Chicago, IL Flower Delivery


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Chicago (/ʃɪˈkɑːɡoʊ/ (About this soundlisten), locally also /ʃɪˈkɔːɡoʊ/), officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois, and the third-most-populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,693,976 in 2019, it is also the most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second-most-populous county in the US, with a small portion of the northwest side of the city extending into DuPage County near O'Hare Airport. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland. At nearly 10 million people, the metropolitan area is the third most populous in the United States.

Located on the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan, Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and grew rapidly in the mid-19th century.[8] After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild.[9] The construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, and by 1900, less than 30 years after the great fire, Chicago was the fifth-largest city in the world.[10] Chicago made noted contributions to urban planning and zoning standards, including new construction styles (including the Chicago School of architecture), the development of the City Beautiful Movement, and the steel-framed skyscraper.[11][12]

Chicago is an international hub for finance, culture, commerce, industry, education, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. It is the site of the creation of the first standardized futures contracts, issued by the Chicago Board of Trade, which today is part of the largest and most diverse derivatives market in the world, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures alone.[13] Depending on the particular year, the city's O'Hare International Airport is routinely ranked as the world's fifth or sixth busiest airport according to tracked data by the Airports Council International.[14] The region also has the largest number of federal highways and is the nation's railroad hub.[15] Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network,[16] and it ranked seventh in the entire world in the 2017 Global Cities Index.[17] The Chicago area has one of the highest gross domestic products (GDP) in the world, generating $689 billion in 2018.[18] In addition, the city has one of the world's most diversified and balanced economies, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce.[19] Chicago is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Allstate, Boeing, Caterpillar, Exelon, Kraft Heinz, McDonald's, Mondelez International, Sears, United Airlines Holdings, US Foods, and Walgreens.

Chicago's 58 million domestic and international visitors in 2018 made it the second most visited city in the nation, as compared with New York City's 65 million visitors in 2018.[20][21] The city was ranked first in the 2018 Time Out City Life Index, a global quality of life survey of 15,000 people in 32 cities , such as Chicago. [

Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis (Sears) Tower, Grant Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, literature, film, theatre, comedy (especially improvisational comedy), food, and music, particularly jazz, blues, soul, hip-hop, gospel,[27] and electronic dance music including house music. Of the area's many colleges and universities, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University in Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago are classified as "highest research" doctoral universities. Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues, including two Major League Baseball teams in Chicago

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Beginnings

Traditional Potawatomi regalia on display at the Field Museum of Natural History
In the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by the Potawatomi, a Native American tribe who had succeeded the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples in this region.[31]

The first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago was explorer Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Du Sable was of African and French descent and arrived in the 1780s.[32][33][34] He is commonly known as the "Founder of Chicago".

In 1795, following the victory of the new United States in the Northwest Indian War, an area that was to be part of Chicago was turned over to the US for a military post by native tribes in accordance with the Treaty of Greenville. In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn. This was destroyed in 1812 in the Battle of Fort Dearborn by the British and their native allies. It was later rebuilt.[35]

After the War of 1812, the Ottawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi tribes ceded additional land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis. The Potawatomi were forcibly removed from their land after the Treaty of Chicago in 1833 and sent west of the Mississippi River during Indian Removal.[36][37][38]

19th century

The location and course of the Illinois and Michigan Canal (completed 1848)
File:Corner Madison and State streets, Chicago -.webm
State and Madison Streets, once known as the busiest intersection in the world (1897)
On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of about 200.[38] Within seven years it grew to more than 6,000 people. On June 15, 1835, the first public land sales began with Edmund Dick Taylor as U.S. Senator of Public Monies. The City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837,[39] and for several decades was the world's fastest-growing city.[40]

As the site of the Chicago Portage,[41] the city became an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States. Chicago's first railway, Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, and the Illinois and Michigan Canal opened in 1848. The canal allowed steamboats and sailing ships on the Great Lakes to connect to the Mississippi River.[42][43][44][45]

A flourishing economy brought residents from rural communities and immigrants from abroad. Manufacturing and retail and finance sectors became dominant, influencing the American economy.[46] The Chicago Board of Trade (established 1848) listed the first-ever standardized "exchange-traded" forward contracts, which were called futures contracts.[47]


An artist's rendering of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871
In the 1850s, Chicago gained national political prominence as the home of Senator Stephen Douglas, the champion of the Kansas–Nebraska Act and the "popular sovereignty" approach to the issue of the spread of slavery.[48] These issues also helped propel another Illinoisan, Abraham Lincoln, to the national stage. Lincoln was nominated in Chicago for US president at the 1860 Republican National Convention, which was held in Chicago in a temporary building called the Wigwam. He defeated Douglas in the general election, and this set the stage for the American Civil War.

To accommodate rapid population growth and demand for better sanitation, the city improved its infrastructure. In February 1856, Chicago's Common Council approved Chesbrough's plan to build the United States' first comprehensive sewerage system.[49] The project raised much of central Chicago to a new grade. While elevating Chicago, and at first improving the city's health, the untreated sewage and industrial waste now flowed into the Chicago River, and subsequently into Lake Michigan, polluting the city's primary freshwater source.

The city responded by tunneling two miles (3.2 km) out into Lake Michigan to newly built water cribs. In 1900, the problem of sewage contamination was largely resolved when the city completed a major engineering feat. It reversed the flow of the Chicago River so that the water flowed away from Lake Michigan rather than into it. This project began with the construction and improvement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and was completed with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal that connects to the Illinois River, which flows into the Mississippi River.[50][51][52]

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed an area about 4 miles (6.4 km) long and 1-mile (1.6 km) wide, a large section of the city at the time.[53][54][55] Much of the city, including railroads and stockyards, survived intact,[56] and from the ruins of the previous wooden structures arose more modern constructions of steel and stone. These set a precedent for worldwide construction.[57][58] During its rebuilding period, Chicago constructed the world's first skyscraper in 1885, using steel-skeleton construction.[59][60]

The city has grown significantly in size and population by incorporating many neighboring townships between 1851 and 1920, with the largest annexation happening in 1889, with five townships joining the city, including the Hyde Park Township, which now comprises most of the South Side of Chicago and the far southeast of Chicago, and the Jefferson Township, which now makes up most of Chicago's Northwest Side.[61] The desire to join the city was driven by municipal services that the city could provide its residents.


