Michigan Avenue Bridge

The Michigan Avenue Bridge (officially DuSable Bridge) is a bascule bridge that carries Michigan Avenue across the main stem of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois, United States. The bridge was proposed in the early 20th century as part of a plan to link Chicago's south side and north side parks with a grand boulevard. Construction of the bridge started in 1918, it opened to traffic in 1920, and decorative work was completed in 1928. The bridge provides passage for vehicles and pedestrians on two levels; it is an example of a fixed trunnion bascule bridge, which is also known as a "Chicago style bascule bridge". The bridge is included in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District and has been designated as a Chicago Landmark.

The location is significant in the early history of Chicago. Events from the city's past are commemorated with sculptures and plaques on the bridge, and exhibits in the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum—housed in one of the bridge tender houses—detail the history of the Chicago River.

Michigan Avenue Bridge
Michigan Ave Bridge 20100912
Michigan Avenue Bridge viewed from the west
Coordinates41°53′19.9″N 87°37′27.7″W / 41.888861°N 87.624361°WCoordinates: 41°53′19.9″N 87°37′27.7″W / 41.888861°N 87.624361°W
CarriesMichigan Avenue
CrossesChicago River
Official nameDuSable Bridge
Heritage statusChicago Landmark
ID number000016612026812
DesignDouble-leaf, double-deck, fixed counterweight, trunnion bascule bridge
Total length399 feet (122 m)[1]
Width91.75 feet (27.97 m)[2]
Longest span256 feet (78 m) between trunnions
220 feet (67 m) between piers[3]
Clearance below16 feet (4.9 m)
DesignerBureau of Engineering, Chicago Department of Public Works
Construction startApril 15, 1918[4]
Construction end1920
OpenedMay 14, 1920[4]
Daily traffic37900 (upper deck)
11700 (lower deck)[5]


Aerial view of the bridge, looking south along Michigan Avenue, 1945 (left) and 2008 (right)

Michigan Ave looking south, Chicago, 6-20-1945
Michigan Avenue Bridge 20080811

The Michigan Avenue Bridge has a north–south orientation, spanning the main stem of the Chicago River between the Near North Side and Loop community areas of Chicago.[6] Its northern portal lies at the foot of the Magnificent Mile, between the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower. Its southern portal is at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, overlooked by the London Guarantee Building and 333 North Michigan. The neighboring bridges are Columbus Drive Bridge to the east and Wabash Avenue Bridge to the west.

The bridge is situated in a historically significant area.[7] The northern end of the bridge covers part of the Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite,[n 1] which is commemorated by a National Historic plaque in Pioneer Court. The southern half of the bridge passes over the site of Fort Dearborn, which was constructed in 1803.[n 2] The Fort is commemorated by a large relief above the entrance of the London Guarantee Building, and brass markers positioned in the sidewalks on the south side of the bridge delineate the posited outline of the original blockhouse.[10]


The historical significance of the location has been used as the basis for a number of proposals to rename the bridge. In 1921 the Chicago Historical Society suggested that the bridge should be named MarquetteJoliet Bridge,[11] and in 1939 it was proposed to rename the bridge as Fort Dearborn Bridge.[12] These proposals were not adopted.

In October 2010, the bridge was renamed DuSable Bridge in honor of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, Chicago's first permanent resident.[13] A fur trader of African descent who married into the Potawatomi tribe, he established a permanent homestead and trading post near the mouth of the Chicago River in the 1780s.[14]


Plan of Chicago Plate CXII
Michigan Boulevard and bridge as proposed in Burnham & Bennett's 1909 Plan of Chicago looking north from Grant Park

A boulevard to link the parks on Chicago's north and south sides was proposed as early as 1891.[4] An early plan called for a tunnel to link Michigan Avenue south of the river with Pine Street (now Michigan Avenue) north of the river.[15] In 1903 an editorial in the Chicago Tribune proposed a new bascule bridge across the river at Michigan Avenue.[16][17] Other plans suggested that the bridge should be a replica of the Pont Alexandre III that spans the Seine in Paris, or that, rather than constructing an entirely new bridge, the existing Rush Street bridge should be double-decked.[18]

