History in South Loop
Checagou

720 South Michigan Avenue

1968 Democratic National Convention Riots

On August 26, 1968, 10,000 anti-war demonstrators and 23,000 police and National Guardsmen squared off in Grant Park at 720 South Michigan Avenue, in the biggest riot in the city's history. When one of the demonstrators started lowering an American flag, policemen started to beat him. The demonstrators responded by throwing rocks, food, and pieces of concrete.

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1400 South Lake Shore Drive

Chicago Field Museum of Natural History

The Chicago Field Museum Of Natural History began as the Columbian Museum Of Chicago in 1893 and was originally housed in the building that now serves as home to the Museum Of Science And Industry.  In 1905, it was renamed the Field Museum Of Natural History, in honor of its first major benefactor, Marshall Field.  The museum moved to its present lakefront location at 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. in 1921. 

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2131-2133 South Dearborn Street

Everleigh Club

Minna and Ada Simms managed the city's most successful brothel, The Everleigh Club (pronounced "Everly"), from 1901 to 1911.  Chicago's Vice Commission described it as "probably the most famous and luxurious house of prostitution in the country."  Clientele included Marshall Field Jr., Ring Lardner, Jack Johnson, and Prince Heinrich of Prussia.  Admission was $10, which is roughly equivalent to $250 today.  

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135 East 11th Place

Illinois Central Station

Just before the opening of the 1893 Columbian Exposition (also known as the World’s Fair), the Illinois Central Railroad built a depot where the railroad tracks began to run parallel with Michigan Avenue, just north of Roosevelt Road at 135 East 11th Place (which was then 12th Street). A nine-story office building and 13-story clock tower were located on the site.

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Northerly Island

Merrill C. Meigs Field

Merrill C. Meigs Field (better known as Meigs Field) was a single strip airport located on Chicago’s Northerly Island between December 10, 1948, and March 31, 2003, when Mayor Daley ordered the runway bulldozed in the middle of the night to impose his own solution to a multi-jurisdictional dispute over the facility’s future. 

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1300 South Lake Shore Drive

The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum

The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum at 1300 South Lake Shore Drive was founded by philanthropist Max Adler and first opened to the public on May 12, 1930.  It was the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere and the oldest still in existence today. 

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558 West Dekoven Street

The Origin of the Great Chicago Fire

The Chicago Fire ignited on October 8, 1871, in a barn at 558 West Dekoven Street belonging to Patrick and Catherine O'Leary.  Popular lore says that one of the O'Learys' cows kicked over a lantern, but the specific cause of the fire remains open to debate.  In fact, the Chicago Republican reporter who created the cow story, Michael Ahern, admitted he fabricated it because he thought it would make better copy.  

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1200 South Lake Shore Drive

The Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium at 1200 South Lake Shore Drive opened on May 30, 1930, and, at the time, housed the greatest variety of sea life under one roof.  Later that year, 20 railroad cars made eight round trips between Chicago and Key West to transport a million gallons of sea water for the museum’s exhibits.  The aquarium was the brainchild of John G.

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History in South Loop
National landmarks

1800 South Prairie Avenue

Glessner House

Wealthy farm manufacturer industrialist John J. Glessner handpicked H.H. Richardson in 1885 to build a mansion on Prairie Avenue (1800 South Prairie Avenue), then one of the most prestigious streets on the South Side.  Richardson certainly didn’t skimp on size, which irked neighbor George Pullman, who lived across the street.  "I do not know what I have ever done to have that thing staring me in the face every time I go out of my door," Pullman said.  

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320 east cermak road

American Book Company Building

The city designated this building as a landmark on july 29, 2009.

636 south michigan avenue

Blackstone Hotel

This 21-story hotel was designed by Marshall and Fox and named for Timothy Blackstone, founding president of the Union Stock Yards and president of the Chicago and Alton Railroad.  It has been dubbed the "Hotel of Presidents," as at least 12 U.S. Presidents have stayed here.  It was designated a Chicago landmark on May 29, 1998.

1827 south indiana avenue

Clarke House

The Clarke House was built in 1836 for Henry B. Clarke and is Chicago's oldest house.  The house has been moved twice, in 1872 and in 1977, when the City of Chicago bought the home and moved in to its current location.  Today the house is a museum open for tours.  

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630 south wabash avenue

Dexter Building

This Adler and Sullivan-designed building was designated a landmark on July 31, 1996.  Scrap dealers ignited a five-alarm fire on October 24, 2006, that damaged the building's shell so badly that it had to be demolished.

