful bible of Chicago.” WGN


Living Landmarks of Chicago goes beyond the what, when, and where to tell the how and why of fifty Chicago landmarks. More than a book about architecture, these are stories of the people who made Chicago and many of its most popular tourist attractions what they are today. Each chapter is a vignette that introduces the landmark and brings it to life, and the book is organized chronologically to illustrate the development of the city’s distinct personality. These fifty landmarks weave an interconnected tale of Chicago between 1836 and 1932 (and beyond).

History lines Chicago’s sidewalks. Stroll down LaSalle or Dearborn or State and you’ll see skyscrapers that have been there for a century or more. It’s easy to scurry by, to dismiss the building itself, but a hunt for placards turns up landmarks every few feet, it seems. Here’s a Chicago landmark; there’s a National Historic landmark. They’re everywhere.

Ironically, these skyscrapers keep the city grounded; they illustrate a past where visionaries took fanciful, impossible ideas and made them reality. Buildings sinking? Raise them. River polluting the lake and its precious drinking water? Reverse it. Overpopulation and urban sprawl making it challenging to get to work? Build up. From the bare to the ornate, from exposed beams to ornamented facades, the city’s architecture is unrestrainedly various yet provides a cohesive, beautiful skyline that illustrates the creativity of necessity, and the necessity of creativity.

After a sound-bite history of the city’s origins, you’ll meet the oldest house in Chicago—or is it? Kinda. Sorta. Depends on who you ask.

That’s Chicago. Nothing’s simple, and nothing can be taken for granted. The reason the city has a gorgeous skyline and a vibrant culture and a notorious reputation for graft is because of those who built it, envisioned it, manipulated it.

Add Living Landmarks of Chicago to your cart and see what made Chicago so very…Chicago.

Landmarks listed as Original Name (Current Name, if changed)

  1. Clarke House
  2. Lake Park (Grant Park)
  3. Charles Hull House (Hull-House Museum)
  4. Lake Park (Lincoln Park & Lincoln Park Zoo)
  5. Water Tower & Pumping Station
  6. Page Brothers Building
  7. Palmer House
  8. Bryant Block (Delaware Building)
  9. Nickerson Mansion (Driehaus Museum)
  10. Studebaker Brothers’ Lake Front Carriage Repository (Fine Arts Building)
  11. Glessner House
  12. Rookery Building
  13. Auditorium Building
  14. Monadnock Block
  15. Charnley House (Charnley-Persky House)
  16. Marshall Field and Company Building (Macy’s on State Street)
  17. Palace of Fine Arts (Museum of Science & Industry)
  18. Art Institute of Chicago
  19. Newberry Library
  20. New York Life Insurance Building (Kimpton Gray)
  21. Tree Studios
  22. Chicago Varnish Company (Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse)
  23. Chicago Public Library (Chicago Cultural Center)
  24. Schlesinger & Mayer (Sullivan Center)
  25. Orchestra Hall (Symphony Center)
  26. Majestic Building and Theater (CIBC Theatre)
  27. The Blackstone Hotel
  28. Federal Life Building (Hotel Julian)
  29. D. B. Fisk & Company (Hotel Monaco)
  30. Municipal Pier #2 (Navy Pier)
  31. Michigan Avenue Bridge (DuSable Bridge)
  32. The Drake Hotel
  33. Wrigley Building
  34. Columbian Museum of Chicago (Field Museum)
  35. The Chicago Theatre
  36. London Guarantee & Accident Building (LondonHouse Hotel)
  37. The Chicago Temple
  38. Union Station
  39. Tribune Tower
  40. Bismarck Hotel (Allegro Royal Sonesta Hotel Chicago)
  41. Oriental Theatre (James M. Nederlander Theatre)
  42. Stevens Hotel (Hilton Chicago)
  43. Medinah Athletic Club (InterContinental Chicago)
  44. Carbide and Carbon Building (Pendry Chicago)
  45. Civic Opera House
  46. Adler Planetarium
  47. Shedd Aquarium
  48. Chicago Board of Trade Building
  49. Merchandise Mart (theMART)
  50. Chicago Historical Society (Chicago History Museum)

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