Court of Honor at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893
Chicago's flourishing economy attracted huge numbers of new immigrants from Europe and migrants from the Eastern United States. Of the total population in 1900, more than 77% were either foreign-born or born in the United States of foreign parentage. Germans, Irish, Poles, Swedes and Czechs made up nearly two-thirds of the foreign-born population (by 1900, whites were 98.1% of the city's population).[62][63]

Labor conflicts followed the industrial boom and the rapid expansion of the labor pool, including the Haymarket affair on May 4, 1886, and in 1894 the Pullman Strike. Anarchist and socialist groups played prominent roles in creating very large and highly organized labor actions. Concern for social problems among Chicago's immigrant poor led Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr to found Hull House in 1889.[64] Programs that were developed there became a model for the new field of social work.[65]

During the 1870s and 1880s, Chicago attained national stature as the leader in the movement to improve public health. City, and later, state laws that upgraded standards for the medical profession and fought urban epidemics of cholera, smallpox, and yellow fever were both passed and enforced. These laws became templates for public health reform in other cities and states.[66]

The city established many large, well-landscaped municipal parks, which also included public sanitation facilities. The chief advocate for improving public health in Chicago was Dr. John H. Rauch, M.D. Rauch established a plan for Chicago's park system in 1866. He created Lincoln Park by closing a cemetery filled with shallow graves, and in 1867, in response to an outbreak of cholera he helped establish a new Chicago Board of Health. Ten years later, he became the secretary and then the president of the first Illinois State Board of Health, which carried out most of its activities in Chicago.[67]

In the 1800s, Chicago became the nation's railroad hub, and by 1910 over 20 railroads operated passenger service out of six different downtown terminals.[68][69] In 1883, Chicago's railway managers needed a general time convention, so they developed the standardized system of North American time zones.[70] This system for telling time spread throughout the continent.

In 1893, Chicago hosted the World's Columbian Exposition on former marshland at the present location of Jackson Park. The Exposition drew 27.5 million visitors, and is considered the most influential world's fair in history.[71][72] The University of Chicago, formerly at another location, moved to the same South Side location in 1892. The term "midway" for a fair or carnival referred originally to the Midway Plaisance, a strip of park land that still runs through the University of Chicago campus and connects the Washington and Jackson Parks.[73][74]

20th and 21st centuries

Men outside a soup kitchen during the Great Depression (1931)
1900 to 1939
File:Chicago Photographed from Ray Knabenshue's Dirigible Air Ship.webm
Aerial motion film photography of Chicago in 1914 as filmed by A. Roy Knabenshue
During World War I and the 1920s there was a major expansion in industry. The availability of jobs attracted African Americans from the Southern United States. Between 1910 and 1930, the African American population of Chicago increased dramatically, from 44,103 to 233,903.[75] This Great Migration had an immense cultural impact, called the Chicago Black Renaissance, part of the New Negro Movement, in art, literature, and music.[76] Continuing racial tensions and violence, such as the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, also occurred.[77]

The ratification of the 18th amendment to the Constitution in 1919 made the production and sale (including exportation) of alcoholic beverages illegal in the United States. This ushered in the beginning of what is known as the Gangster Era, a time that roughly spans from 1919 until 1933 when Prohibition was repealed. The 1920s saw gangsters, including Al Capone, Dion O'Banion, Bugs Moran and Tony Accardo battle law enforcement and each other on the streets of Chicago during the Prohibition era.[78] Chicago was the location of the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929, when Al Capone sent men to gun down members of a rival gang, North Side, led by Bugs Moran.[79]

Chicago was the first American city to have a homosexual-rights organization. The organization, formed in 1924, was called the Society for Human Rights. It produced the first American publication for homosexuals, Friendship and Freedom. Police and political pressure caused the organization to disband.[80]

The Great Depression brought unprecedented suffering to Chicago, in no small part due to the city's heavy reliance on heavy industry. Notably, industrial areas on the south side and neighborhoods lining both branches of the Chicago River were devastated; by 1933 over 50% of industrial jobs in the city had been lost, and unemployment rates amongst blacks and Mexicans in the city were over 40%. The Republican political machine in Chicago was utterly destroyed by the economic crisis, and every mayor since 1931 has been a Democrat. From 1928 to 1933, the city witnessed a tax revolt, and the city was unable to meet payroll or provide relief efforts. Unemployed workers, relief recipients, and unpaid schoolteachers held huge demonstrations during the early years of the Great Depression. The fiscal crisis was resolved by 1933, and at the same time, federal relief funding began to flow into Chicago and enabled the city to complete construction of Lake Shore Drive, landscape numerous parks, construct 30 new schools, and build a thoroughly modernized State Street Subway.[81] Chicago was also a hotbed of labor activism, with Unemployed Councils contributing heavily in the early depression to create solidarity for the poor and demand relief, these organizations were created by socialist and communist groups. By 1935 the Workers Alliance of America begun organizing the poor, workers, the unemployed. In the spring of 1937 Republic Steel Works witnessed the Memorial Day massacre of 1937 in the neighborhood of East Side.

In 1933, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was fatally wounded in Miami, Florida, during a failed assassination attempt on President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1933 and 1934, the city celebrated its centennial by hosting the Century of Progress International Exposition World's Fair.[82] The theme of the fair was technological innovation over the century since Chicago's founding.[83]

1940 to 1979

Boy from Chicago, 1941
When general prosperity returned in 1940, Chicago had an entrenched Democratic machine, a fully solvent city government, and a population that had enthusiastically shared mass culture and mass movements. Over one-third of the workers in Chicago's manufacturing sector were unionized.[81] During World War II, the city of Chicago alone produced more steel than the United Kingdom every year from 1939 - 1945, and more than Nazi Germany from 1943 - 1945. The city's diversified industrial base made it second only to Detroit in the value—$24 billion—of war goods produced. Over 1,400 companies produced everything from field rations to parachutes to torpedoes, while new aircraft plants employed 100,000 in the construction of engines, aluminum sheeting, bombsights, and other components. The Great Migration, which had been on pause due to the Depression, resumed at an even faster pace in the second wave, as hundreds of thousands of blacks from the South arrived in the city to work in the steel mills, railroads, and shipping yards.[84]

On December 2, 1942, physicist Enrico Fermi conducted the world's first controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. This led to the creation of the atomic bomb by the United States, which it used in World War II in 1945.[85]

Mayor Richard J. Daley, a Democrat, was elected in 1955, in the era of machine politics. In 1956, the city conducted its last major expansion when it annexed the land under O'Hare airport, including a small portion of DuPage County.

