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Portal:Chicago

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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 Moseley Braun, and the first African-American United States President, former Senator Barack Obama.

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Victory Monument in Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District
The South Side is a major part of the city of Chicago, which is located in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Much of it has evolved from the incorporation of independent townships, such as Hyde Park Township, that have been annexed by the city. Regions of the city, referred to as sides, are divided by the Chicago River and its branches. The South Side of Chicago was originally defined as all of the city south of the Chicago River, but it now excludes the Loop. The South Side has a varied ethnic composition, and it has great disparity in income and other demographic measures. The South Side covers 60% of the city's land area, with a higher ratio of single-family homes and larger sections zoned for industry than the rest of the city. The South Side boasts a broad array of cultural and social offerings, such as professional sports teams, landmark buildings, nationally renowned museums, elite educational institutions, world class medical institutions, and major parts of the city's elaborate parks system. The South Side is serviced by bus and train via the Chicago Transit Authority and a number of Metra lines. In addition, it has several Interstate highways and United States highways to serve vehicular traffic.

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Chicago Avenue Pumping Station
Credit: TonyTheTiger

The Chicago Avenue Pumping Station is a historic district contributing property in the Old Chicago Water Tower District landmark district. It is located on Michigan Avenue along the Magnificent Mile shopping district in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois.

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Sears Tower

This list of tallest buildings in Chicago ranks skyscrapers in the U.S. city of Chicago, Illinois by height. The tallest building in Chicago is the 108-story Sears Tower, which rises 1,451 feet (442 m) in the Chicago Loop and was completed in 1974. It also stands as the tallest building in the United States, and the fifth-tallest building in the world. In addition, the Sears Tower has the most floors of any completed building in the world, and stands as the world's tallest completed skyscraper when measuring to pinnacle height, rising 1,730 feet (527 m) with the addition of its western antenna. The second- and third-tallest buildings in Chicago are the Aon Center and the John Hancock Center, respectively. As of June 2008, the John Hancock Center, with 49 floors of condominiums, holds the world record for the highest residence. In addition, Chicago has the distinction of being the only city in the world with more than one completed building containing at least 100 floors. (Read more...)

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Percy Lavon Julian was an American research chemist and a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants. He was the first to synthesize the natural product physostigmine; and was an American pioneer in the industrial large-scale chemical synthesis of the human hormones, steroids, progesterone, and testosterone, from plant sterols such as stigmasterol and sitosterol. His work would lay the foundation for the steroid drug industry's production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and birth control pills. He later started his own company to synthesize steroid intermediates from the Mexican wild yam. His work helped reduce the cost of steroid intermediates to large multinational pharmaceutical companies. During his lifetime he received more than 130 chemical patents. Julian was one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate in chemistry. He was the first African-American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, and the second African-American scientist inducted from any field.

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Dave Grohl at Foo Fighters concert in 2011
"Chicago gave me more music than any other city in America." — Dave Grohl

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Fabyan Windmill
The Fabyan Windmill is an authentic, working Dutch windmill dating from the 1850s located in Geneva, Illinois. The 68 feet (21 m), five-story wooden smock mill sits upon the onetime estate of Colonel George Fabyan, but is now part of the Kane County Forest Preserve District. In 1979, the windmill was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The following year, the windmill was selected to be on a U.S. postage stamp as part of a series of five American windmills included in a stamp booklet called "WINDMILLS USA". It originally operated as a custom grinding mill

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Did you know?

  • Burnham Park

...that Meigs Field in Chicago, Illinois, sits on the site of Burnham Park (pictured), which was a serious contender to host the United Nations Headquarters?


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