Daniel Burnham

Municipal Pier #2 (Navy Pier)

Navy Pier with a sign for Goodrich boats

Chicago in the early 1900s was a mess, to put it lightly. Despite an official motto of “urbs in horto”—city in a garden—it was anything but. It was crowded. Dirty. Stinky. Think traffic is bad now? Fuhgeddaboudit. So many ships were coming into the Chicago River that you could barely cross it because the bridges …

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Orchestra Hall (Symphony Center)

Orchestra Hall - Symphony Center

The renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the most respected orchestral organizations around the world. It’s known for its distinctive sound, its powerful brass section, and its many recordings, which have garnered more than sixty Grammy Awards. But its beginnings were fraught with uncertainty and chaos. The creation and early survival of Chicago’s orchestra, …

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The Rookery

Rookery Building Detail

One of the most celebrated buildings in a city of celebrated buildings is The Rookery. There are many reasons for this status. One is because it’s one of the oldest surviving high-rises in downtown Chicago. Another is its innovative foundation, which has kept it upright despite being planted on a muddy morass. There’s also the …

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