By the 1960s, white residents in several neighborhoods left the city for the suburban areas – in many American cities, a process known as white flight – as Blacks continued to move beyond the Black Belt.


Protesters in Grant Park outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention
While home loan discriminatory redlining against blacks continued, the real estate industry practiced what became known as blockbusting, completely changing the racial composition of whole neighborhoods.[86] Structural changes in industry, such as globalization and job outsourcing, caused heavy job losses for lower-skilled workers. At its peak during the 1960s, some 250,000 workers were employed in the steel industry in Chicago, but the steel crisis of the 1970s and 1980s reduced this number to just 28,000 in 2015. In 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. and Albert Raby led the Chicago Freedom Movement, which culminated in agreements between Mayor Richard J. Daley and the movement leaders.[87]

Two years later, the city hosted the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention, which featured physical confrontations both inside and outside the convention hall, with anti-war protesters, journalists and bystanders being beaten by police.[88] Major construction projects, including the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower, which in 1974 became the world's tallest building), University of Illinois at Chicago, McCormick Place, and O'Hare International Airport, were undertaken during Richard J. Daley's tenure.[89] In 1979, Jane Byrne, the city's first female mayor, was elected. She was notable for temporarily moving into the crime-ridden Cabrini-Green housing project and for leading Chicago's school system out of a financial crisis.[90]

1980 to present
In 1983, Harold Washington became the first black mayor of Chicago. Washington's first term in office directed attention to poor and previously neglected minority neighborhoods. He was re‑elected in 1987 but died of a heart attack soon after.[91] Washington was succeeded by 6th ward Alderman Eugene Sawyer, who was elected by the Chicago City Council and served until a special election.

Richard M. Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, was elected in 1989. His accomplishments included improvements to parks and creating incentives for sustainable development, as well as closing Meigs Field in the middle of the night and destroying the runways. After successfully running for re-election five times, and becoming Chicago's longest-serving mayor, Richard M. Daley declined to run for a seventh term.[92][93]

In 1992, a construction accident near the Kinzie Street Bridge produced a breach connecting the Chicago River to a tunnel below, which was part of an abandoned freight tunnel system extending throughout the downtown Loop district. The tunnels filled with 250 million US gallons (1,000,000 m3) of water, affecting buildings throughout the district and forcing a shutdown of electrical power.[94] The area was shut down for three days and some buildings did not reopen for weeks; losses were estimated at $1.95 billion.[94]

On February 23, 2011, former Illinois Congressman and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel won the mayoral election.[95] Emanuel was sworn in as mayor on May 16, 2011, and won re-election in 2015.[96] Lori Lightfoot, the city's first African American woman mayor and its first openly LGBTQ Mayor, was elected to succeed Emanuel as mayor in 2019.[97] All three city-wide elective offices were held by women for the first time in Chicago history: in addition to Lightfoot, the City Clerk was Anna Valencia and City Treasurer, Melissa Conyears-Ervin.[98]

Geography
Main article: Geography of Chicago

Chicago skyline at dusk, from North Avenue Beach looking south
Topography

Downtown and the North Side with beaches lining the waterfront
Chicago is located in northeastern Illinois on the southwestern shores of freshwater Lake Michigan. It is the principal city in the Chicago metropolitan area, situated in both the Midwestern United States and the Great Lakes region. The city rests on a continental divide at the site of the Chicago Portage, connecting the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes watersheds. In addition to it lying beside Lake Michigan, two rivers—the Chicago River in downtown and the Calumet River in the industrial far South Side—flow either entirely or partially through the city.[99][100]

Chicago's history and economy are closely tied to its proximity to Lake Michigan. While the Chicago River historically handled much of the region's waterborne cargo, today's huge lake freighters use the city's Lake Calumet Harbor on the South Side. The lake also provides another positive effect: moderating Chicago's climate, making waterfront neighborhoods slightly warmer in winter and cooler in summer.[101]


A satellite image of Chicago
When Chicago was founded in 1837, most of the early building was around the mouth of the Chicago River, as can be seen on a map of the city's original 58 blocks.[102] The overall grade of the city's central, built-up areas is relatively consistent with the natural flatness of its overall natural geography, generally exhibiting only slight differentiation otherwise. The average land elevation is 579 ft (176.5 m) above sea level. While measurements vary somewhat,[103] the lowest points are along the lake shore at 578 ft (176.2 m), while the highest point, at 672 ft (205 m), is the morainal ridge of Blue Island in the city's far south side.[104]

While the Chicago Loop is the central business district, Chicago is also a city of neighborhoods. Lake Shore Drive runs adjacent to a large portion of Chicago's waterfront. Some of the parks along the waterfront include Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park, and Jackson Park. There are 24 public beaches across 26 miles (42 km) of the waterfront.[105] Landfill extends into portions of the lake providing space for Navy Pier, Northerly Island, the Museum Campus, and large portions of the McCormick Place Convention Center. Most of the city's high-rise commercial and residential buildings are close to the waterfront.

An informal name for the entire Chicago metropolitan area is "Chicagoland", which generally means the city and all its suburbs. The Chicago Tribune, which coined the term, includes the city of Chicago, the rest of Cook County, and eight nearby Illinois counties: Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee, and three counties in Indiana: Lake, Porter and LaPorte.[106] The Illinois Department of Tourism defines Chicagoland as Cook County without the city of Chicago, and only Lake, DuPage, Kane, and Will counties.[107] The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce defines it as all of Cook and DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.[108]

Communities
See also: Community areas in Chicago and Neighborhoods in Chicago

Community areas of the City of Chicago
Major sections of the city include the central business district, called The Loop, and the North, South, and West Sides.[109] The three sides of the city are represented on the Flag of Chicago by three horizontal white stripes.[110] The North Side is the most-densely-populated residential section of the city, and many high-rises are located on this side of the city along the lakefront.[111] The South Side is the largest section of the city, encompassing roughly 60% of the city's land area. The South Side contains most of the facilities of the Port of Chicago.[112]

In the late-1920s, sociologists at the University of Chicago subdivided the city into 77 distinct community areas, which can further be subdivided into over 200 informally defined neighborhoods.[113][114]

