Unique Places in Chicago

  • Oz Park - The Cowardly Lion (2011)
    Oz Park - The Cowardly Lion (2011)
    by Kaspian
  • Olympic champion Jesse Owens
    Olympic champion Jesse Owens
    by PR-7
  • Elaborate burial sites were for status in 1800s
    Elaborate burial sites were for status...
    by PR-7

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Chicago

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    Chicago's First Bascule Bridge

    by riorich55 Written Mar 3, 2013

    I have taken the quoted information below from other sources, so won't take credit for the original text. However, as I was going through my Chicago pictures I came across this one and decided this might be an interesting site for visitors to see in Chicago. It might give you a couple of photo opportunities as well as give you a chance to see one of the bridges in the up position.

    If you ever do get to Chicago and have an opportunity to see the draw bridges go up and down it is quite the sight. There are only certain times when they do go up and down to let the various sailboats to and from the lakefront harbors. So usually the time to see them open the most is in the spring and fall.

    "The Chicago and North Western Railway's Kinzie Street railroad bridge (also known as the Carroll Avenue bridge) is a single leaf bascule bridge across the north branch of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois. At the time of its opening in 1908 it was the world's longest and heaviest bascule bridge. Previous bridges on the same site included the first bridge to cross the Chicago River, Chicago's first railroad bridge, and one of first all-steel bridges in the United States."

    "The Chicago Sun-Times, the last railroad customer to the east of the bridge, moved their printing plant out of downtown Chicago in 2000, and the bridge has been unused since. It was designated a Chicago Landmark in 2007."

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    Second Presbyterian Church: an absolute joy!

    by leics Updated Oct 16, 2012

    I chanced upon a leaflet which led me to this church. It was clearly a journey I was 'meant' to take, for not only was the church open on the day I was in Chicago (its opening hours are limited) but it also contains stained glass by Edward Burne-Jones, an English UK pre-Raphaelite cum Arts& Crafts movement artist. I love the pre-Raphaelites (led by William Morris) , and I love the work of the Arts & Crafts movement.

    So I took the bus down Michigan Avenue to Second Presbyterian.

    Built in 1876, its now a designated historic place 91974) and a Chicago landmark (1977). but that's not why it's worth visiting: it's the artwork contained within which makes the building so very special.

    From the original Arts & Crafts carpeting to the magnificent series of stained-glass windows (yes, Tiffany is there as well as Burne-Jones) to the intricate font (carved in Florence) and the 13 wonderful pre-Raphaelite murals by Frederick Clay Bartlett, the interior is simply wonderful.

    You really should not miss this wonderful example of pre-Raphaelite/Arts & Crafts work. It would be amazing to find it in the UK, where historical places from all eras abound, but I was truly staggered to find it in Chicago.

    It will only cost you the bus or taxi fare to explore: the church offers free self-guided tour leaflets.

    Open Wednesdays and Saturdays 1-3pm, Sundays at noon.

    1936 Michigan Avenue, at the junction of Michigan Avenue and Cullerton. Buses 3 and 4 stop there, or take the El to Cermak/Chinatown and walk from there.

    A wonderful, wonderful place...don't miss it!

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    Find the Chagall....

    by leics Written Oct 15, 2012

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    I rather like the 'Four Seasons' mosaic by Marc Chagall which you can find in the plaza underneath Chase Tower.

    I like the numerous figures to be found doing numerous things in numerous places. More to look at, investigate and enjoy than either the Picasso or the Miro, imo..but I am no fan of modern art, so what do I know?

    The mosaic has a glass roof, but still seemed to me to be slightly faded from its exposure to sun and wind, rain and snow and frost. The mosaic was donated to the city in 1974 and renovated in 1994 (when they put the roof up).

    You'll find it at the base of Chase Tower on N Dearborn Street, in the Loop.

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    Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

    by riorich55 Written Aug 23, 2012

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    Located on the south side of the University of Chicago campus a little more on the east side then the west side is the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Open each day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. you can visit not only the Chapel but as we did on a day in August, 2012 you can ascend to the top of the Carillon Tower for a little more history and a carillon recital.

    This tip will be about the Carillon Tower. More information on the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel can be found in the link for this tip.

    I visited the Chapel with a member of VirtualTourist from Great Britain who was in Chicago for a few days. After taking a quick train ride from downtown we walked over to the Chapel for a visit.

