Friday, June 10, 2011

Trip 107: Hot Sunday Morning

Date: June 5, 2011
Trip: 107
Landmarks Visited: 6
Landmarks To-Date: 305
Landmarks Remaining: 48

On this unseasonably hot Sunday I passed another milestone. I have now seen over 300 landmarks. It made me start thinking about if/ when I see the last landmark. I plan to buy myself a bottle of champagne.

1. Site of the John and Mary Jones House

John and Mary Jones were early civil rights activists. Unfortunately, there is nothing left of their home. I wasn't even able to find a landmark plaque.

2. St. Charles Air Line Bridge

It took a little research to learn why this railroad bridge is called an 'air line' bridge. Apparently it was one of the first movable bridges to utilize air buffered pistons. Its span was also shortened when it was moved to its current position when the underlying portion of the river was straightened.

3. Engine Company 65, Truck 52

This landmark took me to a neighborhood that I had never visited before--Brighton Park.

4. Eighth Regiment Armory

This building was the first armory in the United States built for an African-American military regiment. Today it is a public high school/military academy.

5. Elam House

This house is definitely my favorite landmark of this trip. It's another Chateauesque mansion along one of Chicago's original boulevards. Unfortunately, a 1992 fire destroyed the interior of the building. It has yet to be restored, but the exterior appears to be in excellent condition. From the 1930's through the 70's the house was used as a boarding house for underprivileged women and girls.

6. Chicago Orphan Asylum Building

This building was originally an orphanage. Later it became a community center and was part of the Chicago Black Renaissance of the 30's and 40's. Today it is a Baptist institute.


  1. Hi, Chris!

    Wow, what a goal! Can you believe you are almost done? What have been your favorite landmarks? I am the social media coordinator at Midwest Living magazine and we're working with Enjoy Illinois on a Facebook contest called, "Magnificent Getaways Giveaway Contest," which invites people to share recent magnificent Illinois experiences for a chance to win one of three one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime experiences in Chicago and across Illinois. The Grand Prize alone includes dining (for four) on the Ledge at Skydeck Chicago, Terzo Piano and Lawry's Prime, plus a stay at the Trump Tower and more! If this is something you're interested in you can enter one of two ways: or on the contest website, Please feel free to contact me with any questions at

    Hayley Mason, Social Media Coordinator for Midwest Living magazine, Meredith Corporation

  2. Sorry, I'm a little behind reading the comments. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely enter the contest.

    I would say my favorite landmarks so far have been some of the neighborhoods like Kenwood. It's amazing how many homes are preserved and how wealthy these neighborhoods were in their day. I would also say learning about the Boulevard District has been one of my favorites. I previously hadn't know that there even was a ring of boulevards encircling the city, and again many of the houses are amazing. Plus it's interesting that it ties together so many neighborhoods from Logan Square to Bronzeville to Hyde Park.

    Thanks for reading!