30. Jeanne Gang’s Aqua Tower is Completed

Photo: Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune May 25, 2010 Viewed from the street, the undulating white floor plates protruding here and there from the plane of the building’s glass façade create an effect so unexpected that you have to blink and look twice. The curvaceous patterns have been likened to pools or puddles, and the trick helped … Read more

27. The Union Stock Yards Close

Photo: Chicago Tribune July 30, 1971 For more than a century, the yards were the reeking, roiling heart of working Chicago, employing tens of thousands of packers and slaughterhouse workers. By 1924, the 475-acre site and its related packinghouses processed more meat than any other place in the world. “The closing of the stockyards was … Read more

28. PBS Airs Steppenwolf’s True West

Photo: PBS January 31, 1984 Today Steppenwolf is shorthand for Chicago’s dynamic, world-class theater scene, a talent incubator on a national scale. But it was hardly a household name when PBS viewers tuned in to American Playhouse on a Tuesday night to watch John Malkovich and Gary Sinise circle each other, fangs bared, in Sam … Read more

26. Pope John Paul II Visits Chicago

Photo: Armando Villa/Chicago Tribune October 4–6, 1979 More than 750,000 people lined his motorcade’s route from O’Hare, and a huge crowd came to Grant Park the next day for his outdoor Mass. For greater Chicago’s 2.4 million Catholics — and even more so for its 500,000 residents of Polish descent — the Poland-born pope’s visit felt like a homecoming, … Read more

24. The City Council Ratifies the Parking Meter Deal

Photo: Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune December 4, 2008 Rushed through the City Council with virtually no debate or public scrutiny, Mayor Richard M. Daley’s deal leased Chicago’s 36,000 parking meters to private investors for 75 years. The city got a one-time sugar rush of $1.2 billion, but the investors made back that money in 10 years, … Read more

23. Jane Byrne is Elected Mayor

Photo: John Irvine/Chicago Tribune April 3, 1979 “Nobody saw me coming. I was like a joke,” Byrne remembered years later in a Tribune interview. The former consumer sales commissioner beat the machine-backed Michael Bilandic by attracting a curious coalition of disgruntled Republicans and progressives, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, then won the general election with 82 … Read more

20. The Last Cabrini-Green Tower is Demolished

Photo: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune March 30, 2011 Cut off from the amenities of surrounding neighborhoods, its public spaces defaced and plagued by gang activity, the Cabrini high-rise complex had become the reigning symbol of a failed experiment in urban planning and a yearslong push by Richard J. Daley to contain and confine Black communities. When … Read more

22. Operation Greylord is Revealed

Judge Richard LeFevour was sentenced to twelve years in prison for his role in the Greylord scandal, which revealed corruption within Cook County’s court system. He was convicted of taking thousands of dollars in bribes to fix traffic cases. Photo: Frank Hanes/Chicago Tribune August 5, 1983 The FBI probe into corruption in the Cook County … Read more

32. The White Sox Win the World Series

Photo: Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune October 26, 2005 Some saw the team’s 88-year world-championship hiatus as divine punishment for 1919, when Sox players threw the World Series. When the South Siders finally claimed the crown with a four-game sweep of the Astros, long-suffering fans ecstatically sang “Na Na Hey Hey.” “The Sox have been the stepchild … Read more

33. The Digging of the Deep Tunnel Begins

Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune August 25, 1976 Conceived half a century ago and not scheduled for completion until 2029, it’s one of the biggest civil engineering projects ever undertaken. Engineers called this superhighway of sewers and reservoirs a “storm bottle,” designed to solve one of the most intractable problems of our low-lying waterfront city: street … Read more