The building was the first "sky-scraper", a term now so common for a high building that few people realize that, to begin with, a "skyscraper" was a triangular sail used high on the mast of sailing vessels before steamships came into use.15 Quickly a new Chicago arose of brick and stone. Within a year the business district was restored along the crescent formed by Lake Michigan in the city's west. Here lies America's second-ranking canyon of finance, La Salle Street, where the Board of Trade Building towers above a forest of sky-scrapers. Each sky-scraper is stamped by a specific commodity: the Wrigley equals chewing-gum,the "Chicago Tribune" and the "Daily News" mean newspapers, the Continental Illinois-banking, the Chicago Temple-offices of reputed firms, the Merchandise Mart-wholesale dry goods, the imposing Marshal Field-department store de luxe, and so on. Each building stands as if a huge monument to a trust. While you ride through Chicago you have an opportunity to see a little of the city. The streets are usually crowded with traffic at whatever hour you arrive. Over your head thunders the local elevated train, which runs on a platform. If your route takes you near the shore of Lake Michigan, you will see a broad boulevard along the water-front with eight lanes of fast-moving traffic. Beautiful, tall office buildings and hotels make a spectacular picture against the blue waters of the lake. If your route lay further back from the lake, you would see narrow, crowded streets lined with rows and rows of red-brick houses.
Vegetable sellers may push little carts through the streets and call out the names of things for safe in any one of a number of languages. One of Chicago's many nicknames is the "Windy City", and despite me US Weather Bureau, which lists Chicago as only the nation's 19th windiest, it richly deserves this nickname-as you will soon agree if you ae caught on a Chicago street corner when an icy January gale screams oflf Lake Michigan. Wind is not the only extreme characteristic of the lo^al weather. Chicago is noted for its subzero (Fahrenheit) temperatures in winter and 90°-plus temperatures in summer. And don't be misled if you arrive in winter and it seems unreasonably warm. Chicago weather changes quickly.
THE CENTRE OF CLASS WARS
The most proletarian of American cities, Chicago was a scene of bitter labour wars, of the Haymarket affair (1886) and of the Pullman strike (1894). .
Called the "Red Square" of Chicago, Haymarket has become world-famous for the Haymarket affair of 1886. (The official US history books call it the "Haymarket Riot".)
The spring of 1886 was marked by a national strike movement for the 8-hour working day. At the giant McCormick Harvester plant in Chicago, six striking workers were killed by the police. A mass meeting for May the 4th was called in the Haymarket. Suddenly the crowded square shook with the explosion of a bomb thrown by an unknown hand. Seven policemen and four workers were killed, and many were injured. Amid wild hysteria eight labour leaders were arrested. All eight arrested workers were convicted in what is now commonly recognized as a frame-up. Four of them-Parsons, Spies, Fischer and Engel-were hanged. Five years later, Governor John Altgeld of Illinois, a rare type in US politics, freed the four Haymarketers remaining in prison and proclaimed their innocence. The movement for the 8-hour working day and the Haymarket affair caused a great swell of trade-union organization. Furthermore International May Day emerged from this movement, for the International Soci...
I would say that the Chicago Art Museum is one of the top three art museums in the US, because of its breadth of its collection and for its accessibility. On a recent visit, I discovered the extensive Chicago Museum of Science and Technology and fell in love.
Only in the eyes of New Yorkers is Chicago this country's Second City. For in the Windy City, visitors will find culture and chaos, sports and skyscrapers, dramatic architecture and a diverse population.
Incorporated in 1837, the Town of Chicago drew its name from a Native-American word meaning "great." Thirty years later, 90,000 residents were left homeless in the Great Chicago Fire, which killed 300 people and left a devastating $200 million in damage. A grave disaster, the fire nonetheless provided the city an opportunity to rebuild and grow; by the time it hosted the 1893 World's Fair, it was home to the famous "El" train that still encircles the heart of downtown Chicago. Nearly three million people call Chicago home, a mid-Western mixture of cultures and races. The city's motto, "I will," is an articulation of its hopes and dreams as the city continues to grow in importance. And true to its name, it is a great city, with world-champion teams like the Chicago Bulls and well-beloved teams like the Chicago Cubs. Chicago sports fans are known around the globe for undying devotion in the bitter winter to their Bears, and through the long summers in the bleachers at Wrigley and Comiskey parks.
And what would Chicago be without the blues? This classic American musical innovation floated up the Mississippi River, where it was perfected and is still performed throughout the city; the original House of Blues is located on Dearborn Street and hosts the masters of this music.
Chicago boasts more than a handful of architectural achievements, from the towering Sears Tower to the Tribune Tower, whose base includes stones from famous buildings throughout the world. The city is a growing cultural haven; the Art Institute of Chicago houses a world-class collection, from Impressionist masters to more contemporary works in photography and ethnic art. And from the Art Institute, many of the city's major cultural and tourist attractions are within walking distance, including the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Hancock Tower.
Nestled on the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago can be whatever you want it to be - a sports fan's paradise, a music lover's mecca, a shopper's delight, a culture-seeker's dream. Just don't for a second call it boring.