The original Comiskey Park, “The Baseball Palace of the World” is in the hearts of many Chicago White Sox fans to this day. Built in 1910 and turned into a parking lot of U.S. Cellular Field (formerly “New Comiskey Park”) in 1990, at the time of its demise it was the oldest park in Major League Baseball. It will always have iconic status as one of the ballparks during baseball’s glory days of the 1950s and 1960s, which saw the White Sox finish second for so many years behind the hated Yankees. The park was always recognizable with its unique Roman arches visible in the background of thousands of photos of major leaguers in the 20th century.
Comiskey Park was named after owner Charles Comiskey, who, while being a great ballplayer and instrumental force in early Major League Baseball, unfortunately was also a stingily owner who had his own player rebel against him in 1919 when the “Black Sox” threw the World Series, allegedly opting to accept more money from gamblers than they would have received as champions.
Other highlights of Comiskey Park include the first All-Star Game in 1933 and the 50th All-Star Game in 1950.
Unfortunately the White Sox didn’t have much success during the park’s lifespan. They won the World Series in 1917, and made it back in 1959, only to lose to the Dodgers.
At least White Sox fans who were patient another 15 years got to see the White Sox break their 88-year drought with a World Series Championship in 2005.
The Chicago River was awarded in 1999, by the American Society of Civil Engineers as a ‘Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium’. This man-made waterflow system was out of necessity as extreme weather of 1885 threatened the city’s water supply.
The source of the main water stem is from Lake Michigan to the Chicago River. These waters are maintained through various locks that are on the basin of the lake to the Mississippi river.
Other contributors to the water flow of the city are the many bridges and fountains that memorialize the founders and revolutionary visionaries that have made Chicago a remarkable city.
Although there have been periods of slight flooding and different pollutants that have interrupted the river flow, the city has recovered and have celebrated this engineering accomplishment with many celebrations on the Chicago River including “Mayor Daley’s Chicago River Fishing Festival” and also the dying of the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day.
Navy Pier has been host to many ships over the years as it was a naval training base as well as one of the greatest inland ports in the world. Although known today as a place of entertainment, the pier has been home to many a venue. Built in 1914, architect Charles Sumner Frost and Daniel Burnham had a vision to make this a recreational and shipping dock that would be near the mouth of the Chicago River
Through World War I and II the pier was a barracks for soldiers, Red Cross and Home Defense. The pier has also had its own streetcar line, theater, restaurants and an emergency hospital. In 1995, the pier had a complete makeover and re-opened to the public with a big mix of food and entertainment including the Guiness World Record Ferris Wheel.
Since 1998, the Pier has hosted the Tall Ships Exhibit where people can board maritime vessels including some that at once graced the docks of the original pier. This year, Pepsi is once again sponsoring the Tall Ships Exhibit August 7-11.
Today the Randolph Street Market is a monthly event that features antiques, art, fashion, food and music. But in the early days of Chicago, the Randolph Street Market was a way for immigrants to earn money.
Unfortunately, the Market became a place of horror on the night of May 4, 1886, when a bomb was thrown into the crowd of an anarchist meeting, killing several and injuring several more. The controversy was over the organizations of labor at the local factories including the McCormick Reaper Plant where a few days earlier a strike had erupted there where two were killed.
Although the Randolph Street Market happened to be the meeting place for the violence, the market still thrives today bringing in many visitors once a month. The market is now an indoor/outdoor market with nicely paved walkways outdoors and terrazzo floors inside. Many local vendors sell everything from food to clothing, but the most popular is the antique market. Click here to view and purchase early photos of Chicago.
Just as it was back in the day, fishing is still great in Chicago. Beginning in the 1830s commercial fisherman reeled in many different species of fish off the shores and off-shores of Lake Michigan. Over the years, the pollution and non-native fish species have had the best of the lake.
Throughout history fishing has been a means of survival and an outlet for leisure and relaxation. And that tradition has moved all over the globe. Including Chicago and the suburbs. By 1917, The Chicago River was lined with industry and the rivers turned into streams that has led out to the Cook County Forest Preserves.
Fisherman of all ages and abilities still choose to cast out on Navy Pier, the Chicago Harbor and many other harbors and ports that line Lake Michigan today. Although fishing is not as much a survival necessity, there is still a need for relaxation and challenge of catching a world-class bass or a perch or salmon from the waters that inhabit Chicago. To purchase pictures of the History of Chicago go here