Chicago History

Favorite Chicago Websites

Favorite website
Open your eyes
If you only have time...
Maybe you'll be lucky
Day trip
Other ideas
Visiting Professors
Histories that have not been written
Pilgrim Baptist Church

Chicago Board of Trade
Board of Trade. GTJ Photo.

I used to have one favorite Chicago history website, and now I have two.  Try to view them both before your visit.
My Chicago website is the City of Chicago's landmarks website.
The site offers architectural photos in the classic black-and-white style, as well as a description of each building.  I have seen some of the original photos on display, and they, themselves, are works of art.
The photos of individual buildings are linked in overlapping virtual tours that include styles, such as Art Deco and Prairie School; architects, such as Daniel Burnham and Louis Sullivan; and areas, such as Loop North and Far South.  There is an interactive map that makes it easy to map out your own self-guided walking tour.  The descriptions go far beyond the architectural detail and offer rich insights into Chicago's history as a whole.  There are many links in my site to pages from the Chicago Landmarks site.
(This  is a searchable database of the Chicago Historic Resources Survey.  This was completed in 1995 after a decade-long research effort by the City of Chicago to analyze the historic and architectural importance of all buildings constructed in the city prior to 1940.
Another essential website is the Encyclopedia of Chicago, which is posted by the Chicago History Museum, in collaboration with the Newberry Library and Northwestern University.  This is a wonderful on-line resource.  Each article contains links to other articles, and it is fun to jump from one topic to another.
I urge visitors planning a trip to Chicago to consult both of these websites and to print out any pages that you might think would be of use during your visit.
By the way, both photos on this page represent Chicago's history in finance.  At the top is that Art Deco masterpiece, the Chicago Board of Trade Building (141 W. Jackson Blvd.), and below is the Heald Square monument, (East Wacker Drive and North Wabash), which is dedicated to the financiers of the American Revolution.  It is said to be the only existing monument with that theme.  Where else but in Chicago?!
Heald Square monument to American Revolution's financiers. GTJ photo.