Chicago, Illinois is one of the most famous cities in the world. It’s the third largest city in the country and home to over 2.7 million people. Nicknamed The Windy City because of the breeze from Lake Michigan.
THE HISTORY OF CHICAGO
The area was once home to Native American tribes who frequented the area because of the wild onions that could be found there. The name Chicago was taken by the French from the Miami-Illinois word for wild onion, shikaeka, pronounced shecorka.
The town was incorporated in 1837 and grew steadily to become the fastest growing city in the world. The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad arrived in 1848 and the Illinois and Michigan Canal joined it in the same year. The local economy grew hugely, based on manufacturing and transport.
Chicago should never have been built really. It took huge amounts of effort to drain the land, build sewers, reverse the flow of the Chicago River and build properties that wouldn’t sink. Despite all that, the early residents prevailed and eventually made the area habitable. Then, in 1871, a cow reportedly knocked over a lamp and burned the whole place down.
The Great Chicago Fire burned down most of the city and killed over 400 people. It gave resident the perfect excuse to learn from mistakes and rebuild the city better than before. Planners and architects were commissioned to build the best city in the world. It included parks, public health services and the first skyscraper, finished in 1885.
The 20th century brought Prohibition and what became known as the Gangster Era. This was a dark time for the city, but one that only lasted 15 years even if the legend lives on.
We have a humid continental climate, with four seasons, warm summers and cold winters. Humidity is high here thanks to the lake, but reduces during spring and fall. Winters can be cold and snowy but we have a lot of winter sun to take the edge off.
GETTING AROUND CHICAGO
We have two airports, O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport. Both serve domestic flights, but international travelers will probably arrive at O’Hare. Both are easy to navigate and are connected to the city by rail, bus and taxi.
Chicago is known as the rail capital of the country, so we are understandably well served by rail here. Amtrak run plenty of services from Union Station throughout the country, making it a very viable transport method. Local rail is provided by Metra subways and the CTA. We have one of the most comprehensive public transport infrastructures anywhere, so it is entirely possible to go most places without your car.
You can of course travel by car, but we would avoid downtown at all times. Parking is expensive and traffic can be horrendous. Once outside the center, road travel is fast and straightforward for such a big metro area.
Blu Corporate Housing
330 S Wells St
Chicago, IL 60606
320 West Illinois Street #2014
Chicago, IL 60654
Toll-free – (877) 683-4359