Plans for the boulevard and the construction of a Michigan Avenue Bridge were further elaborated upon in Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago.[19] In 1911 a plan was selected that included the widening of Michigan Avenue from Randolph Street to the river, replacing the Rush Street bridge with a new bridge at Michigan Avenue and the construction of a double-decked boulevard along Pine Street as far as Ohio Street.[20] An ordinance to fund construction was passed in 1913, but was declared void by the Supreme Court of Illinois.[21] A second ordinance was passed in 1914, but legal battles continued until the end of 1916.[22] Construction finally started on April 15, 1918, and the bridge was officially opened in a ceremony on May 14, 1920.[4]

The bridge is one of the contributing properties of the Michigan–Wacker Historic District, which was listed as on the National Register of Historic Places on November 15, 1978.[23] It was also designated as a Chicago Landmark on October 2, 1991.[24] In 2009 the sidewalks and railings on the bridge were replaced, and the bridge was repainted; the design of the new ornamental railings was based on the original 1920 design for the bridge's railings, replacing more utilitarian ones that had been substituted at a later date.[25]

Design and operation

Michigan Avenue Bridge is a double-leaf, double-deck, fixed counterweight, trunnion bascule bridge.[2] It was engineered by the Chicago Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering;[2] Edward H. Bennett was the consulting architect and William A. Mulcahy the chief engineer of construction.[26] At the time of construction it was believed to be the first double-deck bridge ever built to have roadway on both levels; faster non-commercial traffic using the upper deck and slower commercial traffic that served the various industries and docks in the vicinity of the river using the lower deck.[3]

Michigan Ave Bridge 060415
The Michigan Avenue Bridge is raised twice weekly in the spring and fall

Each of the bridge's leaves is divided into two along the axis of the bridge such that it functions as two parallel bridges that can be operated independently of one another; at the time of construction bridges over the Chicago River were frequently struck by vessels, and this duplex arrangement allows for leaves damaged in such a collision to be opened for repair without needing to completely close the bridge to traffic.[27] The counterweights are below the level of the lower deck and when the bridge is opened they swing down into 40-foot-deep (12 m) reinforced concrete tailpits that descend 34.5 feet (10.5 m) below the surface of the river.[28] Each of the two tailpits is supported on nine cylindrical foundation piers. One of these piers was sunk to bedrock, 108 feet (33 m) below the river surface, the other 17 piers are sunk to the hardpan, which is 80 to 90 feet (24 to 27 m) below the water level.[28] On the south side of the river one of the freight tunnels of the Chicago Tunnel Company had to be re-routed to make room for the tailpit.[28] The counterweights are composed partly of concrete and partly of a concrete composite with rivet punchings; each of the four counterweights weighs 1,595 short tons (1,447 t).[29] The Michigan Avenue Bridge is made of steel. The bridge can carry about 30,000 people daily.

The bridge abutments and the facing of the bridge tender houses are made of Bedford stone.[30] There are four bridge tender houses: the northwest and southeast bridgehouses house the controls for operating the bridge; the northeast and southwest bridgehouses are purely decorative.[31] Two 108 horsepower (81 kW) motors open and close each of the 3,750-short-ton (3,400 t) bridge leaves.[32] Originally the bridge was staffed 24 hours a day, and opened up to 3000 times a year to allow ships through, but since the 1970s bridge lifting has been scheduled in the spring and fall, when the bridge is raised twice weekly to allow sailboats to pass between Lake Michigan and inland boat yards where they are stored for the winter.[31]


Sculptures on the bridge tender houses. Left to right: The Discoverers, The Pioneers, Defense, Regeneration.

