Like my other pages on travel this links sites and lists sights geographically so that you can follow it on a map or — if you walk really fast — on foot.
Chicago has great public transportion that CTA trains run from near both airports:
The Chicago Transit Authority's cta.com interactively creates routes on trains and calculates amount of walking to your specific address.
Carry quarters with you. Buses don't return quarters for the $1.75 one way fare. Buy the all day pass with a credit card to get a receipt.
Rent a Honda car for $6/hour from I-GO 866.446-7372 at the CTA Gateway Centre stop.
Architecture.org provides walking tours (for $12 at 10 and 1), providing little-known tid-bits about old and new buildings around the city.
Tour theaters 1 hour from 175 N. State at 11 or 12:30pm.
On the METRA train running along the lake toward downtown Chicago is Northwestern University's Evanston campus.
Between the Oak Park and Harlem stations off the Green Line is where Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) lived and designed several homes and his own congregation's building: the Unity Temple, which some call "the first modern building". It was dedicated the same year (1907) as a gothic revival Catholic church, at a time when Victorian eclecticism and "ornamentation with small things" was still in favor. Lloyd requested that it be named a temple rather than a church because he sought the powerful simplicity of ancient temples. Its use of poured reinforced concrete allowed for a glass ceiling. Lloyd's signature "prairie" style was so named because his house was literally on the edge of the prarie in 1905.
Making visitors walk through short and cramped entrances and hallways creates a sense of "release" upon entering the santuary within.
The church where Ernest Hemingway's family went is across the street. Hemingway also demonstrated the power in simplicity in literature.
Frank Lloyd Home and Studio 951 Chicago Ave. Oak Park 708.848-1976
Ernest Hemingway Museum 200 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park 708.848-2222
Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art Northwestern University 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston 847.491-4000
The Bahai Temple ("House of Worship") in the Wilmette suburb is called "The Silent Teacher" The white structure is ornamented with lace-like images of many faiths. Open 10-5 (-8 in Summer).
One of the most significant public museums is along Eastern Chicago's waterfront to Lake Michigan.
The North museum (on North Street) is the Chicago Historical Museum (which offers walking tours and rich resources online). Between it (and the Segwick station on the CTA Brown line 4 blocks to the West) is the Second City Improv. (312.337-3992) at 1616 N. Wells.
For family night life:
The Chicago of today is called "Second City" because the Great Chicago fire of 1871 was so devastating. (The original Emancipation Proclamation was destroyed in the fire).
The Water Tower on on Michigan and Chicago Avenue is the only public buildings survive it. It's South of the John Hancock Tower next to Loyola University Chicago. From there Bike tours begin.
East on Chicago Avenue is the Museum of Contemporary Art 312.289-2660
Walk South on Michigan if you're in Chicago to shop big. Start from Filene's Basement below the F.A.O.Schwartz toystore.
The next four blocks along Michigan Avenue is a shopper's paradise called the "Magnificent Mile". You'll see just about every major retailer if you ride the double-long #3 bus:
The Terra Museum across from Niketown closed in April 2005.
4 more blocks down are the Shops at North Bridge within the Le Meridien hotel.
South of the Chicago River is Marshall Field department store that takes up an entire block at Randolph and State.
The park also has a garden, showers, and an open-air ice skating rink in the Winter and skate rentals in warmer months.
Bring a towel to jump in the Crowne Fountain video walls. It shows 1,000 faces of Chicagoans videotaped by artist Jaume Plensa at the City of Chicago's Cultural Center (the former Chicago Public Library) on Washington.
The 66 foot tall "bean" designed by Anish Kapoor was built by Performance Structures, a shipbuilder in Oakland, California who figured out how to produce "invisible" welds on the reflective skin. Well, it turned out the seams aren't quite invisible, so it's now in a white shroud while they work on their "cloaking technology." Is this perhaps a play on Chicago being called "Beantown"?
The Art Institute of Chicago (near the Adams station of the CTA Red line between Monroe and Jackson) has art from all over, but it's world renowed for its impressionsionism collection. The building was constructed for the 1893 world's fair. Take the whole day to enjoy tours at 11 and 2.
The cafeteria downstairs has innovative dishes among standard fare.
2 blocks West is the historic Berghoff German/Austrian restaurant.
Walk one block East toward the Lake across Columbus Drive :
Walk South to the METRA Van Buren station to ride past the hugh Buckingham Fountain.
Or walk among hard bodies along the tree and grass-lined walkway to the massive
Field Museum of Natural History, the
John G. Shedd Aquarium (the first aquarium in the US), and
(at the end of the jetty), the
If you're still hungry for history after that, take the "METRA" further South to the 18th Street station to see
Or if you're hungry for food, go Westward on Cermak Street:
On the island South of it is the Osaka Garden "White City", a remnant from the 1893 World Columbian Exposition donated by the Japanese government.
at 57th Steet in the Hyde Park district, where the Robie House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is located (near the University of Chicago).
Before you spend big bucks on the heavily advertised (and thus expensive) theaters, check out innovative shows by students and faculty at college museums and libraries listed here from North to South:
Oprah Winfrey tapes her show at 1058 W Washington (on Chicago's Near West Side) Chicago, IL 60607 312-663-1000. The Reservation number 312-591-9222 is only answered if tickets are available. Note: Harpo Studios is "Oprah" spelled backwards.
Roger Ebert is a writer at the Chicago Sun-Times and the late Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune and the Siskel Film Center 312.846.2600 at 164 North State Street (N. of Randolph).
Peter Cetera's "Chicago" band
To limit the power of gangsters, a law was passed to limit Chicago banks to a single branch.
$30 a night at the Hostelling International on 24 E. Congress at Wabash, was remodeling in 2000 and has no curfew.
Carl Sandberg called Chicago the "City of Big Shoulders".
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