The 1st Wonder is: The Lakefront
One of the top activities is the
"Dog Beach" on the North Side. People are able to let their Retrievers and
herders run amok along the shore.
Then there's the Navy Pier on the east side downtown with a view of the
skyline that takes your breath away. And Shakespeare, and a Ferris wheel!
On the south shore there's the Cultural Center where the water moves to the
sounds of Jazz.
Become one of the million people who flock to the 4th of July fireworks.
In the summer, the lake offers respite from the heat and a place of solitude
for an early morning run in winter.
The 2nd Wonder is: Wrigley Field
Formerly a working class neighborhood, Wrigleyville, is the neighborhood
directly surrounding Wrigley Field along North Clark and West Addison
Streets. Wrigleyville features lowrise brick buildings and houses, some with
rooftop bleachers colloquially called
Wrigley roofs dot the neighborhood of
Wrigleyville around Wrigley Field, where the
Chicago Cubs play
Major League Baseball. A Wrigley Roof is the name given to the
roofs of residential buildings which have bleachers
or seating on them to view baseball games or other major events in
People can purchase seats to watch baseball games without
having to pay Major League Baseball ticket prices. Proprietors are able to
do so under special agreements with the Chicago Cubs organization.
The 3rd Wonder is: The "L"
The 'L' consists of a network of eight heavy
rail lines totalling 106.1 route miles (57.1 miles elevated, 36.9 miles
surface, and 12.1 miles subway) on over 242.6 miles of double-track rail
line with 144 stations. The oldest section dates from 1892. The 'L'
primarily serves the city proper plus eight close-in suburbs.
Seventeen stations, mainly newer or at outlying locations, include
"park-'n'-ride" facilities with a total of more than 6,600 parking spaces.
About 15% of the total track length is underground.
The 'L' is the third busiest rail mass transit system in the United States,
behind New York City's and Washington, D.C.'s; and by age is the second
oldest rapid transit system in the
It is one of the few rapid transit systems in North America providing
24-hour service, though only on the two busiest lines. On average 658,524 people ride the 'L' each weekday,
419,258 each Saturday, and 315,240 each Sunday.
Annual ridership for 2006 was 195.2 million, the highest since 1993.
The 4th Wonder is: Sears Tower
The Sears Tower is the tallest building in the
United States, by the measurement from the ground to its roof.
It was also the
tallest Skyscraper in the world until 1998,
when Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur reached 1,483 ft. Then in 2004, the
Petronas Towers were surpassed by Taipei 101 in Taipei Taiwan when it
reached 1,671 ft.
Sears, Roebuck and Company, it was designed by chief architect
Bruce Graham and structural engineers Srinivasa "Hal" Iyengar and
Fazlur Khan of
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
Construction commenced in August 1970 and the building reached its
originally anticipated maximum height on May 3, 1973. When
completed, the Sears Tower had overtaken the roof of the
World Trade Center in
New York City as the world's tallest building. The tower has 108 stories
as counted by standard methods, though the building owners count the main
roof as 109 and the mechanical penthouse roof as 110. There are 101 stories
if the mechanical floors (30-32, 64-65, 88-89 & 109-110) are not included.
The distance to the roof is 442 m (1,450 ft 7 in), measured from the east
In February 1982, two television antennas were added to the structure,
increasing its total height to 520 m (1,707 ft). The western antenna was
later extended to 527 m (1,729 ft) on June 5, 2000 to improve
reception of local
Two-story high black bands appear on the tower around the 30th–32nd,
64th–65th, 88th–89th, and 106th–107th floors. These are louvers which allow
ventilation for service equipment and obscure the structure's
which Sears Roebuck did not want to be visible as on the
John Hancock Center.
The building's official address is 233 South
Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606 and
on a clear day from the Skydeck at 1,353 feet: 1.5 million visitors can see
parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.
The 5th Wonder is: The Water Tower
The Chicago Water Tower is a landmark
located at 806 North
Michigan Avenue along the
Magnificent Mile shopping district of the city.
Located adjacent to
Loyola University Chicago's downtown campus, the Chicago Water Tower is
listed on the
National Register of Historic Places and serves as the
Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau Visitor's Welcome Center.
The tower, built in 1869 by architect
William W. Boyington from yellowing
is 154 feet tall. Inside was a 138 foot high standpipe
to hold water. In addition to being used for
firefighting, the pressure in the pipe could be regulated to control
water surges in the area.