The Discoverers James Earle Fraser
The Pioneers James Earle Fraser
Defense Henry Hering
Regeneration Henry Hering

In 1928 sculptures depicting scenes from Chicago's history were added to the outward-facing walls of the four bridgehouses. The sculptures on the northern bridgehouses were commissioned by William Wrigley, Jr., and are by James Earle Fraser: The Discoverers depicts Louis Joliet, Jacques Marquette, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and Henri de Tonti;[33] The Pioneers depicts John Kinzie leading a group through the wilderness.[34] The sculptures on the southern bridgehouses were commissioned by the Benjamin F. Ferguson Monument Fund, and are by Henry Hering: Defense depicts Ensign George Ronan in a scene from the 1812 Battle of Fort Dearborn;[35] Regeneration depicts workers rebuilding Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.[36][37]

The bridge is also bedecked with 28 flagpoles, usually flying the flags of the United States, Illinois and Chicago. On special occasions other banners may be displayed.

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

Bridgehouse Museum 20101009
Entrance to the Bridgehouse Museum

The southwest bridgehouse has been converted into a museum. The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum is a 5-floor, 1,613-square-foot (149.9 m2) museum that opened on June 10, 2006; it is named for Robert R. McCormick, formerly owner of the Chicago Tribune and president of the Chicago Sanitary District.[31] The Robert R. McCormick Foundation was the major donor that helped to provide the $950,000 cost of the formation of the museum.[31] It is run by the Friends of the Chicago River,[38] and includes exhibits on the history of the Chicago River and the bridge. Visitors are also allowed to access the bridge's gear room; during the spring and fall bridge lifting visitors can see the bridge gears in operation as the leaves are raised and lowered.[31] Due to its small size and tight access stairway only 79 people are allowed inside the museum at any one time.[31]

See also



  1. ^ According to an 1892 description of the location of the house, it "stood as nearly as may be at the foot of Pine Street [now Michigan Avenue], partly upon the ground now occupied by Kirk's factory, and partly in what is now known as North Water Street, properly an extension of Kinzie Street." This location was confirmed by the recollections of John Noble, the last occupant of the house, who died in 1888.[8]
  2. ^ The south bank of the river where Fort Dearborn had stood was dredged in 1855, straightening the bend in the river and widening it at this point by about 150 feet (46 m)[9]


