City as Text Destinations

Check out one of these Chicago destinations as a part of your CAT adventure at NCHC23!

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Architectural Chicago

Chicago’s architecture is a feast for the eyes, a trip through history. Explore everything from an 80-foot fountain to the famous Wrigley Building to the Michigan Avenue Bridge, numerous theaters, and the economic heart of the Midwest.


The first gay community to be officially recognized in the United States, Boystown has been named as the world’s most “incomparable” gay neighborhood. The center of gay, lesbian, and transgender life in Chicago, the area includes the Center on Halsted, a vibrant community center, as well as restaurants, clubs, and architecture.

Chicago Cultural Center

Originally opened in 1897, this beautiful Chicago Landmark building was originally the city’s central library. Located across from Millenium Park, the Chicago Cultural Center serves the community through programs in the visual, performing and literary arts each year and is headquarters to the Chicago Children’s Choir.

Chicago History Museum

Located in Lincoln Park, the Chicago History Museum examines the past, present and future of the city. The museum, which was founded in 1856, is home to millions of authentic items from Chicago and U.S. history. An exhibit on Chicago Authors opens in fall 2015. There is a fee associated with entry to the museum (no more the $20)

Chicago’s first Chinese immigrants arrived in the 1870’s and settled in the South Loop. Only a few blocks square, Chicago’s Chinatown has a dense population of 10,000. This neighborhood is an exceptional microcosm of Asian culture that includes traditional Chinese groceries and other shops.

Gold Coast
Century-old stone mansions rub shoulders with contemporary high rises in the Gold Coast community. Chicago’s power brokers live here, captains of commerce, the high society set, even the city’s Roman Catholic archbishop. Highlights include the architecturally and historically significant Astor Street district and the striking swath of luxury apartments along Lakeshore Drive.

Jane Addams Hull House on the UIC Campus

The University of Illinois at Chicago is an architecturally interesting campus that has gone through several periods of intense building. Hull House, on the campus, is an historic memorial to Jane Addams, her innovative settlement house programs and associates and the neighborhood they served. The museum is an internationally recognized symbol of multicultural understanding, reflecting a tradition of social service and reform, educational innovation and urban research.

Lakeview/Belmont Ave.

Located just north of the city, the Lakeview community is diverse in its landmarks as it is in its population. Adjacent to Wrigley Park, Boystown, Lincoln Park and the lakefront, this vibrant neighborhood has something for everyone.

Lincoln Park & Neighborhood

Home to the Lincoln Park Zoo and DePaul University, Lincoln Park follows the lake front for more then 5 miles. Explore this green space, the zoo (which is free!) and nearby Armitage, Halsted and Webster Streets.

Magnificent Mile

Known for its shopping, the Magnificent Mile is also a stretch of Chicago rich in architectural landmarks, including the Michigan Ave. Bridge, The Wrigley Building, The Tribune Tower, Old Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the John Hancock Center. Street performers and musicians also gravitate toward this area.

Millennium Park

Described as a “new kind of town square,” Millennium Park opened in 2004 and houses 24.5 acres of public space including great examples of landscape design, public art and architecture as well as Chicago’s premiere green space. Home to Lurie Garden, explore the site that best represents Chicago’s motto “Urbs in Horto,” or “City in a Garden,” as well as “The Cloud Gate,” popularly known as “The Bean.”

Navy Pier

The most popular destination in Illinois, the Navy Pier’s past is as interesting as its present. The original campus of the University of Chicago was here before the Navy Pier transformed into the recreation and entertainment destination it is today including the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Crystal Gardens, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, and a Ferris Wheel.

Old Town

Originally home to a large German immigrant populations, Old Town combines the past and the present in its architecture, shops, and restaurants as well as The Second City improve comedy club, the Chicago History Museum (founded in 1856) and a Buddhist Temple.


Originally the port of entry for European immigrants from the 1870’s through the 1950’s, Pilsen is at present home primarily to one of the largest population of Mexican and Mexican Americans in the county. Its main streets are a jumble of brightly colored stores, bakeries and restaurants. Also a vibrant art community, the Pilsen Murals can be seen throughout the neighborhood and the National Museum of Mexican Art holds one of the largest collections of Mexican art.

Ravenswood Line

Also known as the Brown Line of the El. Jump on a wonderful old car and look through the windows as you pass by elements of the life, culture and history of Chicago. Gain perspective on the Loop, the business and financial center, and a number of neighborhoods from the comfort of the elevated train.


An open, pedestrian walkway on the south bank of the Chicago River, the Riverwalk is called the “Second Lakefront,” with green spaces, cafes, and interesting views of the city.

South Michigan Avenue/South Loop

Known to some as “the soul of Chicago,” South Michigan Avenue and the South Loop include numerous local universities, architectural landmarks, the Chicago Cultural Center, Millenium Park, Art Institute of Chicago, and Grant Park where President Barak Obama gave his 2004 acceptance speech.