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Chicago


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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2009, 04:08:29 am »



The Chicago Water Tower, one of the few surviving buildings after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871
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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2009, 04:09:41 am »



The Sears Tower, at 110 stories, stands as Chicago's tallest building since its completion in 1974 and is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2009, 04:10:19 am »

Topography

Chicago is located in northeastern Illinois at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan. It sits on the continental divide at the site of the Chicago Portage, connecting the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes watersheds. The city lies beside Lake Michigan, and two rivers — the Chicago River in downtown and the Calumet River in the industrial far South Side — flow entirely or partially through Chicago. The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal connects the Chicago River with the Des Plaines River, which runs to the west of the city. Chicago's history and economy are closely tied to its proximity to Lake Michigan. While the Chicago River historically handled much of the region's waterborne cargo, today's huge lake freighters use the city's far south Lake Calumet Harbor. The Lake also moderates Chicago's climate, making it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

When Chicago was founded in the 1830s, most of the early building began around the mouth of the Chicago River, as can be seen on a map of the city's original 58 blocks.[20] The overall grade of the city's central, built-up areas, is relatively consistent with the natural flatness of its overall natural geography, generally exhibiting only slight differentiation otherwise. The average land elevation is 579 feet (176 m) above sea level. The lowest points are along the lake shore at 577 feet (176 m), while the highest point at 735 feet (224 m) is a landfill located in the Hegewisch community area on the city's far south side.

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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2009, 04:11:28 am »



Northward aerial view of Chicago during winter.
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2009, 04:12:10 am »

Lake Shore Drive runs adjacent to a large portion of Chicago's lakefront. Parks along the lakeshore include Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park and Jackson Park; 29 public beaches are found all along the shore. Near downtown, landfills extend into the Lake, providing space for the Jardine Water Purification Plant, Navy Pier, Northerly Island and the Museum Campus, Soldier Field, and large portions of the McCormick Place Convention Center. Most of the city's high-rise commercial and residential buildings can be found within a few blocks of the Lake.

Chicagoland is an informal name for the Chicago metro area, used primarily by copywriters, advertising agencies, and traffic reporters. There is no precise definition for the term "Chicagoland," but it generally means "around Chicago" or relatively local. The Chicago Tribune, which coined the term, includes the city of Chicago, the rest of Cook County, eight nearby Illinois counties; Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee, and three counties in Indiana; Lake, Porter, and LaPorte.[21] The Illinois Department of Tourism defines Chicagoland as Cook County without the city of Chicago, and only Lake, DuPage, Kane and Will counties.[22] The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce defines it as all of Cook, and DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.[23]

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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2009, 04:13:01 am »



Lake Shore Drive runs next to Burnham Park on the South Side.
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« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2009, 04:13:55 am »



Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. The tower was originally constructed at the river mouth in 1893 then moved to the outer breakwater in 1917. A Third Order lens with white and red flashing panels was installed after the Columbian Exposition of 1891. Today it's basically empty and used for storage. Unlike most other lighthouses, this one is connected to shore by a breakwater with a walkway.

The tower is enclosed by two one-story, steel buildings with gable roofs. One is a fog signal building, the second is a former boathouse (and was a private residence for a few years.)

Location: South end of north breakwater, Chicago Harbor. 48 foot tall, brick lined steel tower with steel building. It is visible from Navy Pier, most of downtown, and the lakefront. It is closed to the public.

It is also called the Chicago Harbor Light.

Photo by Richard C. Drew, August 12, 2004
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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2009, 04:14:29 am »

Climate
The city lies within the humid continental climate zone, and experiences four distinct seasons. Summers are warm & humid with average high temperatures of 80-84°F (27-29°C) and lows of 61-65 °F (16-19°C). Winters are cold, snowy and windy with temperatures below freezing. Spring and Fall are mild with low humidity. According to the National Weather Service, Chicago’s highest official temperature reading of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded on June 1, 1934. The lowest temperature of −27 °F (−33 °C) was recorded on January 20, 1985. Along with long, hot dry spells in the summer, Chicago can suffer extreme winter cold spells. In the entire month of January 1977, the temperature did not rise above 31 °F (-0.5 °C). The average temperature that month was around 10 °F (-12 °C).