  1. ^ Holth, Nathan. "Michigan Avenue Bridge". HistoricBridges.org. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Scott, Charles; Alexander, Frances; Nicolay, John; Brucken, Carolyn. "Chicago River Bascule Bridge, Michigan Avenue". Historic American Engineering Record. Library of Congress. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Young 1920, p. 508
  4. ^ a b c d ""I Will" Spirit Wins; Open Link Bridge Today". Chicago Tribune. May 14, 1920. p. 3.
  5. ^ 2010 data from the National Bridge Inventory Database. "National Bridge Inventory". U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  6. ^ Google Maps (Map). Google Inc. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  7. ^ Stamper, John W. (2005). North Michigan Avenue: a building book from the Chicago Historical Society. Pomegranate. p. 8. ISBN 0-7649-3382-5.
  8. ^ Mason, Edward G. (April 1892). "Early Visitors to Chicago". The New England magazine. 6 (2): 188–206.
  9. ^ Andreas, Alfred T. (1884). History of Chicago, Volume 1. A. T. Andreas. p. 238. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  10. ^ "Old Fort Dearborn Site to be Outlined on Michigan Avenue". Chicago Tribune. January 8, 1941.
  11. ^ "Michigan Ave Bridge it is, and so it Stays". Chicago Daily Tribune. April 7, 1921.
  12. ^ "Urge Renaming of Bridge in Honor of Ft. Dearborn". Chicago Daily Tribune. October 29, 1939.
  13. ^ Cancino, Alejandra (October 15, 2010). "Michigan Avenue bridge officially renamed DuSable Bridge". Chicago Breaking News. Archived from the original on October 19, 2010. Retrieved October 16, 2010.
  14. ^ "Michigan Avenue Bridge becomes DuSable Bridge". WLS-TV. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  15. ^ "Great Boulevard Subway Project for Connecting North and South Divisions of the City". Chicago Tribune. January 22, 1903. p. 3.
  16. ^ "A Michigan Avenue Dream". Chicago Tribune. May 31, 1903. p. 16.
  17. ^ "Experts Praise Boulevard Plan". Chicago Tribune. June 21, 1903. p. 8.
  18. ^ "Many Plans are Submitted for the Boulevard Link". Chicago Tribune. June 11, 1904. p. 4.
  19. ^ Burnham & Bennett 1909, pp. 101–107
  20. ^ "Wide Boulevard Scheme Chosen". Chicago Tribune. July 11, 1911. p. 3.
  21. ^ "No Beginning on Boulevard Link for Three Years". Chicago Tribune. May 6, 1915. p. 13.
  22. ^ "Last Obstacle to Boulevard Link Removed". Chicago Tribune. December 29, 1916. p. 2.
  23. ^ Robert Wagner (1978-02-03). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Michigan–Wacker Historic District" (PDF). National Park Service. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  24. ^ Davis, Robert (October 3, 1991). "City Makes Bridge a Landmark, Puts De Paul on State Street". Chicago Tribune.
  25. ^ Kamin, Blair (April 5, 2009). "Perfect timing for the Olympics inspection: Handsome new railings on the Michigan Avenue Bridge". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  26. ^ McMahon, James D. "Plaque Commemorating Opening of Michigan Avenue Bridge". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  27. ^ Young 1920, p. 509
  28. ^ a b c Young & Mulcahey 1919, p. 210
  29. ^ Young 1920, p. 514
  30. ^ Young 1921, p. 364
  31. ^ a b c d e f Mullen, William (June 7, 2006). "House on the river bridges 8 decades - Hidden world will soon become museum - The fascinating and long-hidden world inside one of Chicago's stylish bridge-tender towers soon will be opened to visitors". Chicago Tribune.
  32. ^ "About the Bridge". McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum website. McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. Archived from the original on June 17, 2006. Retrieved October 1, 2006.
  33. ^ "The Discoverers (sculpture)". Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
  34. ^ "The Pioneers (sculpture)". Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
  35. ^ "Defense (sculpture)". Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
  36. ^ "Regeneration (sculpture)". Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
  37. ^ Stamper, John W. (1991). Chicago's North Michigan Avenue: Planning and Development, 1900-1930. University of Chicago Press. p. 45. ISBN 0-226-77085-0.
  38. ^ "About the Museum". McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum website. McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. Archived from the original on September 28, 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2010.


External links

333 North Michigan

333 North Michigan is a skyscraper in the art deco style located in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois in the United States. Architecturally, it is noted for its dramatic upper-level setbacks that were inspired by the 1923 skyscraper zoning laws. Geographically, it is known as one of the four 1920s flanks of the Michigan Avenue Bridge (along with the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and the London Guarantee Building) that are contributing properties to the Michigan–Wacker Historic District, which is a U.S. Registered Historic District.Additionally, it is known as the geographic beneficiary of the jog in Michigan Avenue, which makes it visible along the Magnificent Mile as the building that seems to be in the middle of the road at the foot of this stretch of road (pictured at left). The building was designed by Holabird & Roche/Holabird & Root and completed in 1928. It is 396 feet (120.7 m) tall, and has 34 storeys.

It was designated a Chicago Landmark on February 7, 1997. It is located on the short quarter mile stretch of Michigan Avenue between the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District and the Magnificent Mile.

Designed by John Wellborn Root, Jr., the building's long and narrow footprint and towering structure are a tribute to Root's father John Wellborn Root's earlier Chicago Monadnock Building; Louis Sullivan's tall-building canon; and Eliel Saarinen's second-prize entry in the Tribune Tower design contest. The building was such a success that Holabird and Root took commercial residence there. The building's long and slender design optimized use of natural lighting. The building's interior represents Prohibition era modernism, especially its Art Deco Tavern club.The building is embellished by a polished marble base, ornamental bands, and reliefs depicting frontiersmen and Native Americans at Fort Dearborn, which partially occupied the site.