Streetscape
Main article: Roads and expressways in Chicago
Chicago's streets were laid out in a street grid that grew from the city's original townsite plot, which was bounded by Lake Michigan on the east, North Avenue on the north, Wood Street on the west, and 22nd Street on the south.[115] Streets following the Public Land Survey System section lines later became arterial streets in outlying sections. As new additions to the city were platted, city ordinance required them to be laid out with eight streets to the mile in one direction and sixteen in the other direction (about one street per 200 meters in one direction and one street per 100 meters in the other direction). The grid's regularity provided an efficient means of developing new real estate property. A scattering of diagonal streets, many of them originally Native American trails, also cross the city (Elston, Milwaukee, Ogden, Lincoln, etc.). Many additional diagonal streets were recommended in the Plan of Chicago, but only the extension of Ogden Avenue was ever constructed.[116]

In 2016, Chicago was ranked the sixth-most walkable large city in the United States.[117] Many of the city's residential streets have a wide patch of grass and/or trees between the street and the sidewalk itself. This helps to keep pedestrians on the sidewalk further away from the street traffic. Chicago's Western Avenue is the longest continuous urban street in the world.[118] Other notable streets include Michigan Avenue, State Street, Oak, Rush, Clark Street, and Belmont Avenue. The City Beautiful movement inspired Chicago's boulevards and parkways.[119]

Architecture
Further information: Architecture of Chicago, List of tallest buildings in Chicago, and List of Chicago Landmarks

The Chicago Building (1904–05) is a prime example of the Chicago School, displaying both variations of the Chicago window.
The destruction caused by the Great Chicago Fire led to the largest building boom in the history of the nation. In 1885, the first steel-framed high-rise building, the Home Insurance Building, rose in the city as Chicago ushered in the skyscraper era,[60] which would then be followed by many other cities around the world.[120] Today, Chicago's skyline is among the world's tallest and densest.[121]

Some of the United States' tallest towers are located in Chicago; Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is the second tallest building in the Western Hemisphere after One World Trade Center, and Trump International Hotel and Tower is the third tallest in the country.[122] The Loop's historic buildings include the Chicago Board of Trade Building, the Fine Arts Building, 35 East Wacker, and the Chicago Building, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments by Mies van der Rohe. Many other architects have left their impression on the Chicago skyline such as Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Charles B. Atwood, John Root, and Helmut Jahn.[123][124]

The Merchandise Mart, once first on the list of largest buildings in the world, currently listed as 44th-largest (as of 9 September 2013), had its own zip code until 2008, and stands near the junction of the North and South branches of the Chicago River.[125] Presently, the four tallest buildings in the city are Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower, also a building with its own zip code), Trump International Hotel and Tower, the Aon Center (previously the Standard Oil Building), and the John Hancock Center. Industrial districts, such as some areas on the South Side, the areas along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and the Northwest Indiana area are clustered.[126]

Chicago gave its name to the Chicago School and was home to the Prairie School, two movements in architecture.[127] Multiple kinds and scales of houses, townhouses, condominiums, and apartment buildings can be found throughout Chicago. Large swaths of the city's residential areas away from the lake are characterized by brick bungalows built from the early 20th century through the end of World War II. Chicago is also a prominent center of the Polish Cathedral style of church architecture. The Chicago suburb of Oak Park was home to famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who had designed The Robie House located near the University of Chicago.[128][129]

A popular tourist activity is to take an architecture boat tour along the Chicago River.[130]

Monuments and public art

Replica of Daniel Chester French's Statue of the Republic at the site of the World's Columbian Exposition.
Chicago is famous for its outdoor public art with donors establishing funding for such art as far back as Benjamin Ferguson's 1905 trust.[131] A number of Chicago's public art works are by modern figurative artists. Among these are Chagall's Four Seasons; the Chicago Picasso; Miro's Chicago; Calder's Flamingo; Oldenburg's Batcolumn; Moore's Large Interior Form, 1953-54, Man Enters the Cosmos and Nuclear Energy; Dubuffet's Monument with Standing Beast, Abakanowicz's Agora; and, Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate which has become an icon of the city. Some events which shaped the city's history have also been memorialized by art works, including the Great Northern Migration (Saar) and the centennial of statehood for Illinois. Finally, two fountains near the Loop also function as monumental works of art: Plensa's Crown Fountain as well as Burnham and Bennett's Buckingham Fountain.

More representational and portrait statuary includes a number of works by Lorado Taft (Fountain of Time, The Crusader, Eternal Silence, and the Heald Square Monument completed by Crunelle), French's Statue of the Republic, Edward Kemys's Lions, Saint-Gaudens's Abraham Lincoln: The Man (a.k.a. Standing Lincoln) and Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State (a.k.a. Seated Lincoln), Brioschi's Christopher Columbus, Meštrović's The Bowman and The Spearman, Dallin's Signal of Peace, Fairbanks's The Chicago Lincoln, Boyle's The Alarm, Polasek's memorial to Masaryk, memorials along Solidarity Promenade to Kościuszko, Havliček and Copernicus by Chodzinski, Strachovský, and Thorvaldsen, a memorial to General Logan by Saint-Gaudens, and Kearney's Moose (W-02-03). A number of statues also honor recent local heroes such as Michael Jordan (by Amrany and Rotblatt-Amrany), Stan Mikita, and Bobby Hull outside of the United Center; Harry Caray (by Amrany and Cella) outside Wrigley field, Jack Brickhouse (by McKenna) next to the WGN studios, and Irv Kupcinet at the Wabash Avenue Bridge.[132]

There are preliminary plans to erect a 1:1‑scale replica of Wacław Szymanowski's Art Nouveau statue of Frédéric Chopin found in Warsaw's Royal Baths along Chicago's lakefront in addition to a different sculpture commemorating the artist in Chopin Park for the 200th anniversary of Frédéric Chopin's birth.[133]

