South Loop Historical Society

South Loop Historical Society The South Loop Historical Society is a non-profit virtual history museum at SouthLoopHistory.org, focused on the rich and vibrant history of Chicago’s South Loop.

08/07/2013

Friday, August 9, 2013 will be the 91st anniversary of Louis Armstrong stepping off a train from New Orleans at Chicago's Illinois Central Station-- Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue.

07/12/2013

Summer has always been the season of Soldier Field rock concerts. What are your Soldier Field rock concert memories?

Flashback to October 11, 1972: an aircheck of Bill Bailey on WLS Radio.  http://chicagoradioandmedia.com/multimedia/audi...
06/15/2013
WLS-AM - Bill Bailey aircheck 10/11/72

Flashback to October 11, 1972: an aircheck of Bill Bailey on WLS Radio. http://chicagoradioandmedia.com/multimedia/audio/2845-wls-am-bill-bailey-aircheck-101172

From exactly 40 years ago tonight -- October 11, 1972 -- here is an aircheck of WLS-AM DJ Bill Bailey. This nice long audio clip shows the excitement radio personalities brought with them at the time and shows why Bill Bailey was a master at the live commercial read, as well as entertaining the audi

06/10/2013

June 10, 1964: The Rolling Stones make a pilgrimage to Chess Records studios at 2120 S. Michigan Ave. They meet many of the Chess Records greats-- Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, etc.-- and record a few songs in the same studio that inspired them. One of the songs from that first session was their first #1 song in the UK, "It's All Over Now," written by Bobby Womack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYXpspbTFOk

May 27th will be the 80th anniversary of the opening of the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair, held on 427 acres on ...
05/23/2013

May 27th will be the 80th anniversary of the opening of the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair, held on 427 acres on the Chicago lakefront between 12th and 39th Streets.

154 years ago:  On April 25, 1859, Chicago opened its first public transit line-- a street car drawn by horses, on State...
04/24/2013

154 years ago: On April 25, 1859, Chicago opened its first public transit line-- a street car drawn by horses, on State Street between Madison and Roosevelt.

Saturday, March 30 will be the 10th anniversary of Mayor Richard M. Daley's overnight destruction of Meigs Field.
03/27/2013

Saturday, March 30 will be the 10th anniversary of Mayor Richard M. Daley's overnight destruction of Meigs Field.

42 years ago today, March 12, 1971:  James Taylor and Carole King perform at the Chicago Coliseum in what proves to be t...
03/12/2013
Star-Crossed: The Colorful History of the Chicago Coliseum

42 years ago today, March 12, 1971: James Taylor and Carole King perform at the Chicago Coliseum in what proves to be the last public event at the 70-year old arena. The following day the building was cited for multiple fire code violations and never re-opened to the public. More on the history of the Coliseum here: http://e-five.hubpages.com/hub/Star-Crossed-The-Colorful-History-of-the-Chicago-Coliseum

Madison Square Garden in New York City was glitzier, more celebrated and much better known, but the star-crossed Chicago Coliseum had a rich and colorful history that rivals any arena in America.

02/28/2013

Monday, March 4, 2013 will be the 176th anniversary of Chicago's incorporation as a city. In 1837, Chicago had approximately 3600 residents; it reaches 1 million inhabitants only 53 years later, and 3.3 million within 90 years of incorporation.

Great story this morning on WBEZ about what urban archaeologists discover when digging for street or construction projec...
01/17/2013
Is construction work a boon for urban archaeologists?

Great story this morning on WBEZ about what urban archaeologists discover when digging for street or construction projects.

http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/construction-work-boon-urban-archaeologists-104958

Curious Citizen Linda Rudy wondered when ground is broken for building or repairs, is anyone there to look for treasure? We catch up with local archeologists who’ve scoured everything from construction sites, to the White City, to ... grandpa’s outhouse.