Chicago Loop

The Loop, one of Chicago's 77 designated community areas, is the central business district in the downtown area of the city. It is home to Chicago's commercial core, City Hall, and the seat of Cook County. Bounded on the north and west by the Chicago River, on the east by Lake Michigan, and on the south by Roosevelt Road (although the commercial core has expanded into adjacent community areas), it is the second largest commercial business district in the United States after Midtown Manhattan and contains the headquarters of many locally and globally important businesses as well as many of Chicago's most famous attractions.

In what is now the Loop, on the south bank of the Chicago River near today's Michigan Avenue Bridge, the United States Army erected Fort Dearborn in 1803, the first settlement in the area sponsored by the United States. In the late nineteenth century cable car turnarounds and a prominent elevated railway encircled the area, giving the Loop its name. Around the same time some of the world's earliest skyscrapers were constructed in the area. In 1908, Chicago addresses were made uniform by naming the intersection of State Street and Madison Street in the Loop as the origin of the Chicago street grid.

Disappearance of Edward and Stephania Andrews

Edward Pope Andrews (Born 1908) and Stephania Rynak Andrews (Born 1908) were a married couple who disappeared in 1970 after leaving a party in the Chicago Loop. The case was widely publicized by Chicago newspapers. Multiple police investigations failed to determine the couple's fate.

Henry Hering

Henry Hering was an American sculptor who was born New York City on February 15, 1874 and died there on January 17, 1949.

Jean Baptiste Point du Sable

Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (also spelled Point de Sable, Point au Sable, Point Sable, Pointe DuSable; before 1750 – August 28, 1818) is regarded as the first permanent non-Indigenous settler of what later became Chicago, Illinois, and is recognized as the "Founder of Chicago". A school, museum, harbor, park, and bridge have been named in his honor. The site where he settled near the mouth of the Chicago River around the 1780s is identified as a National Historic Landmark, now located in Pioneer Court.

Point du Sable was of African descent but little else is known of his life prior to the 1770s. During his career, the areas where he settled and traded around the Great Lakes and in the Illinois Country changed hands several times among France, Britain, Spain and the new United States. Described as handsome and well educated, Point du Sable married a Native American woman, Kitiwaha, and they had two children. In 1779, during the American Revolutionary War, he was arrested by the British military on suspicion of being an American sympathizer. In the early 1780s he worked for the British lieutenant-governor of Michilimackinac on an estate at what is now the city of St. Clair, Michigan.

Point du Sable is first recorded as living at the mouth of the Chicago River in a trader's journal of early 1790. He established an extensive and prosperous trading settlement in what later became the city of Chicago. He sold his Chicago River property in 1800 and moved to St. Charles, now in Missouri, where he was licensed to run a Missouri River ferry. Point du Sable's successful role in developing the Chicago River settlement was little recognized until the mid-20th century.

Joseph Polowsky

Joseph (Joe) Polowsky (1916–1983) was an American soldier who with others met Soviet troops on the banks of Elbe River on April 25, 1945 and later became an anti-war activist.

He was the youngest son of Jewish immigrants who had immigrated from the Kiev area in the Russian Empire to the United States and worked first as a conductor and bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority, then as a taxi driver for the Checker Cab Company in Chicago.

During World War II he was conscripted and served in the 69th Infantry Division. He belonged to a scouting party which crossed the Elbe in Torgau on April 25, 1945 and met Soviet troops on the other bank. When the Americans and the Soviets saw bodies of German civilians killed by stray artillery fire near the river the soldiers of both armies swore to do everything to prevent a new war.

In 1946 Polowsky was discharged from the army. Back in the U.S., he unsuccessfully asked the United Nations to declare 25 April a World Day of Peace.

Each year he commemorated the Elbe Day on the Michigan Avenue Bridge in Chicago and held a vigil. He continued to work as a taxi driver.In 1959 he met Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev who visited the United States. A short time later he was invited to visit the Soviet Union where he again met Khrushchev in the Kremlin. Then he visited East Germany and met Walter Ulbricht.

Already ill with cancer, Polowsky held his last vigil on Michigan Avenue Bridge on April 25, 1983. He died in Chicago on October 17, 1983. In his will he asked to be buried in Torgau, and was buried there with military honors on November 26, 1983.

