Friday, July 23, 2010

Trip 52: Union Stock Yard Gate

Date: July 23, 2010
Trip: 52
Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 144
Landmarks Remaining: 209

On Friday my friend Nick and I made a beer run to the south side. A beer distributor had donated beer for a non-profit function, and we were the volunteers to go pick it up. But luckily, the distributor was only a block south of the Union Stock Yard Gate.

For me, the stock yard gate is the Hoover Dam of Chicago landmarks. Let me explain. The first time that I saw Hoover Dam I was actually disappointed in its size. In fact, I thought maybe it was a different dam and we hadn't gotten to Hoover Dam yet. Granted, the dam is big, but I had seen so many pictures and read so much about how big it was that the real thing seemed small relatively.

The stock yard gate was the same thing. I've seen so many pictures, that the real thing seemed small. (Nick is in a couple of the photos, so you can get perspective for yourself.) As we drove up to it, I wasn't 100% certain that it was the 'real' gate.

Nonetheless, it is cool that it was preserved. Otherwise you would have no idea that the world's largest stock yards were once here. The only clue left is that there is a lot of open space in this area for being in the middle of a big city. The city has built a little brick plaza around the gate, and there is also a memorial to the 21 firefighters who died in a 1910 fire at the stock yards.
My dad would like this factoid, the 'union' in the name comes from the fact that nine railroads came together to initially start the stock yards

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