Climate
Main article: Climate of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
2.1 3218
1.9 3622
2.7 4731
3.6 5942
4.1 7052
4.1 8062
4 8568
4 8366
3.3 7558
3.2 6346
3.4 4935
2.6 3523
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Metric conversion
The city lies within the typical hot-summer humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfa), and experiences four distinct seasons.[134][135][136] Summers are hot and humid, with frequent heat waves. The July daily average temperature is 75.9 °F (24.4 °C), with afternoon temperatures peaking at 85.0 °F (29.4 °C). In a normal summer, temperatures reach at least 90 °F (32 °C) on as many as 23 days, with lakefront locations staying cooler when winds blow off the lake. Winters are cold and snowy, although the city typically sees less snow and rain in winter than that experienced in the eastern Great Lakes region; blizzards do occur, as in 2011.[137] There are many sunny but cold days in winter. The normal winter high from December through March is about 36 °F (2 °C), with January and February being the coldest months; a polar vortex in January 2019 nearly broke the city's cold record of −27 °F (−33 °C), which was set on January 20, 1985.[138][139][140] Spring and autumn are mild, short seasons, typically with low humidity. Dew point temperatures in the summer range from an average of 55.7 °F (13.2 °C) in June to 61.7 °F (16.5 °C) in July,[141] but can reach nearly 80 °F (27 °C), such as during the July 2019 heat wave. The city lies within USDA plant hardiness zone 6a, transitioning to 5b in the suburbs.[142]


Downtown Chicago and the Chicago River in January 2014
According to the National Weather Service, Chicago's highest official temperature reading of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded on July 24, 1934,[143] although Midway Airport reached 109 °F (43 °C) one day prior and recorded a heat index of 125 °F (52 °C) during the 1995 heatwave.[144] The lowest official temperature of −27 °F (−33 °C) was recorded on January 20, 1985, at O'Hare Airport.[141][144] Most of the city's rainfall is brought by thunderstorms, averaging 38 a year. The region is also prone to severe thunderstorms during the spring and summer which can produce large hail, damaging winds, and occasionally tornadoes.[145] Like other major cities, Chicago experiences an urban heat island, making the city and its suburbs milder than surrounding rural areas, especially at night and in winter. The proximity to Lake Michigan tends to keep the Chicago lakefront somewhat cooler in summer and less brutally cold in winter than inland parts of the city and suburbs away from the lake.[146] Northeast winds from wintertime cyclones departing south of the region sometimes bring the city lake-effect snow.[147]


During its first hundred years, Chicago was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. When founded in 1833, fewer than 200 people had settled on what was then the American frontier. By the time of its first census, seven years later, the population had reached over 4,000. In the forty years from 1850 to 1890, the city's population grew from slightly under 30,000 to over 1 million. At the end of the 19th century, Chicago was the fifth-largest city in the world,[158] and the largest of the cities that did not exist at the dawn of the century. Within sixty years of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the population went from about 300,000 to over 3 million,[159] and reached its highest ever recorded population of 3.6 million for the 1950 census.

From the last two decades of the 19th century, Chicago was the destination of waves of immigrants from Ireland, Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, including Italians, Jews, Poles, Greeks, Lithuanians, Bulgarians, Albanians, Romanians, Turkish, Croatians, Serbs, Bosnians, Montenegrins and Czechs.[160] To these ethnic groups, the basis of the city's industrial working class, were added an additional influx of African Americans from the American South—with Chicago's black population doubling between 1910 and 1920 and doubling again between 1920 and 1930.[160]

In the 1920s and 1930s, the great majority of African Americans moving to Chicago settled in a so‑called "Black Belt" on the city's South Side.[160] A large number of blacks also settled on the West Side. By 1930, two-thirds of Chicago's black population lived in sections of the city which were 90% black in racial composition.[160] Chicago's South Side emerged as United States second-largest urban black concentration, following New York's Harlem. Today, Chicago's South Side and the adjoining south suburbs constitute the largest black majority region in the entire United States.[160]

Chicago's population declined in the latter half of the 20th century, from over 3.6 million in 1950 down to under 2.7 million by 2010. By the time of the official census count in 1990, it was overtaken by Los Angeles as the United States' second largest city.[161]

The city has seen a rise in population for the 2000 census and is expected to have an increase for the 2020 census.[162]

Per U.S. Census estimates as of July 2019, Chicago's largest racial or ethnic group is non-Hispanic White at 32.8% of the population, Blacks at 30.1% and the Hispanic population at 29.0% of the population.

Chicago has the third-largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—about $670.5 billion according to September 2017 estimates.[187] The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the United States, due to its high level of diversification.[188] In 2007, Chicago was named the fourth-most important business center in the world in the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index.[189] Additionally, the Chicago metropolitan area recorded the greatest number of new or expanded corporate facilities in the United States for calendar year 2014.[190] The Chicago metropolitan area has the third-largest science and engineering work force of any metropolitan area in the nation.[191] In 2009 Chicago placed ninth on the UBS list of the world's richest cities.[192] Chicago was the base of commercial operations for industrialists John Crerar, John Whitfield Bunn, Richard Teller Crane, Marshall Field, John Farwell, Julius Rosenwald and many other commercial visionaries who laid the foundation for Midwestern and global industry.


The Chicago Board of Trade Building
Chicago is a major world financial center, with the second-largest central business district in the United States.[193] The city is the seat of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Bank's Seventh District. The city has major financial and futures exchanges, including the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the "Merc"), which is owned, along with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) by Chicago's CME Group. In 2017, Chicago exchanges traded 4.7 billion derivatives with a face value of over one quadrillion dollars. Chase Bank has its commercial and retail banking headquarters in Chicago's Chase Tower.[194] Academically, Chicago has been influential through the Chicago school of economics, which fielded some 12 Nobel Prize winners.

The city and its surrounding metropolitan area contain the third-largest labor pool in the United States with about 4.63 million workers.[195] Illinois is home to 66 Fortune 1000 companies, including those in Chicago.[196] The city of Chicago also hosts 12 Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 Financial Times 500 companies. The city claims three Dow 30 companies: aerospace giant Boeing, which moved its headquarters from Seattle to the Chicago Loop in 2001,[197] McDonald's and Walgreens Boots Alliance.[198] For six consecutive years since 2013, Chicago was ranked the nation's top metropolitan area for corporate relocations.[199]

Manufacturing, printing, publishing and food processing also play major roles in the city's economy. Several medical products and services companies are headquartered in the Chicago area, including Baxter International, Boeing, Abbott Laboratories, and the Healthcare division of General Electric. In addition to Boeing, which located its headquarters in Chicago in 2001, and United Airlines in 2011, GE Transportation moved its offices to the city in 2013 and GE Healthcare moved its HQ to the city in 2016, as did ThyssenKrupp North America, and agriculture giant Archer Daniels Midland.[15] Moreover, the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which helped move goods from the Great Lakes south on the Mississippi River, and of the railroads in the 19th century made the city a major transportation center in the United States. In the 1840s, Chicago became a major grain port, and in the 1850s and 1860s Chicago's pork and beef industry expanded. As the major meat companies grew in Chicago many, such as Armour and Company, created global enterprises. Although the meatpacking industry currently plays a lesser role in the city's economy, Chicago continues to be a major transportation and distribution center. Lured by a combination of large business customers, federal research dollars, and a large hiring pool fed by the area's universities, Chicago is also the site of a growing number of web startup companies like CareerBuilder, Orbitz, Basecamp, Groupon, Feedburner, Grubhub and NowSecure.[200]

Prominent food companies based in Chicago include the world headquarters of Conagra, Ferrara Candy Company, Kraft Heinz, McDonald's, Mondelez International, Quaker Oats, and US Foods.