In 1995 a high school in Torgau was named after him. He was memorialized in the Fred Small song "At The Elbe". A new rose variety was dedicated to Joe Polowsky in Torgau in 2006.

List of bridges on the National Register of Historic Places in Florida

This is a list of bridges and tunnels on the National Register of Historic Places in the U.S. state of Florida.

London Guarantee Building

The London Guarantee Building or London Guaranty & Accident Building is a historic 1923 commercial skyscraper whose primary occupant since 2016 is the LondonHouse Chicago Hotel Formerly, for a time named the Stone Container Building, it is located near the Loop in Chicago, and is one of four 1920s skyscrapers that surround the Michigan Avenue Bridge (the others are the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and 333 North Michigan Avenue) and is a contributing property to the Michigan–Wacker Historic District. It stands on part of the former site of Fort Dearborn. The building was designated a Chicago Landmark on April 16, 1996.

Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile, sometimes referred to as The Mag Mile, is an upscale section of Chicago's Michigan Avenue, running from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side. The district is located adjacent to downtown, and one block east of Rush Street. The Magnificent Mile serves as the main thoroughfare between Chicago's Loop business district and its Gold Coast. It is generally the western boundary of the Streeterville neighborhood, to its east and River North to the west.

Real estate developer Arthur Rubloff of Rubloff Company gave the district its nickname in the 1940s. Currently Chicago's largest shopping district, various mid-range and high-end shops line this section of the street; approximately 3,100,000 square feet (290,000 m2) are occupied by retail, restaurants, museums and hotels. To date, rent on The Magnificent Mile is the eighth most expensive in the United States, behind Fifth Avenue in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.Tall buildings, such as the 875 North Michigan Avenue are in the district. Landmarks along the Magnificent Mile include Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, the Chicago Water Tower, and the Allerton, Drake and Intercontinental Hotels.

Michigan Avenue (Chicago)

Michigan Avenue is a north-south street in Chicago which runs at 100 east on the Chicago grid. The northern end of the street is at Lake Shore Drive on the shore of Lake Michigan in the Gold Coast Historic District. The street's southern terminus is at Sibley Boulevard in the southern suburb of Harvey, though like many Chicago streets it exists in several disjointed segments.As the home of the Chicago Water Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, and the shopping on the Magnificent Mile, it is a street well known to Chicago natives as well as tourists to the city. Michigan Avenue also is the main commercial street of Streeterville. It includes all of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District and most of the Michigan–Wacker Historic District, including the scenic urban space anchored by the Michigan Avenue Bridge.

Michigan–Wacker Historic District

The Michigan–Wacker Historic District is a National Register of Historic Places District that includes parts of the Chicago Loop and Near North Side community areas in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The district is known for the Chicago River, two bridges that cross it, and eleven high rise and skyscraper buildings erected in the 1920s. Among the contributing properties are the following Chicago Landmark structures:

333 North Michigan

London Guarantee Building (360 North Michigan)

Carbide & Carbon Building (230 North Michigan)

Michigan Avenue Bridge

35 East Wacker

Mather Tower (75 East Wacker)

Tribune Tower (435 North Michigan)

Other notable sites include Pioneer Court the Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite (401 North Michigan), which as the site of Chicago's first permanent residence is a National Historic Landmark, and the Wrigley Building (410 North Michigan). Across the Michigan Avenue Bridge is the former site of Fort Dearborn, the US Army post established in 1803. To the west is the Heald Square Monument, a statue of George Washington and the financiers of the American Revolution.

The district includes contributing properties with addresses on North Michigan Avenue, East Wacker Drive, North Wabash Avenue and East South Water Street. Other streets in the district are Rush Street, Hubbard, Illinois and Kinzie. The majority of these properties are on Michigan, with addresses ranging from 230 North Michigan to 505 North Michigan. The district also includes parts of Michigan, Wacker and East South Water, which are all among the many multilevel streets in Chicago. Most of its contributing high-rise buildings and skyscrapers are of either Gothic or Baroque architecture, in addition to Art Deco. The district is north of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District.

