Chicago's population of approximately 3 million people and its metropolitan area of over 9 million people make it the third-most populous city and metropolitan area in the United States. Adjacent to Lake Michigan, it is the largest Great Lakes city and among the world's 25 largest urban areas by population. Incorporated as a city in 1837 after being founded in 1833 at the site of a portage, it became a transportation hub in North America and the financial capital of the Midwest. Since the World's Fair of 1893, it has been regarded as one of the ten most influential cities in the world. For example, diverse events such as Chicago Pile-1, the first man made nuclear reactor, and Chicago school architecture have changed human history, and the way urban spaces are organized. Chicago boasts some of the world's tallest buildings (Willis Tower, and Trump International Hotel and Tower). The University of Chicago is a leader in many fields and has contributed to academic thought, such as the Chicago school of economics or Chicago school of sociology.
Today, Chicago has diverse cultural offerings: teams from each of the major league sports (Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox), a financial district anchored by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on LaSalle Street in the Chicago Board of Trade Building, and an arts culture anchored by the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park as well as Chicago Landmarks such as Wrigley Field. The Magnificent Mile is a fitting tribute for a city that has revolutionized retail merchandising with mail order catalogs, the money-back guarantee, bridal registry and using posted prices on goods.
Chicago hosts O'Hare (the world's second busiest) and Midway International Airports as well as the renowned 'L' rapid transit system. Chicago was once the capital of the railroad industry and the nation's meatpacking had its hub at the Union Stock Yards. Chicago has seen the influence of Al Capone. Recent members of the Cook County Democratic Party from Chicago include Chicago Mayors Richard J. Daley and his son Richard M. Daley, Chicago's first African-American Mayor, Harold Washington, the first African-American female United States Senator, Carol Mosley-Braun, and the first African-American United States President, former Senator Barack Obama.
Prison Break is a Golden Globe and Emmy nominated American action/serial drama television series that premiered on the Fox Broadcasting Company on August 29, 2005. The story revolves around a man who was sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit and his brother's elaborate plan to help him escape his death sentence. Created by Paul Scheuring, the show is produced by Adelstein-Parouse Productions in association with Original Television and 20th Century Fox Television. The current executive producers are Scheuring, Matt Olmstead, Kevin Hooks, Marty Adelstein, Dawn Parouse, Neal Moritz, and Brett Ratner. Its theme music is composed by Ramin Djawadi, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2006. The show recently concluded its third season. A fourth season of 22 episodes has been confirmed by FOX as of March 25 2008. It is expected to be back on television later in the year. The production for the fourth season will move from Dallas to Los Angeles. The uniqueness of Prison Break is attributed to its serialized story structure, a similar format used by Lost and 24, and to its setting, as very few television series were primarily set and filmed in a prison.
Chicago Landmark is a designation of the Mayor of Chicago and the Chicago City Council for historic buildings and other sites in Chicago, Illinois. Listed sites are selected after meeting a combination of criteria, including historical, economic, architectural, artistic, cultural, and social values. Once a site is designated as a landmark, it is subject to the Chicago Landmarks Ordinance, which requires that any alterations beyond routine maintenance, up to and including demolition, must have their permit reviewed by the Landmarks Commission. Many Chicago Landmarks districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects worthy of preservation by the National Park Service have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, providing federal tax support for preservation, and some have been designated with National Historic Landmark status by the United States Secretary of the Interior for historical significance, providing additional federal oversight.
In Chicago, the historic preservation movement initially sought to ensure the survival of individual buildings of special significance. However, the movement has evolved to include districts and neighborhoods and even encompasses distinctive areas of the natural environment. In 1957, Chicago City Council 5th ward Alderman Leon Despres began the landmark preservation movement in Chicago, by adopting the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House. This led to the formation of the City Landmarks Commission, who chose 39 buildings as "honorary" landmarks. That body evolved into the present Commission on Chicago Landmarks which was empowered by Despres's 1968 city ordinance to select and protect 12 important buildings as the inaugural official Chicago Landmarks. The efforts spawned the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois in addition to the municipal Commission. (Read more...)
"[Chicago] is the greatest and most typically American of all cities. New York is bigger and more spectacular and can outmatch it in other superlatives, but it is a “world” city, more European in some respects than American." — John Gunther
The Michigan Avenue Bridge
(officially DuSable Bridge
) is a bascule bridge
that carries Michigan Avenue
across the main stem of the Chicago River
in downtown Chicago
, Illinois, United States. The bridge was planned in the early 20th century as part of a scheme to link Chicago's south side and north side parks with a grand boulevard. Construction of the bridge started in 1918, it opened to traffic in 1920, and work on the decoration of the bridge was completed in 1928. The bridge provides passage for vehicles and pedestrians on two levels; it is an example of a fixed trunnion
bascule bridge, which later became widely known as a "Chicago style bascule". The bridge is included in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District
and has been designated as a Chicago Landmark
. The location of the bridge is significant in the early history of Chicago and events in the city's history are commemorated with sculptures and plaques on the bridge. The bridge also houses the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum in one of the bridge tender houses.