Graham Anderson Probst & White

Chicago Historical Society (Chicago History Museum)

The title page of A Brief History of the Chicago Historical Society, published in 1881, tells a story: Organized 1856.Incorporated 1857.Collections Destroyed, October 9, 1871.Re-organized, 1872.Destroyed second time, July 14, 1874.Re-organized again, 1877. It’s a very Chicago story. Of planning and building, of setbacks, of re-building, of more setbacks, and of re-building, again. It’s a …

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Merchandise Mart (theMART)

It’s difficult to comprehend just how big the Merchandise Mart is. You can say it’s four million square feet. You can know it was once the largest commercial building in the world. You can mention that there are six and a half miles of corridors, that the initial plate glass order would stretch for seven …

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John G. Shedd Aquarium

It was December of 1923 when Chicago learned that it would be getting an aquarium. A rumor leaked that John G. Shedd was going to donate two million dollars for that purpose, and John was known as a pretty generous guy. He’d contributed six figures to the Young Men’s Christian Association, gave $50,000 to the …

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Civic Opera Building

Lyric Opera of Chicago is such an institution that it seems its existence has always been a given. But just like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Field Museum surmounted multiple difficulties in their early years, establishing a permanent opera company was no easy task. And since this was opera, its drama was on an …

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