It was listed as on the National Register of Historic Places on November 15, 1978.

Multilevel streets in Chicago

Downtown Chicago, Illinois has some double-decked and a few triple-decked streets immediately north and south of the Main Branch and immediately east of the South Branch of the Chicago River. The most famous and longest of these is Wacker Drive, which replaced the South Water Street Market upon its 1926 completion. The resulting bi-level street has an upper-level riverfront boulevard, a lower-level roadway for commercial and through traffic, and a recreational walkway at water level.

Near North Side, Chicago

The Near North Side is one of 77 defined community areas of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is the northernmost of the three areas that constitute central Chicago, the others being the Loop and the Near South Side. The community area is located north and east of the Chicago River. To its east is Lake Michigan, and its northern boundary is the early 19th-century city limit of Chicago, North Avenue. Of the downtown community areas, the Near North Side has the second largest total area after the Near West Side, the highest number of skyscrapers, and the largest population. With the exception of Goose Island and the remnants of Cabrini–Green, to the west, the Near North Side is known for its extreme affluence, typified by the Magnificent Mile, Gold Coast, Navy Pier, and its world-famous skyscrapers.

The Near North Side is the oldest part of Chicago. In the 1780s, in what is now the Near North Side, on the northern banks of the Chicago River near today's Michigan Avenue Bridge, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable built the first known permanent settlement in "Eschecagou." Today this is marked by Pioneer Court.

Especially in the vicinity of Rush and Erie streets, the Near North Side was once known as McCormickville; so named because it is here where many branches of the famous McCormick family of mechanical reaper fame built their mansions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Pioneer Court

Pioneer Court is a plaza located near the junction of the Chicago River and Upper Michigan Avenue in Chicago's Magnificent Mile. It is believed to be the site of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable's original residence and trading post. In 1965, the plaza was built on the former site of his homestead as part of the construction of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of America building. The Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite was designated as a National Historic Landmark on May 11, 1976. John Kinzie, a prominent early settler, bought and expanded Point du Sable's post in 1800. The Plaza is bounded on the north by the Tribune Tower, on the east by 401 N. Michigan Avenue, on the south by the Chicago River, and on the west by Michigan Avenue, adjacent to the Michigan Avenue Bridge. In 2017, a newly designed Apple Inc. store was opened on the south side of the court, which created new levels linking down to the river.

From 2011–2012 the plaza was the display site for the Seward Johnson statue Forever Marilyn. The statue was later moved to Palm Springs, California. The plaza was used as a location in the film Divergent in 2013. A new statue was installed on November 1, 2016 in Pioneer Court. Also created by Seward Johnson, the statue, titled Return Visit, is 25 feet tall and depicts Abraham Lincoln standing next to a modern common man dressed in beige corduroy pants, sneakers and a cream color cable-knit sweater. The modern man is holding a copy of the Gettysburg Address.

Plaza 440

Plaza 440 is a 49-story residential condominium building located in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Originally built in 1992, it underwent a condominium conversion in 2005. The building contains 457 residential units and shares a 2,000,000-square-foot (190,000 m2) mixed-use development with a 336-room Marriott hotel and a 400-space parking garage. It rises from the northwest corner of Wabash and Hubbard streets in the River North district of Chicago's Near North Side.

Plaza 440 was designed by Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz and Associates, built by the John Buck Company and originally managed by its subsidiary, the John Buck Management Group. The building opened to residents in October 1991, but construction was not fully completed until 1992. 90% of the building's units were leased by August 1992. Plaza 440 was the last residential high-rise built in Chicago for years to come.The building was sold to American Invsco in September 2004 at a price of US$107 million. The previous owners, Archstone-Smith, had purchased the building two years previously for US$24 million. This is the current equivalent of US$142 million and US$33 million, respectively.

