Palmer House Hilton history of Chicago’s oldest hotel

The question came up when I was on a historic tour of Chicago asking, “What is the oldest hotel in Chicago?” Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel in the Loop is the oldest hotel in Chicago and considered the oldest continuously operating hotel in the USA. Forget all the news headlines about Chicago city violence. Chicago is […]

Chicago History Timeline – Shedd Aquarium 1930

Shedd Aquarium (formally the John G. Shedd Aquarium) is an indoor public aquarium in Chicago, Illinois in the United States that opened on May 30, 1930. The aquarium contains 32,000 animals, and was for some time the largest indoor aquarium in the world with 5,000,000 US gallons (19,000,000 l; 4,200,000 imp gal) of water. Shedd Aquarium was the first inland aquarium with a permanent saltwater fish collection. Located on Lake Michigan, […]

Historic Chicago events – The Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration that burned from Sunday, October 8, to Tuesday, October 10, 1871. The fire killed up to 300 people, destroyed roughly 3.3 square miles (9 km2) of Chicago, Illinois, and left more than 100,000 residents homeless. The fire began in a neighborhood southwest of the city center. A long period of hot, dry, windy conditions, and […]

How Prohibition backfired and gave America an era of gangsters and speakeasies

Those behind Prohibition saw a ban on the sale of ‘intoxicating liquors’ as a crusade against a moral evil. But the big winners were Al Capone and the mob On Saturday, 17 January 1920, the Manchester Guardian reported with mild incredulity on one of the most extraordinary experiments in modern democratic history. “One minute after midnight tonight,” […]

The Chicago blizzard of 1967

The Chicago blizzard of 1967 struck northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana on January 26–27, 1967, with a record-setting 23 inches (58 cm) snow fall in Chicago and its suburbs before the storm abated the next morning. As of 2017, it remains the greatest snowfall in one storm in Chicago history. As the blizzard was a surprise during the day with people already […]


It is anyone’s guess when and where the last house will be built in still-growing Tinley Park. And the facts concerning the first house built in the village are just as uncertain. “The village came into existence in 1853, and there is a story out there that the first house was built in 1842,” said Brad […]

The Story of Chicago Houses – The Swift Mansion

The Swift Mansion Like the Glessner house, the Swift mansion at 4500 South Michigan Avenue is a reminder of the period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the South Side was home to many of Chicago’s business and social leaders.  A rare survivor of that era, now set amidst apartment buildings, business blocks, and […]

7 things you need to know about Chicago

So let’s sift through some of the things you really should know about Chicago: 1. The Food Chicago is very food-centric, but it isn’t all hot dogs and pizza.”Chicago is such a diverse city, and it’s a city of neighborhoods,” explained writer Britt Julious, a lifelong resident, “a city comprised of all different types of ethnicities, that […]

Timeline of Chicago history – Deep Tunnel Project 1975

The Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (abbreviated TARP and more commonly known as the Deep Tunnel Project or the Chicago Deep Tunnel) is a large civil engineering project that aims to reduce flooding in the metropolitan Chicago area, and to reduce the harmful effects of flushing raw sewage into Lake Michigan by diverting storm water and sewage into temporary holding reservoirs. The megaproject is one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in terms of scope, […]

How These Chicago Streets Got Their Names

Chicago may be laid out in a grid, but its streets are far from boring. The tales behind how these avenues, roads, boulevards, parkways, and drives all got their names help contribute to the story of the city itself. There are hundreds upon hundreds of streets vectoring through the Windy City, and we’ve selected 30 […]