If you're planning a trip to Chicago, you can't leave without diving into its rich architectural culture, where you can visit historic buildings and enjoy remarkable sights throughout the city.
Whether you're taking an architectural tour or walking by foot, make sure to stop by these essential locations during your visit. If you can't get to them all-don't worry-you can always plan a second trip shortly after.
The Chicago Theatre
Originally named Balaban and Katz Chicago Theatre, The Chicago Theatre was built in 1921 and was designed by C. W. (Cornelius Ward) Rapp and George L. Rapp. It became the ultimate spot for showing movies and for performances, and while it went through some phases and ended up closing in 1985, it was reopened with a performance by Frank Sinatra that brought it back to life. Now, you can see several productions and take a tour on site.
While the stadium is associated with the Chicago Cubs, it wasn't always the case. Back in 1914, Charles Weeghman built a ballpark for his baseball team, the Chicago Whales, and it wasn't until 1916 that they came to Weeghman Field to play their first game in April.
In 1920, Weeghman Field became "Cubs Park," after Weeghman sold the club to William Wrigley Jr. Six years later, it was renamed Wrigley Field, which stuck. What's more, the Bears also played at Wrigley, and it wasn't until 1970 that they left and it became the real home to the Cubs. Make sure to grab tickets to a game and explore the stadium!
Chicago Water Tower
Built in 1869 by architect William W. Boyington, the establishment used to be used for firefighting, and along with the Chicago Avenue Pumping Station, it collected clean water from Lake Michigan. It rose in recognition after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, as it was the only building to survive. It has been through two renovations, and in 1969 it was named an American Water Landmark. It sits right on the Magnificent Mile, home to many shops, luxury stores, and dining options.
Chicago Union Station
Opening in 1925, this major railroad station helps Chicagoans move around today with ease and efficiency. It's the only intercity rail terminal in Chicago, and it takes the span of about 9 and a half blocks underneath the ground. It's ranked as the fourth busiest station in the United States, and the American Planning Association deemed it a "Great Public Space" in 2012. There's no reason to not visit this beloved station during your visit, as it's the faster and simplest way to get around the city and see these other hotspots!
Opening in 1916 to the public, Navy Pier, which was previously known as "Municipal Pier," (the name was changed to Navy Pier in 1927), it was created as a tribute to Navy personnel who stayed there during World War I. It became a Chicago landmark in 1977 and went through some revisions to reopen in 1995, where its improvements made it one of the best, most diverse experiences in the world.
Now, it has several rides, restaurants and bars, attractions, and a Centennial Wheel, in line with its "Centennial Vision" for the property that beats out all other Ferris Wheels worldwide. Take a ride the next time you're in Chicago and explore the rest of Navy Pier's attributes.
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