18 south michigan avenue

Gage Group Buildings

Holabird & Roche designed these three buildings between 1890 and 1899 for three millinery firms: Gage, Keith, and Ascher.  Louis Sullivan designed the façade on 18 South Michigan.  The city designated this group of buildings a landmark on September 11, 1996. 

1104 south wabash avenue

Ludington Building

This building is the earliest-surviving, steel-frame building in the city of chicago.  it was the first entirely terra cotta-clad skyscraper in history.  designed by william lebaron jenney, today this building is one of 17 that comprise the campus of columbia college chicago.  

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350 east cermak road

R.R. Donnelly Printing Plant

This building was completed in 1929 and housed the operations of the R.R. Donnelly printing company until 1991.  Today, tenants of the building include Qwest, Equinix, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  The city designated it a landmark on March 31, 2004.

southwest corner of west 9th street and south plymouth court

Site of the John and Mary Jones House

John and Mary Jones moved to Illinois in 1844 and fought against slavery and the Illinois black laws in cCicago during the late 1840s and 1850s.  Their house was located at this intersection in what is now the South Loop.  The site was designated as a landmark on May 26, 2004.

558 west dekoven street

Site of the Origin of the Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire started on October 8, 1871, in a barn belonging to Patrick and Catherine O'Leary.  While the most popular theory is that one of the O'Leary's cows kicked over a lantern, the actual cause of the fire remains unknown.  In fact, the Chicago Republican reporter who created the cow story, Michael Ahern, admitted he fabricated it because he thought it would make better copy.  

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2944 south michigan avenue

Sydney Kent House

This queen anne style house was built in 1893 by burnham & root.  in the early 20th century, it was the main building for what is today national-louis university.  it was designated as a landmark on march 18, 1987.

History in South Loop
Mobsters

2222 South Wabash Avenue

Al Capone - Office At Four Deuces

Al Capone was one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. history.  He and his henchmen made their money primarily by bootlegging and operating casinos and speakeasies in the Roaring Twenties.  He was on Chicago's first "most wanted" list, and he became the face of 1920s American gangster violence.  The Four Deuces, located at 2222 South Wabash Avenue in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, was one of at least five of Capone's business headquarters.

2135 South Michigan Avenue

Al Capone - Office At Lexington Hotel

Al Capone was one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. history.  He and his henchmen made their money primarily by bootlegging and operating casinos and speakeasies in the Roaring Twenties.  He was on Chicago's first "most wanted" list, and he became the face of 1920s American gangster violence.  The Lexington Hotel, formerly located at 2135 South Michigan Avenue in the South Loop, was one of at least five of Capone's business headquarters.

2300 South Michigan Avenue

Al Capone - Office At Metropole Hotel

Al Capone was one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. history.  He and his henchmen made their money primarily by bootlegging and operating casinos and speakeasies in the Roaring Twenties.  He was on Chicago's first "most wanted" list, and he became the face of 1920s American gangster violence.  

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2126 South Wabash Avenue

James Colosimo

Giacomo "Big Jim" Colosimo founded “The Outfit,” which was the Chicago mob later led by Al Capone.  It grew into one of the biggest crime syndicates in the world.  Colosimo was born in Italy, but moved to Chicago, where he started nearly 200 brothels and entered the gambling and racketeering businesses.  He worked as a precinct captain for First Ward Aldermen Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna and "Bathhouse" John Coughlin. 

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101 West 21st Street

Johnny Rorrio's Apartment

Torrio lived with his wife, Ann, in an "unpretentious apartment" at 101 West 21st Street, according to Laurence Bergreen's book Capone: The Man and The Era.  According to Bergreen, Rorrio was a pretty straight-laced guy, considering the business in which he was involved.  He "resisted any temptation to engage in sexual relations with prostitutes.  

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2222 South Wabash Avenue

The Four Deuces

The Four Deuces was one of several business headquarters managed first by James Colosimo and later by Al Capone, the notorious leader of the south side "outfit."  The Four Deuces was named for its address at 2222 South Wabash Avenue. In his book, "Capone: The Man and the Era," Laurence Bergreen provides a detailed description of The Four Deuces:

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2146 South Michigan Avenue

Torrio-Capone Offices

Al Capone established an office here at 2146 South Michigan Avenue that served as the “nerve center” of the Torrio-Capone organization.  From the street, it appeared to be a doctor’s office, and the sign read “A. Brown, M.D.”

2300 south michigan avenue

Al Capone in Metropole Hotel

After Johnny Torrio retired from the gangster industry and handed off control to Al Capone, Capone set up shop in Rooms 406 through 410 at the Metropole Hotel.

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