The third-largest city in the US, Chicago represents a key national and international economic region. With more and more business travellers using our growing range of furnished apartments in Chicago, we have compiled a fascinating list of things you didn’t know about this business destination.
1. How Chicago became the Windy City
If you thought that the name comes from the travelling winds of Lake Michigan, you’d be partially correct. With that being one of the many supposed origins of the city’s moniker, the name most likely comes from the idea that Chicago politicians talk a lot of hot air.
2. A view of a lifetime
The Willis Tower sits in the centre of the city and is the second largest building in Chicago. From the top of the Skydeck, you can just about see 4 different states: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. Completed in 1973, the tower is still one of Chicago’s top attractions with the Skydeck bringing in 1.7 million visitors a year.
3. Home of the best live music
In the centre of Chicago, you’ll find Millennium Park, and it happens to be one of the best live music venues around. With a capacity of 11,000, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is perfect for a special evening while staying in Chicago on business. With big names like Idina Menzel hosting shows at the venue, each performance is a spectacle in itself.
4. St. Patrick’s Day fervour
Every year on St Patrick’s day, the residents of Chicago take to their boats to watch the river turn green for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. With the dye in the river lasting around 24-48 hours, the dye lasts almost as long as the notoriously raucous parties.
5. Backwards running river
The flow of the Chicago River was officially reversed in 1900, but it wasn’t the first time this had been achieved. In 1871 the existing Michigan and Illinois canals were deepened, making the Chicago River run backwards. Although it wasn’t a permanent change, it sparked the idea for a later generation to use the method to solve the city’s river sanitary issues.
6. Rooftop seating
Whether it’s for a work event or friends wanting to catch a game together, there is no place better to watch a Cubs game than the rooftop of the Wrigley View Stadium. Package deals tend to be the most cost-effective option but single tickets are also available. While here, you can even indulge in some classic ‘game-watching’ food with an onsite bar.
7. The longest major league Baseball Game
At a total of 25 innings, the Chicago White Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 in 1984. The game lasted a total of 8 hours and 6 minutes. The Chicago Cubs have also won the World Series Championship 3 times so far – 1907, 1908 and 2016.
8. The Deep Dish Pizza
Famed as a Chicago delicacy, it’s reported that the deep dish pizza was first created in Uno Pizzeria buy the owner Ike Sewell. With the delicacy constantly undergoing improvements, there really is only one way to find out just how delicious the deep dish pizza is…
9. City in a park
With 7,600 acres split into 570 different parks, the city truly is a haven for park lovers. Some of the best known Chicago green spaces include the Millennium Park, Jackson Park and Lincoln Park. Take a stroll through one of the parks to relax and unwind between business appointments.
10. The world’s first skyscraper
In the 1800s the world’s first skyscraper was built in Chicago. The Insurance Building consisted of 10 stories and finished construction in 1884. Looking at the building today, it seems minuscule compared with the giant buildings surrounding it.
11. The nation’s capital of food and beverage manufacturing
With over 4,500 food and beverage companies based in the Metro area alone, Chicago has been the home of food and beverage manufacturing since 1891 when William Wrigley (now owned by Mars) decided to start up his company here.
12. Chicago has over 30 food festivals
From the Chicago Food Truck Festival to the Chicago Whisky and Wine Festival, there is bound to be a festival that’ll take your fancy (out of thirty to choose from).
13. Free Music Festivals for Everyone
From Jazz, House, Blues, and Gospel – you name it, Chicago has a free festival for it. Located around the city, these fabulous free music events are open to all. With many events happening in Millennium Park, the festivals are in a prime location for accessing the music easily.
14. The elevated railway
The L train (‘L’ being short for ‘elevated’) was originally built in 1892, making it one of the first of its kind in the country. Chicago was the fastest-growing city during the 1900s, which is why quite a few ‘firsts’ happened during this period.
15. Speaking of firsts
As one of the leading cities in the US for historically significant milestones, Chicago also happens to be the first city to: hold a televised presidential event, host an open-heart surgery, open the first US blood bank and build the world’s first all-colour television station.
16. The 226 Club
Now known as the Exchequer, the 226 Club is one of the city’s most famous spots – but not for its delicious pizza. Once an infamous hangout of Al Capone and his cronies, the restaurant has a notorious history, including a secret door that was used as Capone’s getaway if the occasion arose.
17. Prohibition Gangsters
In 1927 Al Capone alone sold over $60 million worth of illegal alcohol. As one of the most notorious gangsters in the city, he had a so-called ‘reign’ over the city for 7 years before being arrested and sent to jail.
18. The Chicago Beaches
With 28 miles of completely man-made shoreline, Chicago is one of the only major cities in America to have a beach. Over 24 beaches sit along its shores, with the North Avenue Beach being one of the most popular choices in the city.
19. A craving for one particular food
There are over 2,000 hot dog stands in the city of Chicago. More than all of the city’s fast-food chain outlets combined.
20. Business. Accommodated.
SilverDoor has hundreds of fantastic serviced apartments across the city, perfect for all types of business travel. With many fantastic apartments to choose from our guests have found relaxing in a serviced apartment takes the stress right out of travelling.
In addition to these incredible facts, there is much more to discover about Chicago while travelling on business. To begin your trip, read about our selection of the best-furnished apartments in the city.