Chicago has been a hub of the retail sector since its early development, with Montgomery Ward, Sears, and Marshall Field's. Today the Chicago metropolitan area is the headquarters of several retailers, including Walgreens, Sears, Ace Hardware, Claire's, ULTA Beauty and Crate & Barrel.

Late in the 19th century, Chicago was part of the bicycle craze, with the Western Wheel Company, which introduced stamping to the production process and significantly reduced costs,[201] while early in the 20th century, the city was part of the automobile revolution, hosting the Brass Era car builder Bugmobile, which was founded there in 1907.[202] Chicago was also the site of the Schwinn Bicycle Company.

Chicago is a major world convention destination. The city's main convention center is McCormick Place. With its four interconnected buildings, it is the largest convention center in the nation and third-largest in the world.[203] Chicago also ranks third in the U.S. (behind Las Vegas and Orlando) in number of conventions hosted annually.

Chicago's minimum wage for non-tipped employees is one of the highest in the nation at $13 per hour and will reach $15 by 2021.

In 2014, Chicago attracted 50.17 million domestic leisure travelers, 11.09 million domestic business travelers and 1.308 million overseas visitors.[218] These visitors contributed more than US$13.7 billion to Chicago's economy.[218] Upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile and State Street, thousands of restaurants, as well as Chicago's eminent architecture, continue to draw tourists. The city is the United States' third-largest convention destination. A 2017 study by Walk Score ranked Chicago the sixth-most walkable of fifty largest cities in the United States.[219] Most conventions are held at McCormick Place, just south of Soldier Field. The historic Chicago Cultural Center (1897), originally serving as the Chicago Public Library, now houses the city's Visitor Information Center, galleries and exhibit halls. The ceiling of its Preston Bradley Hall includes a 38-foot (12 m) Tiffany glass dome. Grant Park holds Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain (1927), and the Art Institute of Chicago. The park also hosts the annual Taste of Chicago festival. In Millennium Park, the reflective Cloud Gate public sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor is the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park. Also, an outdoor restaurant transforms into an ice rink in the winter season. Two tall glass sculptures make up the Crown Fountain. The fountain's two towers display visual effects from LED images of Chicagoans' faces, along with water spouting from their lips. Frank Gehry's detailed, stainless steel band shell, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, hosts the classical Grant Park Music Festival concert series. Behind the pavilion's stage is the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, an indoor venue for mid-sized performing arts companies, including the Chicago Opera Theater and Music of the Baroque.

Navy Pier, located just east of Streeterville, is 3,000 ft (910 m) long and houses retail stores, restaurants, museums, exhibition halls and auditoriums. In the summer of 2016, Navy Pier constructed a DW60 Ferris wheel. Dutch Wheels, a world renowned company that manufactures ferris wheels, was selected to design the new wheel.[220] It features 42 navy blue gondolas that can hold up to eight adults and two kids. It also has entertainment systems inside the gondolas as well as a climate controlled environment. The DW60 stands at approximately 196 ft (60 m), which is 46 ft taller than the previous wheel. The new DW60 is the first in the United States and is the sixth tallest in the U.S.[221] Chicago was the first city in the world to ever erect a ferris wheel.

On June 4, 1998, the city officially opened the Museum Campus, a 10-acre (4.0 ha) lakefront park, surrounding three of the city's main museums, each of which is of national importance: the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. The Museum Campus joins the southern section of Grant Park, which includes the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Buckingham Fountain anchors the downtown park along the lakefront. The University of Chicago Oriental Institute has an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeological artifacts. Other museums and galleries in Chicago include the Chicago History Museum, the Driehaus Museum, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Polish Museum of America, the Museum of Broadcast Communications, the Pritzker Military Library, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the Museum of Science and Industry.

With an estimated completion date of 2020, the Barack Obama Presidential Center will be housed at the University of Chicago in Hyde Park and include both the Obama presidential library and offices of the Obama Foundation.[222]

The Willis Tower (formerly named Sears Tower) is a popular destination for tourists. The Willis Tower has an observation deck open to tourists year round with high up views overlooking Chicago and Lake Michigan. The observation deck includes an enclosed glass balcony that extends 10 feet out on the side of the building. Tourists are able to look straight down.

In 2013, Chicago was chosen as one of the "Top Ten Cities in the United States" to visit for its restaurants, skyscrapers, museums, and waterfront, by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler.

Chicago lays claim to a large number of regional specialties that reflect the city's ethnic and working-class roots. Included among these are its nationally renowned deep-dish pizza; this style is said to have originated at Pizzeria Uno.[225] The Chicago-style thin crust is also popular in the city.[226] Certain Chicago pizza favorites include Lou Malnati's and Giordano's.[227]

The Chicago-style hot dog, typically an all-beef hot dog, is loaded with an array of toppings that often includes pickle relish, yellow mustard, pickled sport peppers, tomato wedges, dill pickle spear and topped off with celery salt on a poppy seed bun.[228] Enthusiasts of the Chicago-style hot dog frown upon the use of ketchup as a garnish, but may prefer to add giardiniera.[229][230][231]

A distinctly Chicago sandwich, the Italian beef sandwich is thinly sliced beef simmered in au jus and served on an Italian roll with sweet peppers or spicy giardiniera. A popular modification is the Combo—an Italian beef sandwich with the addition of an Italian sausage. The Maxwell Street Polish is a grilled or deep-fried kielbasa—on a hot dog roll, topped with grilled onions, yellow mustard, and hot sport peppers.[232]

Chicken Vesuvio is roasted bone-in chicken cooked in oil and garlic next to garlicky oven-roasted potato wedges and a sprinkling of green peas. The Puerto Rican-influenced jibarito is a sandwich made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread. The mother-in-law is a tamale topped with chili and served on a hot dog bun.[233] The tradition of serving the Greek dish saganaki while aflame has its origins in Chicago's Greek community.[234] The appetizer, which consists of a square of fried cheese, is doused with Metaxa and flambéed table-side.[235]

One of the world's most decorated restaurants and a recipient of three Michelin stars, Alinea is located in Chicago. Well-known chefs who have had restaurants in Chicago include: Charlie Trotter, Rick Tramonto, Grant Achatz, and Rick Bayless. In 2003, Robb Report named Chicago the country's "most exceptional dining destination".