The tower gained notoriety after the
Great Chicago Fire of 1871. While some incorrectly believe that the
tower was the only building to survive the fire, a few other buildings in
the burned district survived along with the tower. But the water tower was
the only public building in the burned zone to survive, and is the only one
of the surviving structures still standing. In the years since the fire, the
tower has become a symbol of old Chicago and of the city's rebirth from the
In 1918, when
Pine Street was widened, the plans were altered in order to give the
Water Tower a featured location.
It was named an
American Water Landmark in 1969.
The 6th Wonder is: The University of Chicago
Responsible for 78 Nobel Prize winners (all faculty members, students or researchers), 13 recipients of a MacArthur
Fellowship (commonly known as a "genius grant"), 3 Pulitzer Prize winners, 8
recipients of the National Medal of Science, the University of Chicago was
founded by another achiever, John D.
Rockefeller, along with the American Baptist Educational Society, on land
donated by Marshall Field. It has become one of the world's pre-eminent
institutions of learning and advancing knowledge. As the school motto notes:
Crescat scientia; vita excolatur ("Let knowledge grow; let life be
Unless you are a Chicagoan (either currently or previously) you probably
didn't know University of Chicago is the home of the first self-sustaining
nuclear reaction which took place in what had been a squash court beneath
the university stadium.
With 12,469 faculty and staff, and well over a $3.2 billion endowment, the
university is an employer and financial force within its community and
The 7th Wonder is: The Museum of Science and Industry
Museum of Science and Industry was established in 1926 by wealthy
Sears, Roebuck & Company chairman
Julius Rosenwald, who pledged $3 million to the institution. He
eventually donated about $7 million. He also insisted that his name not
appear on the building, but nonetheless, for the first few years of the
museum's existence, it was known as the Rosenwald Industrial Museum. The
name of the museum was later change to the Museum of Science and Industry in
Rosenwald's vision was to create an interactive museum in the style of
Deutsches Museum, a museum he visited in 1911 when he was on vacation
with his family in Germany.
The Museum has several major permanent exhibits:
- Take Flight recreates a San Francisco to Chicago flight using a real Boeing 727 jet
plane donated by United Airlines.
- Coal Mine re-creates a working mine inside the museum.
- The museum has just opened a
new exhibit space for the
U-505 Submarine, the only German submarine captured by the US in
World War II.Fairy Castle
is on display.
- Silent film actress
The Great Train Story, a 3,500 square foot model railroad that explains
the story of transportation from Seattle to Chicago.
- The Transportation Zone
includes exhibits on air and land transportation.
- The first diesel-powered
streamlined stainless-steel train, the
Pioneer Zephyr, is on permanent display, and a free tour goes through it
every 20 minutes.
U.S. Navy warships are on display.
- There is a flight simulator
for the new
F-35 Lightning II.
- In keeping with Rosenwald's
vision, many of the exhibits are interactive, ranging from Genetics:
Decoding Life, which looks at how genetics affect human and animal
- ToyMaker 3000,
is a working assembly line that lets visitors order a toy top and watch as
it is made.
Henry Crown Space Center at the Museum of Science and Industry includes
Apollo 8 capsule which took
James Lovell and
William Anders on the first lunar orbital mission.
- Other exhibits include an
Mercury Atlas 7 capsule, a Lunar Module trainer and a life-size mockup
of a space shuttle.
The Museum is also known for unique and quirky permanent exhibits, such as a
walk-through model of the human heart and two cadavers exhibited in 1-inch
thick slices. Due to its age and design, the Museum's building itself has
become a museum piece.
Other exhibits include Yesterday's Mainstreet; a mock-up of a common
street in the early 1900's complete with a cobble road and several mock
shops, including several Chicago-based chain stores. Included are:
Unlike the many other shops in Yesterday's Main Street, both Finnigan's
Ice Cream Parlor and The Nickelodeon Cinema can be entered and are
functional aspects of the exhibit. Finnigan's Ice Cream Shop serves an
assortment of flavors and varieties of ice cream, while The Nickelodeon
Cinema plays silent films during various times of the day. Another important
aspect to Yesterday's Main Street is the powerful air conditioning unit that
is blown throughout the small area to create the sensation of walking down
the street on a cold fall evening. The area features antiques from each