Packingtown Museum

The Union Stock Yards once commanded more than a square mile of the South Side. But while Chicago is no longer the “hog butcher for the world,” the story of the meatpacking industry’s massive legacy is now told at a decidedly diminutive museum in the same part of town. Located at the Plant, a former processing facility that now houses small businesses committed to the environment and sustainability, the Packingtown Museum, which opened last October, is the size of a large classroom, but it packs in plenty of history: how the stockyards shaped this city, the role immigrants played in meatpacking, the industry’s labor legacy, and more. Featuring vintage photos of stockyard workers, concrete ceilings fitted with steel rails that once carried hog and cattle carcasses, and eerie old refrigerator doors, the museum may give even the most bacon-obsessed visitor pause. Still, it’s a must-visit for anyone who cares about Chicago history. 1400 W. 46th St., Back of the Yards