Old Chicago Locations

There are several old Chicago locations that are notable for their historical significance, cultural ties to the city and beauty. Included in this list are attractions that will send you back to Chicago's earliest beginnings, immerse you in America's pastime and leave your belly satisfied.

  1. Historic Water Tower While Chicago officially began in 1837, most of the buildings that you see today were built after the Great Fire of 1871. The Great Fire, which started as a small barn fire and quickly burned for two days, destroyed much of the city. The Historic Water Tower, situated along what is now the Magnificent Mile, is one of the few buildings that survived. Just like its name implies, the Historic Water Tower was created to regulate and supply the city's water. While the name is a bit generic, the building is anything but dull. Designed by prominent architect William Boyington, the building resembles an European medieval castle. It now houses the City Gallery which features rotating art exhibits.
  2. Billy Goat Tavern There's a warning prominently displayed at this grill's website: "Enter At Your Own Risk." There's nothing dangerous about this eatery but it's definitely a Chicago institution that has been serving greasy foods since 1934. Expect a boisterous crowd, friendly servers, Chicago Cubs memorabilia and lively conversation from the crowds of politicians and journalists that frequent the joint.
  3. Historic Pullman Visitor Center George Pullman, who founded the Pullman Palace Car Company, built a planned community for his workers in the 1880s. Head to the Visitor Center first before embarking on a walking tour that takes you through Pullman's vision for the perfect community.
  4. Wrigley Field Also on the list of old Chicago locations that should be visited is Wrigley Field. Wrigley Field has been home to the Chicago Cubs since 1916. The ballpark features a hand turned scoreboard and an ivy covered outfield wall. While the ballpark has its charm, it's far from being the most scenic or technologically advanced. Yet there's nothing that beats sitting amongst some of baseball's most ardent fans in a setting that harkens back to baseball's olden days.
  5. Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Frank Lloyd is one of America's most celebrated architects and his works can be seen throughout Chicago. Wright built his first home in 1889 and added the studio in 1898. Visitors to the residence located in nearby Oak Park can see firsthand the architect's experimental style. 
  6. Hackney's For a taste of old Chicago, head to Hackney's. Since 1939, Hackney's have been serving their signature burger, a half-pound of rare beef on black bread, and fried onion loaf to hungry visitors. Hackney's is still run by the same family. The Chicago branch is located in a historic building along Printers Row, an old neighborhood just south of downtown that was once home to Chicago's publishing and printing businesses.
  7. Driehaus Museum The home of wealthy Chicago banker Samuel Nickerson, built in 1883, is one of Chicago's grandest houses built during the Gilded Age. Today it is a museum that lovers of art and furniture will go gaga over. 
  8. Adler Planetarium Something fun for the whole family is the Adler Planetarium, which has been showing Chicagoans the beauty of the night sky since 1930.
  9. Old Town Ale House This old Chicago bar has been a neighborhood watering hole since the 1950s. Not much has changed over the years and they're quite proud of that.
  10. Cadillac Palace Theatre The interior of this 1920s theater was built after the splendor of European palaces. Besides watching the show on stage, visitors can admire the huge crystal chandelier and opulent lobbies and foyers.



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