01/11/2013
Bring It On Home - Sonnyboy Williamson2

50 years ago today, January 11, 1963: Blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson II records "Bring It On Home" at Chess Records studios at 2120 S. Michigan in Chicago. Led Zeppelin recorded a version of the song on their second album, but left Willie Dixon's name off the songwriting credit. Dixon and the holding company that owned the Chess catalog successfully sued Led Zeppelin. Willie Dixon established the Blues Heaven Museum and foundation in the former Chess Studios.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsuQJVpc4ms

Bring It On Home - Sonnyboy Williamson2

01/04/2013

125 years ago today, January 4, 1888: The Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Company is incorporated under the general railroad laws of the State of Illinois. It was Chicago's first "L" line, opening between Congress and State/39th and State in 1892.

12/19/2012
Father Augustus Tolton, on the way to sainthood - Catholic New World

123 years ago today Fr. Augustus Tolton, first African-American Catholic priest, arrived in Chicago to begin his work at St. Mary's Catholic Church at 901 S. Wabash. Here's more on Father Tolton:

http://www.catholicnewworld.com/AugustusTolton/

When Cardinal George returned from the ad limina visit in Rome in February, he brought back some good news. The Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints had named Father Augustus Tolton a “servant of God.”

Architect Clinton J. Warren designed three major hotels in the South Loop in the 1890s, then suddenly left Chicago aroun...
12/12/2012
The Chicago Hotels of Architect Clinton J. Warren

Architect Clinton J. Warren designed three major hotels in the South Loop in the 1890s, then suddenly left Chicago around 1897. Two of his hotels served as headquarters for Al Capone.

http://e-five.hubpages.com/hub/The-Chicago-Hotels-of-Architect-Clinton-J-Warren

In a four-year span from 1889 to 1893, architect Clinton J. Warren designed five major Chicago hotels, including two that would later become headquarters for gangster Al Capone.

New Film Examines the History of the WLS National Barn DanceThe South Loop's Eighth Street Theater was the home of the N...
11/29/2012
Find your inner cowboy with the Hayloft Gang and The Cornbelt Cowboys

New Film Examines the History of the WLS National Barn Dance

The South Loop's Eighth Street Theater was the home of the National Barn Dance every Saturday night from 1932 to 1957.

On Friday, December 7th at 6:00pm, see the new documentary about the history of the National Barn Dance, The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance. Click here for more information or to reserve your spot:

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=kxoeggeab&v=001fgXe_62hM0l5ETXvDH3XGj3FxGxb1Ioa0eRkvJHmp8h-dhO3zIl0NfndHOVBp2aIOhTcO87fh61oYIrApUAWKVCmSTnufMabk0kGPFFU7fNMIwtRFiWASFeEhc-0J3J4cDRUhjRHuvbdYGNZbvlROQ%3D%3D

Narrated by Garrison Keillor, The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance tells the story of a changing America through the lens of one of the nation's most popular country music radio shows during the 1930s and 40s: the National Barn Dance.

11/16/2012

83 years ago today, November 16, 1929, Notre Dame beat USC 13-12 before 112,912 fans at Soldier Field, setting the all-time college football single game attendance record.

79 years ago today, October 26, 1933, the German airship Graf Zeppelin visited the Century of Progress World's Fair in C...
10/26/2012
Graf Zeppelin 1

79 years ago today, October 26, 1933, the German airship Graf Zeppelin visited the Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago's South Loop. Check out these amazing family photos posted on Flickr:

[email protected]/4246317465/in/photostream/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4246317465/in/photostream/

This is a series of 5 old negatives that I found in some family papers. These were taken either by my father or by his parents, I assume. The airship is the Graf Zeppelin, and the occasion is the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

10/01/2012

Maxwell Street Walking Tour
Tuesday, October 9, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (1 hour)
Meeting location: Maxwell Street cul de sac, one block south of Roosevelt Rd.(1200 South) and ½ block west of Halsted (800 West)

