The directors of the 1893 Columbian Exposition wanted to outdo the Paris World’s Fair. The hit of that fair had been Gustave Eiffel’s soaring iron tower. On June 21st, the world saw Chicago’s answer to the challenge: George Washington Ferris’s giant wheel.
When Long John Wentworth was elected mayor in the spring of 1857, he pledged to clean up the city. Today that would mean an attack on political corruption. In Long John’s time, he meant a literal clean up: Chicago looked like a junkyard.
The Congress Parkway bridge over the river finally re-opened a few weeks ago. If you’re like most of the thousands of people who drive it every day, you probably don’t realize the bridge is officially named for Clarence Wagner.
Chicago’s first subway opened in 1943, but government control of mass transit came in 1947 with the new Chicago Transit Authority, which set out to modernize the system. In part three of his look-back, history blogger John Schmidt asks, "What would Chicago be without the 'L'?"