    Carillon tours and recitals are given each day during the academic quarters (check the University of Chicago website for when quarters are in session) at Noon and 5:00 p.m. You will be requested a $3 donation and meet your tour guide who is also the person who will play the carillon for you at the end of your ascent. You will climb 271 winding and narrow steps up to the top where you will be greeted with some outstanding views of the Chicagoland area.

    The carillon itself is the 2nd heaviest in the world with 72 bells. The heaviest is its sister carillon at the Riverside Church in New York. Both carillons are dedicated to John D Rockefeller's mother Laura.

    The pictures are are the views from all sides at the top of the tower. The 4 figures at the top on each side are Erasmus (North), Thomas A Kempis (West), John Bunyon (South) and Thomas Aquines (East). 2 great intellectuals and 2 great mystics as you will read if you open up the link.

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    Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

    by rmjiv Updated Jul 18, 2012

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    In the heart of the University of Chicago campus is the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. It is a neo-Gothic masonry (no structural steel) chapel donated to the university by John D. Rockefeller. It contains the 2nd largest carillon (bell set) in the U.S.

    We stumbled upon this when we happened to arrive at the Robie House (just across the street) and they were performing one of their regular carillon recitals. There was another group already there so we joined them on the lawn and listened to the music.

    Be sure to pop inside and get a look at the inside. You might be lucky enough to listen to one of their fine organists practicing. They also offer tours of the tour at set times.

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    Robie House

    by rmjiv Written Jul 17, 2012

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    The Robie House is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's best known houses. It is now a museum and located on the University of Chicago campus. It is open for tours, but we got there too late in the day to take it - they close at 3pm! Still, if you're an architecture buff and you're in the Hyde Park area you should swing by to take a look at this Prairie Style masterpiece.

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    Maxwell Street Market

    by wconwill Written Jun 29, 2012

    Take public transportation one Sunday morning or afternoon to the Maxwell Street Flea Market. Go with extended family; one-stop shopping, and it beats the mall any day of the week. I went on a hot Sunday afternoon in May. There was a pretty young woman in a white straw hat dancing salsa on the corner when I went in. I stopped by the great taco stand on the way out. You can bargain, too. I ran into a wonderful African vendor, who gave me a great deal on a dress. $10 less. As she was bagging my purchase, a lady came by, saw it, and asked how much it was. The vendor gave her the same original price she gave me, and the lady paid the asking price without a blink. I felt lucky! People are friendly and helpful. You can get tools, veggies, socks, sunglasses, doo-dads and what-nots. Have fun.

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    Hamburger University

    by bocmaxima Written Apr 8, 2012

    If you've ever worked at a McDonald's or are familiar with their corporate culture, then you probably know about Hamburger University. This is located at the McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, just southwest of the city. It's a private campus, but there is no gate and the streets around it are accessible to anyone. If anything, it's worth visiting if you're in the immediate area just for a funny photo.

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    Rosehill Cemetery

    by riorich55 Updated Mar 4, 2012

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    Probably not a "must see" destination on your trip to Chicago, but one that might be of some interest is Rosehill Cemetery located on the far north side of Chicago at 5800 N. Ravenswood. It is the final resting place of many previous Chicago mayors, a U.S. vice president, several Civil War Generals and noted Chicagoans such as Richard Sears, Montgomery Ward and Oscar Mayer.

    With its first burial in 1859 and at 350 acres it is the oldest and largest of Chicago's cemeteries. Originally on land owned by a Tavern owner whose last name was Roe, it was actually misnamed as Rosehill when the original name was suppose to be Roe's Hill Cemetery.

    I visited for about 30 minutes one cold March morning and came across some interesting tidbits which I have shared in the pictures.

    Picture #1- Front entrance off of Rosewood. Joliet limestone entrance gate designed by William Boyington the architect of the Chicago Water Tower.

    Picture #2 - Forgotten Steps - Was use when bodies were brought out by train from other areas of Chicago and brought to cemetery.

    Picture #3 - Charles J. Hull - Just inside the entrance on the right. Leading real estate developer in the 1800's and whose Hull House was later made famous by Jane Addams

    Picture #4 - Leonard Volk - American sculptor in the 1800's. Made one of two life masks of Abraham Lincoln and helped establish the Chicago Academy of Design.

    Picture #5 - Chicago in the distance. About 8 miles to the southeast.