Maxwell Street located south of 12th Street (now Roosevelt Road) and intersecting Halsted (Illinois Route 1) was within the boundaries of the City of Chicago when incorporated on March 4, 1837. It developed rapidly in the 1860s extending west from the South Branch of the Chicago River, its origin then located within the geographic boundaries of today’s South Loop. Maxwell Street escaped the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 which burned northeast of its early residential dwellings. When it became host to the Maxwell Street Market by city ordinance in 1912, these frame structures incubated there until the 21st century. Their removal for university expansion and redevelopment in 2000-2002 marks a loss for the city's original built fabric. Sites along this walking tour will point out extant churches from the neighborhood’s earliest period representing its ethnic transition and growth; the city’s first German School; the re-installment of historic facades in its redevelopment; and virtual sites about the Maxwell Street Market, its entrepreneurs and distinctive foods, its merchants and vendors, and the development of the Chicago Blues music.
Lori Grove, Grants Specialist at East-West University and member of the South Loop Historical Society Advisory Board, will lead this one-hour tour along Maxwell Street and adjoining city blocks. She co-founded the nonprofit Maxwell Street Foundation in 1998, and is now its President. Her book, “Chicago’s Maxwell Street” (Arcadia Publishing, 2002) will be available for sale at the conclusion of the tour.

Street Parking is available at Pay Boxes along Roosevelt and Halsted. A UIC parking structure on the SE corner of Maxwell and Union Streets (one block east of Halsted, accessed on Maxwell Street) provides discounted parking for the first 2.5 hours.

09/23/2012
Chicago’s Transportation Building—Former Headquarters of Eliot Ness and The Untouchables

The Transportation Building at 600 S. Dearborn in Printer's Row.

http://e-five.hubpages.com/hub/Chicagos-Transportation-BuildingFormer-Headquarters-of-Eliot-Ness-and-The-Untouchables

A tall, slender, unassuming building in Chicago’s Printer’s Row neighborhood has a remarkable and little-known history. The Transportation Building at 600 S. Dearborn-- former headquarters for Eliot Ness and the Untouchables-- became an abandoned building sheltering homeless in the late 1970s befor...

Dr. King's New Discovery for Consumption and All Bronchial Affectations of the Throat, Chest and Lungs was manufactured ...
09/21/2012

Dr. King's New Discovery for Consumption and All Bronchial Affectations of the Throat, Chest and Lungs was manufactured in the 1880s, 1890s and early 1900s at the Bucklen Flats Apartment Building at 800 S. Michigan Avenue (current site of the Essex Inn).

09/12/2012
http://e-five.hubpages.com/hub/The-50th-Anniversary-of-Loyola-Universitys-Mens-Basketball-Championsh

The upcoming college basketball season marks the 50th anniversary of Loyola's National Championship. In the NCAA Tournament that year, the Mississippi State team had to sneak out of the state to avoid being served with an injunction to prevent them from playing against the integrated Loyola squad.

http://e-five.hubpages.com/hub/The-50th-Anniversary-of-Loyola-Universitys-Mens-Basketball-Championship-Season

08/14/2012

TODAY:

There is still room for more attendees for our Northerly Island Walking Tour today, August 14, 2012 from 5-6:30 p.m. The weather is going to be beautiful, and you'll find out about Daniel Burnham's plan to build a series of islands off the coast of Chicago, the 1933-34 World's Fair, Meigs Field, Adler Planetarium, and much more. E-mail [email protected] to register.

07/26/2012
Forgotten Architectural Masterpiece: Chicago’s Pennsylvania Railroad Freight Terminal

Technically not in the South Loop (it was just across the river), but here's an interesting story about a facinating and underappreciated building. http://e-five.hubpages.com/hub/Forgotten-Architectural-Masterpiece-Chicagos-Pennsylvania-Railroad-Freight-Terminal

Chicago's Pennsylvania Railroad Freight Terminal was an architectural masterpiece in a city noted for its brilliant buildings. So why do so few Chicagoans know about this amazing building?

07/19/2012

Northerly Island Walking Tour

Join the South Loop Historical Society for a walking tour of Northerly Island on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. The tour will meet at the CTA bus stop for the Shedd Aquarium on the south side of Solidarity Drive (eastbound). The island is served by the 130 and 146 CTA busses to the Museum Campus. The tour will include Solidarity Drive, the Adler Planetarium, 12th St. Beach, Burnham Harbor, Burnham Yacht Club, and more. The 91-acre island was conceived in Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago, and has served as the site of the 1933-34 World’s Fair, an airport, a park, and the prospective site of the United Nations.

Registration is limited to 25 participants. Tickets are free to members of the South Loop Historical Society, $10 for adults, and $5 for students. To register, email your name and contact information to [email protected] or call (312) 939-0111 ext. 1820.

