Like any great city, Chicago is always changing. Familiar landmarks are destroyed. Lost Chicago, by David Lowe, is the classic book on our vanished local heritage.But what about those well-remembered Chicago oddities that never made the guidebooks, even when they were around?
"The first white man to settle in Chicago was black." That was a popular witticism around town in the 1930s, and it says a lot about the attitudes of the time. Of course, the person referred to was Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable.DuSable was the first non-indigenous resident of our area. We know that.
Unless you're a historian or a pigeon, you might not pay much attention to the statues that decorate our city and suburbs. But like our street names, each one has a story to tell.The William McKinley statue stands near the southeast corner of Archer and Western.
With record rainfall this month and severe flooding across the region, it’s hard to imagine a summer day dry enough to set the city ablaze.But that’s just what happened in May of 1934, when Chicago had seen less than 4 inches of rain since the beginning of the year, one-third of what was normal.
Almost any Chicago street name tells a story. Take Peshtigo Court. It's the last street you cross on the way to Navy Pier, before you duck under the Lake Shore Drive viaduct.Peshtigo Court is one block long.