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    Oz Park

    by Dabs Updated Jun 19, 2011

    Sometimes even I get shown a new thing or two about Chicago, I knew that Oz Park existed and I knew that there was a statue of the tin man on one of the corners but I didn't know that he was joined by the scarecrow, cowardly lion, Dorothy and Toto. Ed (Kaspian) had this on his list of Chicago things to visit on this trip so we drove up to Lincoln Park and wandered around the park to find the four statues. Sadly, there is not a yellow brick road running through it.

    The park is named in honor of L. Frank Baum, the author of 14 Oz books, the 1st of which became the classic film "The Wizard of Oz" with Judy Garland. Baum was not born in Chicago, nor did he die in Chicago, but he did live in Chicago when he wrote the 1st Oz book. He also didn't live Lincoln Park where Oz Park is located but rather several miles away in Humboldt Park. The statues were done by artisit John Kearney, the Tin Man was the 1st to be installed in 1995 followed by the Cowardly Lion in 2001, the Scarecrow in 2005 and finally Dorothy and Toto in 2007. Parts of the park are named after parts of the Oz books, the "Emerald Garden" and "Dorothy's Playlot."

    Oz Park is located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood at 2021 North Burling Street which is between Lincoln Avenue and Halsted.

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    MONEY - MONEY - MONEY - MONEY - MONEY - MONEY

    by listenandlearn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    This is the Federal Reserve Bank
    Photo - 0411- There is Anthony. The floor is transparent so everyone sees all the colections of U.S. coins.
    Photo - 0409 - The front door of the Federal Reserve Bank
    Photo - 0417 - That is in the center where everyone can just have a nice photo with the ONE MILLION DOLLARS, in bundles of $20.00.

    Hi guys!...Below we thought it is best to retype what reads in that board, take a minute and read it..it is really very interesting on the topic of our favourite thing “MONEY”…

    “THE EVOLUTION OF MONEY
    What is money? Basically, it is anything that serves as a medium of exchange. In other words, it is an item that is generally accepted as payment for other items.

    For money to be most effective, it must be exchangeable for goods and services and provide a way to store up purchasing power. In addition, it must serve as a way to measure the prices of many different things. Through the ages, not all money has met these criteria.

    Over the centuries, money has taken many different forms. In ancient Rome, soldiers were often paid with sacks of salt. As early as 2500 B.C., gold silver, and copper were used to pay for goods and services in Asia Minor. The first coins were minted around 800 B.C. and the earliest paper bills were issued in China between 1368 and 1399”

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    Fresh food downtown!

    by staindesign Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This was one of the highlights of my visit downtown. I throughly enjoy farmers' markets, they are a wonderful way to get great stuff in the city. We didn't realize this market happens here in Daley Plaza, but it was a nice coquencidence! My favorite tents were the fresh flowers (the redest flowers, i have ever seen), the amish baked goods, and the michigan apples! They had a organic bread tent, simply amazing, you have to get some of the pumkin bread!!!

    I'm including a link that has all of the markets listed, through out the season with times and days!

    The Daley Plaza one is especially nice because it is next to the fountain and there are places to sit and enjoy some of your delicious goods!

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    The Ernest Hemingway Home

    by midnight_mike Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Ernest Hemingway was one of America's greatest novelists. He traveled the world and turned his experiences into compelling fiction. While people focus on his years in Paris and Cuba, Hemingway spent his early years in Oak Park. While it is now just a suburb of Chicago, Oak Park was an independent city when Hemingway was born in the late 19th century. Visit the home where he was born and raised.

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    The Chicago Harbor House

    by shrimp56 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The house and lighthouse guard the entrance to the Chicago Harbor [named so because the Chicago River connects with the lake at this point on the shoreline]
    .
    The lighthouse was first lit in 1893 and was automated in 1979. It still serves an important navigational function, using it's original lense.

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    Sweets From the Mideast

    by riorich55 Written Aug 3, 2010

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    After having dinner at a Lebanese Restaurant across the street, Sue and I carefully crossed Kedzie Avenue and headed toward Nazareth Sweets.

    Although I've only included a picture of the outside. You can check out their website for all the wonderful little delights they have inside complete with pictures and descriptions.

    We opted for 3 little sweets which were probably about .60 cents each because our total bill was $2.00. Our dessert that night was:

    Walnut Mamoul - a rose water flavored cookie stuffed with almonds
    Date Mamoul - same as above but stuffed with dates
    Fatayer - phyllo dough with creme inside, glazed with syrup and topped with pistachios.

    Another little unplanned for delight.

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