Rush Street (Chicago)

Rush Street is a one-way street in the Near North Side community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The street, which starts at the Chicago River between Wabash and North Michigan Avenues, runs directly north until it slants on a diagonal as it crosses Chicago Avenue then it continues to Cedar and State Streets, making it slightly less than a mile long. One lane also runs southbound from Ohio Street (600N) to Kinzie Street (400N) as part of a two-way street segment. It runs parallel to and one block west of the Magnificent Mile on the two-way traffic North Michigan Avenue, which runs at 100 east up to 950 north. The street, which is also one block east of the one-way southbound Wabash Avenue, formerly ran slightly further south to the Chicago River where over time various bridges connected it to the Loop, Chicago's central business district.

Rush Street's history traces back to the original incorporation of the city in the 1830s. It has since hosted important residences, such as the house of the first Mayor of Chicago, and significant commerce. Today, it continues to run through some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country and has businesses that correspond to the demands of its residents. The neighborhood hosts highly rated restaurants, five-star hotels, and four-star spas. The street, which was named after Declaration of Independence signator Benjamin Rush, was once known for its nightlife, especially at the northern end, which features entertainment that attracts locals and visitors. During the 1960s and 1970s, it was the most vibrant nightlife entertainment destination in the country outside of Las Vegas, with some of the most raunchy bars and clubs of the time. By the 1980s many of these establishments shuttered. Today, the street has emerged into an overflow of Oak Street with luxury shopping lining the streets from Barney's to Bugatti. The southern end of the street was an integral part of the city as a main river crossing at various incarnations of the Rush Street Bridge across the main branch of the Chicago River from the mid-19th century until the 1920s. The Rush Street Bridges have a rich cultural history, which includes both a prominent role in facilitating vehicular land traffic and a prominent role as a commercial port location. However, commerce on the Chicago River has declined since the 1930s and the Michigan Avenue Bridge has taken over the role as the primary river crossing for this neighborhood.

USS Mero (SS-378)

USS Mero (SS-378), a Balao-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the mero, any of several large groupers found in warm ocean waters.

Mero was laid down by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, Wisc., 22 July 1944; launched 17 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Henry G. Taylor; and commissioned at Manitowoc 17 August 1945, Commander John H. Turner in command.

The last submarine built at Manitowoc, Mero got underway for shakedown in Lake Michigan 25 August; thence, between 6 September and 17 November she cruised the Great Lakes and visited several ports including Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago. The Mero tied up at The Michigan Avenue bridge in Chicago and was open to visitors who were allowed aboard for a tour of the boat. Placed in floating drydock 9 November – 2 November, she reached New Orleans via the Mississippi River 29 November, on 6 December sailed for the Canal Zone, trained there a month, then sailed for Pearl Harbor 19 January 1946.

Mero reached Pearl 5 February and operated out of there until sailing for the west coast 22 February. Arriving San Francisco Bay 1 March, after preinactivation overhaul, she steamed to Mare Island 14 March to join the 19th Fleet, and decommissioned there 15 June 1946. Assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet, she remained berthed at Mare Island until loaned to Turkey 20 April 1960.

Wabash Avenue Bridge

The Wabash Avenue Bridge (officially, Irv Kupcinet Bridge) over the Chicago River was built in 1930. Standing west of the Michigan Avenue Bridge and east of Marina City, the bascule bridge connects the Near North Side with "The Loop" area.

The single-deck, double-leaf bascule bridge was designed by Thomas Pihlfeldt and built by the Ketler and Elliot Company. The American Institute of Steel Construction awarded it the "Most Beautiful" bridge in 1930.The control houses for controlling bridge operations are on the northwest and southwest corners of the bridge. The control houses are identical in design. In 1961 the control houses were upgraded to allow single man operation. Electrical modernization also accompanied this upgrade. While the northern control house is no longer in use, it still stands.

Wrigley Building

The Wrigley Building (400-410 North Michigan Avenue, Near North Side, Chicago, Illinois) is a skyscraper located directly across Michigan Avenue from the Tribune Tower on the Magnificent Mile. It was built to house the corporate headquarters of the Wrigley Company.

Chicago Landmark transportation
National Register of Historic Places,
Chicago Landmark
Chicago Landmark

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