Tuesday Trivia: Evidence of Chicago’s Fifth Avenue
Aug18

Tuesday Trivia: Evidence of Chicago’s Fifth Avenue

Chicago is a city of names.  Names that are ever-changing.  Chicago Air Park became Midway Airport.  The Chicago-Kansas City Highway became the Eisenhower Expressway.  And Wells Street was once Fifth Avenue. The fact that any evidence remains of Chicago’s Fifth Avenue is remarkable.  That’s because it was only known by that name from 1870 to 1918.  Before that half-century it was known as Wells Street, and became Wells...

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Tuesday Trivia: MST3K Edition
Jan20

Tuesday Trivia: MST3K Edition

Question: Which Chicago skyscraper was called “The Empire State Building on Nutrisystem?” Click to see the answer Answer:   The Mather Tower (75 East Wacker Drive). In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode 419, the space-bound trio make fun of the 1959 movie The Rebel Set, in which a group of beatniks from California pull off a bank robbery during a layover at Dearborn Station in Chicago during a cross-country...

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Tuesday Trivia: The Chicago of the North
Jan06

Tuesday Trivia: The Chicago of the North

Question: What British town was so proud of its steel mills that in the 1800’s it called itself “The Chicago of the North?” Click to see the answer Answer: Barrow-in-Furness.  The Cubrian town still has a large manufacturing industry, centered around shipyards that build nuclear submarines. At one time, Decatur, Alabama called itself “The Chicago of the South” because of its numerous rail links.  For the...

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Tuesday Trivia: Jury Duty
May29

Tuesday Trivia: Jury Duty

Q: According to a 1989 article in the Chicago Tribune, what kind of transportation workers are exempt from jury duty in Chicago? A: Ferry pilots. It goes back to the time before Chicago was stitched together with bridges, as it is today. Back then, ferry operators (“constant ferrymen”) we’re so vital to the functioning of the city that they could not be spared to spend time working on a jury. Source: Chicago Tribune...

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Tuesday Trivia: 10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Marina City

Yesterday we published a review of the new book Marina City: Bertrand Goldberg’s Urban Vision.  Today, we present Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Marina City You’ve heard of the retail and office complex at “Block 37” in the Loop.  Well, Marina City is on “Block One” of the City of Chicago plan. The land Marina city sits on was formerly a rail yard. Marina City was...

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Tuesday Trivia: Heads of Commerce

Q: You probably already know that there are heads in front of the Merchandise Mart (222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza) representing the leaders of Chicago’s industry from back when Chicago was an industrial leader.  But can you name them all? A: Here is the Merchandise Mart Hall of Fame in alphabetical order: Marshall Field Edward A. Filene Julius Rosenwald George Huntington Hartford Aaron Montgomery Ward John Wanamaker...

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Tuesday Trivia: Before There Was Illinois

Q: Can you name all the entities that have claimed jurisdiction over what we now know as Chicagoland? A:  Illinois Country (borders undefined) Upper Louisiana (part of New France) New York (until 1782) Connecticut (until 1786) Northwest Territory (until 1800) Indiana Territory (until 1809) Illinois Territory (until 1818) State of Illinois (present) There may be others, but these are the ones we found.  History buffs, feel...

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Tuesday Trivia: Odd Numbers on LSD

Recently we published a photograph of Lake Point Tower, which made me think of this trivia question. Q:  Lake Point Tower (seen below) at 505 North Lake Shore Drive is the only residential building east of North Lake Shore Drive.  But it’s not the only one with an odd house number.  What is the other building with a street address indicating that it is on the east side of Lake Shore Drive? A: 999 North Lake...

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Tuesday Trivia: Starbucks Edition

Q: Which downtown Chicago Starbucks store is not furnished with the standard Starbucks corporate furniture? A: Merchandise Mart. The Merchandise Mart Starbucks (222 West Merchnadise Mart Plaza) is kitted out with furniture by one of the furniture designers located in the ‘Mart. Specifically, Ebel Incorporated in suite 15-121.  The ‘Mart’s Starbucks is such a landmark in the massive building that the eastern set...

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Tuesday trivia: Tragic blimp accident edition

Q: What was the name of the blimp that caught fire, raining flaming wreckage on the Loop and killing people in a bank building? A: The Wingfoot Air Express. It happened July 21, 1919.  Read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wingfoot_Air_Express_Crash

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