Monday, December 1, 2008

The Windy City

Home to the John Hancock Building, the Windy City is currently the third largest city in the US. From meager roots as a trading post in the early 1800s, Chicago quickly gained importance with its establishment as a vital railway hub and completion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in the 1840s. Chicago's immense progress came to a halt with the Great Fire of 1871, which destroyed the bulk of the city. Following the fire came the "Second City," as Chicago was rebuilt into a steel-framed metropolis. The resulting building-boom gave way to a crowded Chicago landscape and a growing skyline. Chicago emerged as a pioneer in modern American architecture, harnessing new materials and technology to produce innovative structures. Chicago is known for its prominent industrial focus, as well as its forward nature and rich cultural history.

Chicago developed much in the way that New York did. The presence of esteemed architects in each city marks the landscape with incredible and historic landmark buildings. The trade responsibilities of each city bring rich cultural life to each, and integrate each city with its position in the world.

Chicago is unlike Washington D.C., as it lacks the historic context of similar east coast cities. The strong political historic value of these east coast cities separates Chicago’s trading and business industry from the strong political membrane of the capitol.

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