Our Fave “Aspect of Chicago History”

We’re in a reflective mood this week and asked ourselves what’s our favorite aspect of Chicago history:

Nikkos says:

This occurs to me every winter in Chicago…as I drive down the lakefront, adrift with snow, or wait for a train in the howling subartic winds, or as I dig my truck out of a street side snow bank. How in the hell did the Native Americans that originally populated this area survive the winter? I mean, didn’t they have any cousins down south that told them how temperate the weather was? In all, it makes me respect the Native Americans even more. For all our bitching about the weather, try living outdoors year round in Chicago, and get back to me!

Lauren says:

I love the fact that Chicago has a rich history, and that this shows in all the architecture in the city. I lived in San Diego for 4 years, where a 25 year old building was considered “old” and “vintage”. When I came back, I was relieved to see all of the old brownstones, all of the distinguished buildings, all the old Victorians.

I think it says something about the pride of Chicagoans that (for the most part) we work to maintain the historical architecture of this fine city. It gives us a constant reminder of what Chicago was and is. A little piece of me dies inside every time I see a great old house torn down in the name of faceless generic condolith.

CP says:

Every time I drive around the city and the neighborhoods, I find it interesting to see its residents and structures, then do a little “Googling” to see what it used to be like. Without fail, you can find pictures of people and events in the exact same spot in a park that I go to or a street where the buildings are still there but a new business has moved in. I don’t know, I think it’s the “Then & Now” factor. There’s more history in this city than one can shake a proverbial stick at. Overall, I don’t think one thing sticks out more than another, it’s all pretty awesome.

Officer Gleason says:

Okay, maybe this is because I’ve just been asked if I would be willing to take over a huge project at the court….but

Begin shameless self-promoting:

My favorite bit of Chicago history, more so than the Irish mob, is Chicago’s role in establishing the first juvenile court in the world.  In July of 1899, the first juvenile court was founded in Chicago, thereby establishing a legal precedent that juveniles are not adults, and should not be treated by the law as adults. Even today, the juvenile court is a pioneer for juvenile justice.

This doesn’t meant that the Court is prefect.  I just think that having (and working for) the oldest juvenile court, is awesome.

Fuzzy says:


I grew up in a planned city in Maryland that was, like Athena, sprung full-formed from the forehead of Zeus. (Only it wasn’t Zeus, it was a bunch of farmland.) There weren’t many buildings in Columbia that were older than I am, and I think that’s why I love all the little signs that so many Chicago buildings have weathered the years. I can wander around Chicago for hours, happily staring at the sides and backs of industrial buildings (all those bricked up windows used to be needed for light before electric light, and the signs on top of signs, oh man!).

2 Comments so far

  1. Moon (unregistered) on August 26th, 2005 @ 7:27 pm

    Geez, how did the Native Americans survive Chicago??? Chicago is balmy. Ask how the Lakota survived the Dakota terrority or how the Winnepeg survived Manitoba.

    /Both are worse than Alaska, believe it or not.

  2. moon (unregistered) on August 26th, 2005 @ 7:34 pm

    History is looking at every old building and wondering:

    A) Did Al Capone kill someone here?

    B) Did Al Capone leave treasure in this building?

    THAT’S Chicago history!!!

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