Chicago’s yearly precipitation averages about 34 inches (860 millimeters). Summer is typically the rainiest season, with short-lived rainfall and thunderstorms more common than prolonged rainy periods.[24] Winter precipitation tends to be more snow than rain. Chicago's snowiest winter on record was that of 1978–79, with 89.7 inches (228 cm) of snow in total. The winter of 2007-08, with more than 61 inches (155 cm) of snow, was the snowiest in nearly three decades, and the winter of 2008/2009 produced nearly 50 inches (127 cm). Average winter snowfall is normally around 38 inches (96.52 cm). The highest one-day snowfall total in Chicago history was 18.3 inches (46.5 cm) on Jan. 3, 1999. Chicago’s highest one-day rainfall total was 6.63 inches (168.4 mm) on September 13, 2008.[25] The previous record of 6.49 inches (164 mm) had been set on August 14, 1987. The record for yearly rainfall is 50.86 inches set in 2008; 1983 was the wettest year before with 49.35 inches. [26
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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2009, 04:15:47 am »

Cityscape



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« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2009, 04:17:17 am »

Architecture

The outcome of the Great Chicago Fire led to the largest building boom in the history of the nation. Perhaps the most outstanding of these events was the relocation of many of the nation's most prominent architects to the city from New England for construction of the 1893 World Columbian Exposition.

In 1885, the first steel-framed high-rise building rose in Chicago ushering in the skyscraper era.[28] Today, Chicago's skyline is among the world's tallest and most dense.[29] Downtown's historic buildings include the Chicago Board of Trade Building in the Loop, with others along the lakefront and the Chicago River. Once first on the list of largest buildings in the world and still listed twentieth, the Merchandise Mart stands near the junction of the north and south river branches. Presently the four tallest in the city are the Sears Tower, Trump International Hotel and Tower, the Aon Center (previously the Standard Oil Building), and the John Hancock Center. The city's architecture includes lakefront high-rise residential towers, low-rise structures, and single-family homes. Industrialized areas such as the Indiana border, south of Midway Airport, and the banks of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal are clustered. Future skyline plans entail the supertalls Waterview Tower, and the Chicago Spire.
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« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2009, 04:17:29 am »

The 60602 zip code was named by Forbes as the hottest zip code in the country with upscale buildings such as The Heritage at Millennium Park (130 N. Garland) leading the way for other buildings such at Waterview Tower, The Legacy and Momo. Other new skyscraper construction may be found directly south (South Loop) and north (River North) of the Loop.

Multiple kinds and scales of houses, townhouses, condominiums and apartment buildings can be found in Chicago. Large swaths of Chicago's residential areas away from the lake in the so-called "bungalow belt" are characterized by bungalows built from the early 20th century through the end of World War II. Chicago is also a prominent center of the Polish Cathedral style of church architecture. One of Chicago's suburbs is Oak Park, home to the late Frank Lloyd Wright.

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« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2009, 04:18:20 am »



Looking north from the North Michigan Avenue Bridge on Chicago's 'Magnificent Mile'. The Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower are in the foreground with the John Hancock Center in the distance.
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« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2009, 04:19:26 am »



 
A photograph taken of the buildings lining the Chicago River.
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« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2009, 04:20:34 am »



Chicago Avenue Pumping Station in the Old Chicago Water Tower District along the Magnificent Mile
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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2009, 04:21:17 am »

Neighborhoods

Chicago is partitioned by the city into four main sections: Downtown (which contains the Loop), the North Side, the South Side, and the West Side. In the late 1920s sociologists at the University of Chicago subdivided the city into 77 distinct community areas. The boundaries of these areas are more clearly defined than those of the over 210 neighborhoods throughout the city, allowing for better year-by-year comparisons.

The Loop contains downtown's commercial, cultural, and financial institutions.

The North Side is the most densely populated residential section of the city and the River North neighborhood features the nation's largest concentration of contemporary art galleries outside of Manhattan. As a Polonia center, due to Chicago having the largest population of Poles outside of Warsaw, the city celebrates every Labor Day weekend at the Taste of Polonia Festival in Jefferson Park[30].

The South Side is also home to one of the city's largest parades, the annual African American Bud Billiken Day parade and is the former home of the South Side Irish Parade. It is home to two of Chicago's largest public parks. Jackson Park, which hosted the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, is currently the site of the Museum of Science and Industry. Washington Park, which is connected to Jackson Park by the Midway Plaisance, is currently being considered as the primary site of the Olympic Stadium for the 2016 Summer Olympics if Chicago wins the bid.

The West Side holds the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest collections of tropical plants of any U.S. city. Cultural attractions include Humboldt Park's Puerto Rican Day festival, and the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen.

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