Sporting News named Chicago the "Best Sports City" in the United States in 1993, 2006, and 2010.[244] Along with Boston, Chicago is the only city to continuously host major professional sports since 1871, having only taken 1872 and 1873 off due to the Great Chicago Fire. Additionally, Chicago is one of the eight cities in the United States to have won championships in the four major professional leagues and, along with Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, is one of five cities to have won soccer championships as well. All of its major franchises have won championships within recent years – the Bears (1985), the Bulls (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 1998), the White Sox (2005), the Cubs (2016), the Blackhawks (2010, 2013, 2015), and the Fire (1998). Chicago has the third most franchises in the four major North American sports leagues with five, behind the New York and Los Angeles Metropolitan Areas, and have six top-level professional sports clubs when including Chicago Fire FC of Major League Soccer (MLS).

The city has two Major League Baseball (MLB) teams: the Chicago Cubs of the National League play in Wrigley Field on the North Side; and the Chicago White Sox of the American League play in Guaranteed Rate Field on the South Side. Chicago is the only city that has had more than one MLB franchise every year since the AL began in 1901 (New York hosted only one between 1958 and early 1962). The two teams have faced each other in a World Series only once: in 1906, when the White Sox, known as the "Hitless Wonders," defeated the Cubs, 4–2.

The Cubs are the oldest Major League Baseball team to have never changed their city;[245] they have played in Chicago since 1871, and continuously so since 1874 due to the Great Chicago Fire. They have played more games and have more wins than any other team in Major League baseball since 1876.[246] They have won three World Series titles, including the 2016 World Series, but had the dubious honor of having the two longest droughts in American professional sports: They had not won their sport's title since 1908, and had not participated in a World Series since 1945, both records, until they beat the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series.

The White Sox have played on the South Side continuously since 1901, with all three of their home fields throughout the years being within blocks of one another. They have won three World Series titles (1906, 1917, 2005) and six American League pennants, including the first in 1901. The Sox are fifth in the American League in all-time wins, and sixth in pennants.

The Chicago Bears, one of the last two remaining charter members of the National Football League (NFL), have won nine NFL Championships, including the 1985 Super Bowl XX. The other remaining charter franchise, the Chicago Cardinals, also started out in the city, but is now known as the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears have won more games in the history of the NFL than any other team,[247] and only the Green Bay Packers, their longtime rivals, have won more championships. The Bears play their home games at Soldier Field. Soldier Field re-opened in 2003 after an extensive renovation.

The Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the most recognized basketball teams in the world.[248] During the 1990s, with Michael Jordan leading them, the Bulls won six NBA championships in eight seasons.[249][250] They also boast the youngest player to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, Derrick Rose, who won it for the 2010–11 season.[251]

The Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL) began play in 1926, and are one of the "Original Six" teams of the NHL. The Blackhawks have won six Stanley Cups, including in 2010, 2013, and 2015. Both the Bulls and the Blackhawks play at the United Center.

When Chicago was incorporated in 1837, it chose the motto Urbs in Horto, a Latin phrase which means "City in a Garden". Today, the Chicago Park District consists of more than 570 parks with over 8,000 acres (3,200 ha) of municipal parkland. There are 31 sand beaches, a plethora of museums, two world-class conservatories, and 50 nature areas.[255] Lincoln Park, the largest of the city's parks, covers 1,200 acres (490 ha) and has over 20 million visitors each year, making it third in the number of visitors after Central Park in New York City, and the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C.[256]

There is a historic boulevard system,[257] a network of wide, tree-lined boulevards which connect a number of Chicago parks.[258] The boulevards and the parks were authorized by the Illinois legislature in 1869.[259] A number of Chicago neighborhoods emerged along these roadways in the 19th century.[258] The building of the boulevard system continued intermittently until 1942. It includes nineteen boulevards, eight parks, and six squares, along twenty-six miles of interconnected streets.[260] Part of the system in the Logan Square Boulevards Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.[261]

With berths for more than 6,000 boats, the Chicago Park District operates the nation's largest municipal harbor system.[262] In addition to ongoing beautification and renewal projects for the existing parks, a number of new parks have been added in recent years, such as the Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown, DuSable Park on the Near North Side, and most notably, Millennium Park, which is in the northwestern corner of one of Chicago's oldest parks, Grant Park in the Chicago Loop.

The wealth of greenspace afforded by Chicago's parks is further augmented by the Cook County Forest Preserves, a network of open spaces containing forest, prairie, wetland, streams, and lakes that are set aside as natural areas which lie along the city's outskirts,[263] including both the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe and the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield.[264] Washington Park is also one of the city's biggest parks; covering nearly 400 acres (160 ha). The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places listings in South Side Chicago.

The government of the City of Chicago is divided into executive and legislative branches. The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive, elected by general election for a term of four years, with no term limits. The current mayor is Lori Lightfoot. The mayor appoints commissioners and other officials who oversee the various departments. As well as the mayor, Chicago's clerk and treasurer are also elected citywide. The City Council is the legislative branch and is made up of 50 aldermen, one elected from each ward in the city.[265] The council takes official action through the passage of ordinances and resolutions and approves the city budget.[266]

The Chicago Police Department provides law enforcement and the Chicago Fire Department provides fire suppression and emergency medical services for the city and its residents. Civil and criminal law cases are heard in the Cook County Circuit Court of the State of Illinois court system, or in the Northern District of Illinois, in the federal system. In the state court, the public prosecutor is the Illinois State's Attorney; in the Federal court it is the United States Attorney.

