While most tourists flock to the Navy Pier and Willis Tower, South Chicago has no shortage of rich history and culture. This list is a testament to that culture and history and showcases some of the area’s most recognizable landmarks. From Frank Lloyd’s Robie House to Pullman Park, it will be a challenge for you to take everything in, even if you live in the area.
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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House
Wright completed the Robie house in 1910 and designed it for Frederick C. Robie. The house is the epitome of Wright’s Prairie style and he conceived it as an integral whole. In other words, the site, structure, interior, exterior, furniture, decorations, and architecture share the same elements.
Much of the reason the Robie House is one of Wright’s most recognizable works is its unique use of sliding planes and horizontal construction. The house achieves an exceptional balance of tone and color with iron-flecked brick and glimmering leaded glass covering the exterior.
The Robie House is one of Lloyd’s defining achievements and in 1991, the American Institute of architects recognized it as one of the most influential buildings of the 20th century.
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is one of the nation’s most prestigious schools and its buildings are some of the most recognizable in South Chicago. Located in the Hyde Park neighborhood, the University was founded in 1890 and prides itself on its free and open inquiry policies for students.
Its beautiful campus serves as one of the most recognizable Chicago landmarks and its mant attractive buildings serve as a great location to clear your head or read a good book.
Guaranteed Rate Field
Easily accessible by public transportation and located just south of the SOX-35th station, Guaranteed Rate Field was formerly called Comiskey Park until 2003. Then the name changed to U.S. Cellular Field. In 2016, the name changed again to Guaranteed Rate Field. Though the name has changed, the park is still one of the most historic in the nation.
“Comiskey” came from the stadium’s builder Charles Comiskey, who built it on the corner of Shields and 35th in 1910. Located adjacent to Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, the park is situated in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the nation.
Chicago’s Chinatown might be one of Chicago’s smallest neighborhoods, but it doesn’t lack culture, food, and landmarks. You can choose from a bevy of delicious restaurants that run along Wentworth Avenue and after your meal, you can stroll the streets and take in all of the public art sculptures, pagodas, a tile mosaic, the Chinatown Gate, and even a Buddhist Temple.
Rockefeller Memorial Church
The Rockefeller Memorial Church is one of the University of Chicago’s most recognizable landmarks. Its Gothic Revival architecture is reminiscent of European gothic architecture and Rockefeller himself originally gifted it in 1918. It is the definitive feature on the campus, standing at 200 feet and seating over 1700.
Sitting just south of Grant Park, Burnham Park contains about 600 acres along Chicago’s lakefront. Burnham Park was named after the Chicago architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham. Burnham dreamed of a south lakefront park that captured the beauty of Chicago from a different perspective: artificial islands, a boating harbor, beaches, meadows, and playfields.
The park now features Promontory Point, which Alfred Caldwell designed and the area features bird sanctuaries. The Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park stretches from 31st Street to 26th Street.
Steelworkers Park is an excellent place for a stroll in South Chicago. The Chicago District acquired the site in 2002 and developed a new park from the previous US steel complex known as South Works. With trees, walking paths, and a pristine view of Lake Michigan, the park is a great place for an afternoon stroll or a date. Remnants of the steel industry are still littered about the grounds, the most notable being a series of large concrete ore walls now used as a climbing wall.
Located at the juncture between the Calumet River and Lake Michigan, South Works opened at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the 1880s. By then, the surrounding area had already attracted substantial industrial development. The location was ideal because of its proximity to the river, lake, and railroad service, providing ample opportunities for exporting goods.
At that time, Swedish, Scottish, and German immigrants were settling in the area and the steel industry was one of the largest in the US. When, in 1901, the US Steel Corporation acquired Steel Works, the site attracted even more immigrant workers. At its height, it employed 20,000 workers and covered 600 acres. The mill closed down in 1992, and now it serves as a reminder of South Chicago’s rich industrial history.
Pullman National Monument
Pullman National Monument or the Pullman District is the furthest south location on this list and it was the first model, planned industrial community in the United States. The district had its origins in the Pullman Company, and it became one of the most well-known company towns in the United States. It was also home to one of the most violent workers’ strikes in 1894.
Built by George Pullman as a place to produce Pullman sleeping cars, it was originally beyond the Chicago limits. Now it is located in the Pullman community area of Chicago and the district is home to the Hotel Florence, named after George Pullman’s daughter. The Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is also in the area. Named after the prominent civil rights leader, the museum recognizes African American labor history.
Conclusion- South Chicago’s Most Recognizable Landmarks
South Chicago has some of the city’s richest histories and no shortage of beauty. With Lake Michigan shouldering the region, South Chicago residents have many landmarks to choose from, museums to explore, and parks to relax in.
The area’s rich history and bustling restaurant culture make it one of the city’s diamonds in the rough for people looking for affordable housing. If you’re looking for Chicago housing, check out Pangea’s listings to find a place that situates you near these rich historic areas. If you’re a current resident, visit our resident page for important updates on events and other news.
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