Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Chicago Region's Points of Interest in 1921

This is excerpted from "The Greatest Highway in the World, Historical, Industrial and Descriptive Information of the Towns, Cities and Country passed through between New York and Chicago via The New York Central Lines", 1921, and is an interesting selection of the attractions of the Chicago region at the time.

For reference a general summary of Chicago's "points of interest" exclusive of those already mentioned is here given.

North Side

Lincoln Park: Academy of Sciences Museum; botanical conservatories and a zoological garden with a splendid Lion House. Also the fine Saint Gaudens Statue of Lincoln at the entrance and other monuments in the park.

Chicago Historical Society Library and Collection, Dearborn Ave. and Ontario St.; an interesting collection of historic relics and documents.

The Municipal pier, at the foot of Grand Ave., built by the city at a cost of $4,000,000; devoted to recreational activities as well as to commercial purposes. Excursion steamers may be taken here to various points on the lake.

The Newberry Library, a free reference library, Clark St. and Walton Place.

Northwestern University, in Evanston (at the extreme North of the city—actually outside the city limits). Northwestern University is a Methodist-Episcopal institution of about 5,000 students.

Ft. Sheridan. A U.S. military post north of Evanston.

Lake Forest, a fashionable suburb north of Ft. Sheridan.

South Side

Life Saving Station at the mouth of the Chicago River.

Tablet marking site of Ft. Dearborn, River St., opposite the old Rush St. Bridge.

Crerar Library, East Randolph St., a reference library devoted chiefly to scientific subjects; open to the public.

Board of Trade, La Salle and Jackson Sts.; visitors may obtain admission to gallery overlooking the famous wheat pit.

Auditorium hotel and theatre building, Michigan Ave. at Congress St.; view of city from tower.

The Coliseum building, 16th St. and Wabash Ave.; all the national Republican conventions of recent years have been held here.

Field Museum of Natural History (founded by Marshall Field), in Grant Park; a fine anthropological and historical collection. The Museum, originally housed in a temporary building in Jackson Park, was made possible by the gift of $1,000,000 by Marshall Field, who on his death (1906) bequeathed a further $8,000,000 of which $4,000,000 has been used for the new building.

Ft. Dearborn Massacre Monument, 18th St., near the lake.

Armour Institute of Technology, founded by the Armour family, 3300 Federal St.

Douglas Monument, 35th St. near Lake Michigan; Stephen A. Douglas is buried here. Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861) was born in Vermont, but in 1833 he went west and settled in Jacksonville, Ill., where he was admitted to the bar in 1834. He identified himself with the Jackson Democrats and his political rise was rapid even for the west. Among other offices, he held those of Judge of the Supreme Court of Illinois, representative in Congress and senator from Illinois. Although he did more perhaps than other men, except Henry Clay, to secure the adoption of the Compromise Measures of 1850, he seems never to have had any moral antipathy against slavery. His wife and children were by inheritance owners of slaves. In 1858 he engaged in a close and exciting contest for the senatorship with Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Candidate, whom he met in a series of debates over slavery that soon became famous and brought Lincoln prominently into public favor, though he was defeated in this particular contest.

The Stockyards, Halsted and Root St. In area the yards exceed 400 acres; they have facilities for taking care of 50,000 cattle, 20,000 hogs, 30,000 sheep and 5,000 horses. The great packing plants are clustered around the stockyards.

The University of Chicago, Ellis Ave., south of 51st St. This university was established under Baptist auspices and opened in 1892. The words "founded by John D. Rockefeller" (whose donations to the institution form the largest part of its endowment) follow the title of the university on all its letter heads and official documents. Mr. Rockefeller's benefactions to the university have been very large. The grounds, however, were given in part by Marshall Field. The buildings are mostly of grey limestone, in Gothic style and grouped in quadrangles. With the exception of the divinity school, the institution is non-sectarian and has about 8,700 students of both sexes.

West Side

The "Ghetto" District on South Canal, Jefferson, and Maxwell Sts.; Fish Market on Jefferson St. from 12th St. to Maxwell.

Hull House, 800 South Halsted St. This famous settlement house was established in 1899 by Miss Jane Addams; who became head resident, and Miss Ellen Gates Starr. It includes a gymnasium, a crĂȘche and a diet kitchen, and supports classes, lectures and concerts.

Haymarket Square, Randolph and Des Plaines Sts.; scene of the anarchist riots.

Sears, Roebuck & Co., a great mail order house which does a business of over $250,000,000 a year retail. Guides are provided to show visitors around the establishment, which is easily reached on the elevated railway.

Western Electric Co., 22nd St. and Forty-eighth Ave. This company supplies the chief part of the equipment of the Bell telephone companies of the U.S. and has about 17,000 employees.

McCormick Harvester Works of the International Harvester Co. This is one of the 23 plants of the greatest manufacturers of agricultural machinery in the world.

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