Politics
Main article: Political history of Chicago
During much of the last half of the 19th century, Chicago's politics were dominated by a growing Democratic Party organization. During the 1880s and 1890s, Chicago had a powerful radical tradition with large and highly organized socialist, anarchist and labor organizations.[267] For much of the 20th century, Chicago has been among the largest and most reliable Democratic strongholds in the United States; with Chicago's Democratic vote the state of Illinois has been "solid blue" in presidential elections since 1992. Even before then, it was not unheard of for Republican presidential candidates to win handily in downstate Illinois, only to lose statewide due to large Democratic margins in Chicago. The citizens of Chicago have not elected a Republican mayor since 1927, when William Thompson was voted into office. The strength of the party in the city is partly a consequence of Illinois state politics, where the Republicans have come to represent rural and farm concerns while the Democrats support urban issues such as Chicago's public school funding.

Chicago contains less than 25% of the state's population, but it is split between eight of Illinois' 19 districts in the United States House of Representatives. All eight of the city's representatives are Democrats; two Republican has only represented a significant portion of the city twice since 1973, for one term each–Robert P. Hanrahan from 1973 to 1975, and Michael Patrick Flanagan from 1995 to 1997.

Machine politics persisted in Chicago after the decline of similar machines in other large U.S. cities.[268] During much of that time, the city administration found opposition mainly from a liberal "independent" faction of the Democratic Party. The independents finally gained control of city government in 1983 with the election of Harold Washington (in office 1983–1987). From 1989 until May 16, 2011, Chicago was under the leadership of its longest-serving mayor, Richard M. Daley, the son of Richard J. Daley. Because of the dominance of the Democratic Party in Chicago, the Democratic primary vote held in the spring is generally more significant than the general elections in November for U.S. House and Illinois State seats. The aldermanic, mayoral, and other city offices are filled through nonpartisan elections with runoffs as needed.

Formerly a state legislator representing Chicago and later a US Senator, the city is home of former United States President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The Obamas' residence is located near the University of Chicago in Kenwood on the city's south side.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the governing body of the school district that contains over 600 public elementary and high schools citywide, including several selective-admission magnet schools. There are eleven selective enrollment high schools in the Chicago Public Schools,[292] designed to meet the needs of Chicago's most academically advanced students. These schools offer a rigorous curriculum with mainly honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.[293] Walter Payton College Prep High School is ranked number one in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.[294] Northside College Preparatory High School is ranked second, Jones College Prep is third, and the oldest magnet school in the city, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, which was opened in 1975, is ranked fourth.[295] The magnet school with the largest enrollment is Lane Technical College Prep High School.[citation needed] Lane is one of the oldest schools in Chicago and in 2012 was designated a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.[296]

Chicago high school rankings are determined by the average test scores on state achievement tests.[297] The district, with an enrollment exceeding 400,545 students (2013–2014 20th Day Enrollment), is the third-largest in the U.S.[298] On September 10, 2012, teachers for the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike for the first time since 1987 over pay, resources and other issues.[299] According to data compiled in 2014, Chicago's "choice system", where students who test or apply and may attend one of a number of public high schools (there are about 130), sorts students of different achievement levels into different schools (high performing, middle performing, and low performing schools).[300]

Chicago has a network of Lutheran schools,[301] and several private schools are run by other denominations and faiths, such as the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in West Ridge. Several private schools are completely secular, such as the Latin School of Chicago in the Near North Side neighborhood, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Hyde Park, the British School of Chicago and the Francis W. Parker School in Lincoln Park, the Lycée Français de Chicago in Uptown, the Feltre School in River North and the Morgan Park Academy. There are also the private Chicago Academy for the Arts, a high school focused on six different categories of the arts and the public Chicago High School for the Arts, a high school focused on five categories (visual arts, theatre, musical theatre, dance, and music) of the arts.[citation needed][302]

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago operates Catholic schools, that include Jesuit preparatory schools and others including St. Rita of Cascia High School, De La Salle Institute, Josephinum Academy, DePaul College Prep, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Brother Rice High School, St. Ignatius College Preparatory School, Mount Carmel High School, Queen of Peace High School, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, Marist High School, St. Patrick High School and Resurrection High School.

The Chicago Public Library system operates 79 public libraries, including the central library, two regional libraries, and numerous branches distributed throughout the city.

Colleges and universities
For a more comprehensive list, see List of colleges and universities in Chicago.

The University of Chicago, as seen from the Midway Plaisance
Since the 1850s, Chicago has been a world center of higher education and research with several universities. These institutions consistently rank among the top "National Universities" in the United States, as determined by U.S. News & World Report. Top universities in Chicago are: the University of Chicago; Illinois Institute of Technology; Loyola University Chicago; DePaul University; Columbia College Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago. Other notable schools include: Chicago State University; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago; East–West University; National Louis University; North Park University; Northeastern Illinois University; Robert Morris University Illinois; Roosevelt University; Saint Xavier University; Rush University; and Shimer College.[303]

William Rainey Harper, the first president of the University of Chicago, was instrumental in the creation of the junior college concept, establishing nearby Joliet Junior College as the first in the nation in 1901.[304] His legacy continues with the multiple community colleges in the Chicago proper, including the seven City Colleges of Chicago: Richard J. Daley College, Kennedy–King College, Malcolm X College, Olive–Harvey College, Truman College, Harold Washington College and Wilbur Wright College, in addition to the privately held MacCormac College.

Chicago also has a high concentration of post-baccalaureate institutions, graduate schools, seminaries, and theological schools, such as the Adler School of Professional Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, the Erikson Institute, The Institute for Clinical Social Work, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, the Catholic Theological Union, the Moody Bible Institute, the John Marshall Law School and the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Chicago is served by O'Hare International Airport, the world's busiest airport measured by airline operations,[328] on the far Northwest Side, and Midway International Airport on the Southwest Side. In 2005, O'Hare was the world's busiest airport by aircraft movements and the second-busiest by total passenger traffic.[329] Both O'Hare and Midway are owned and operated by the City of Chicago. Gary/Chicago International Airport and Chicago Rockford International Airport, located in Gary, Indiana and Rockford, Illinois, respectively, can serve as alternative Chicago area airports, however they do not offer as many commercial flights as O'Hare and Midway. In recent years the state of Illinois has been leaning towards building an entirely new airport in the Illinois suburbs of Chicago.[330] The City of Chicago is the world headquarters for United Airlines, the world's third-largest airline.