07/17/2012
SECRET LIFE, SECRET DEATH | siskelfilmcenter.org

Historical docudrama Secret Life, Secret Death will be playing at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Friday, July 20th at 8:30 and Tuesday, July 24th at 8:15. Tickets: http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/secretlife-secretdeath

SECRET LIFE, SECRET DEATH
In this fascinating and innovative hybrid of documentary and fiction, family memoir and underworld history, artist-turned-filmmaker Genevieve Davis explores the checkered life and mysterious death of her black-sheep grandmother, who was left pregnant after a youthful love affair, pimped by her Chicago gangster boyfriend, and involved in running a bordello/gambling joint in northern Wisconsin. Using montages, superimpositions, and green-screen composites, Davis interweaves present-day interviews, period reenactments, historical photographs, and vintage songs into a richly textured tapestry that she calls “a film noir docudrama.”

Director Genevieve Davis will be present for audience discussion at both screenings; actors Kjersti Beth and Brian Miracle will join her at the Friday screening.

In this fascinating and innovative hybrid of documentary and fiction, family memoir and underworld history, artist-turned-filmmaker Davis explores the checkered life and mysterious death of her black-sheep grandmother, who was left pregnant after a youthful love affair, pimped by her Chicago gangste...

05/25/2012

SOUTH LOOP HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2013 CALENDAR PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Congratulations to Mr. Robert Sollors and Mr. John Slivka of the South Loop, winners of the 1st and 2nd prizes in the South Loop Historical Society’s 2013 Calendar Photo Contest. The theme for this year’s calendar was Public Art in the South Loop. The contest received more than 40 qualified photo entries from 14 individuals.

The 1st Prize winning entry by Columbia College graduate Robert Sollors is entitled “Alley 10th.” The photo depicts the Elevated structure in the alley between State and Wabash as a veritable sculpture filtering light and shadow on the surrounding pavement and structures.

The 2nd Prize winning photo by John Slivka, titled “Trees Taste Nice,” features the brontosaurus sculpture near the Field Museum in a vaguely prehistoric orange sunset. The two prize winning photos and several honorable mention entries will be featured in the 2013 South Loop Historical Society Calendar to be released this fall. The 1st prize winner will receive a check for $200 and the 2nd prize winner will receive $100.

SOUTH LOOP HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2013 CALENDAR PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED
05/25/2012

SOUTH LOOP HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2013 CALENDAR PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

SOUTH LOOP HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2013 CALENDAR PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

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819 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL
60605

Opening Hours

Monday 09:30 - 16:30
Tuesday 09:30 - 16:30
Wednesday 09:30 - 16:30
Thursday 09:30 - 16:30
Friday 09:30 - 16:30

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we own hundredth of historical maps of South Loop that our family accumulated through work over 165+ years. let me know whether you would like for me to post them here? Sincerely, Tanya Smith 😉
Thanks to your generosity and sharing our fundraising post, SeedMoney awarded us a $200 #GivingTuesday Challenge Grant for raising what we've raised so far!! We have raised $885 which is 44% of our goal! We've got 13 days left in our campaign! Thanks to you, we are in excellent shape for our garden to be installed! Please, continue supporting us by 1) liking our page, 2) sharing a link to our fundraiser with your friends, 3) making your tax deductible donation at the link below. Cheers to community! https://donate.seedmoney.org/2142/park-540-community-garden
We are contacting you with a very time sensitive request. This Tuesday is #GivingTuesday, one of the biggest days of the year for online donations to charitable causes. Our project, Park 540 Community Garden, is competing for a $200 challenge grant from SeedMoney. To be in contention, we need to raise at least $200 between now and the 11:59pm Pacific Time on the 28th. Our project gets to keep whatever we raise whether we win a grant or not. You can "root" for us by making a tax-deductible donation here: https://donate.seedmoney.org/2142/park-540-community-garden
Please, support this new South Loop Community Garden. Your donations are tax deductible, and will be used to build raised beds and purchase garden supplies:
Please, help us raise funds for this new South Loop Community Garden. Your donation is tax-deductible.
Make history now! Please join us for this public meeting about new community garden in the South Loop on Aug 8th, at 6:30pm, at the National Teachers Academy. Please spread the word!