|Return to "The City the Planners Saw"|
Like any major city, early twentieth-century Chicago supported a wide variety and range of places for large gatherings, entertainment, and recreation.
The fantastically castellated Coliseum at 15th and Wabash was an all-purpose arena used for large-scale meetings, expositions, and sporting events. One of several national political conventions that took place there was the one that nominated Republican William Howard Taft in 1908, though perhaps the most famous was the 1896 Democratic convention at which William Jennings Bryan delivered his "Cross of Gold" speech.
See also: Chicago Stadium
While downtown Chicago boasted many fine "resorts," as fancier establishments were called, small saloons like this one, featuring inexpensive food and cameraderie as well as alcohol, were a vital element in the social texture of urban life.
See also: Drugs and Alcohol
Dime "museums" of curiosities, cheap theaters (one here claiming to feature "exotic" dancers from the Midway at Chicago's World's Fair), and penny arcades catered to working people with limited means.
The Levee, with its "sporting clubs" of all sorts, was the city's most notorious vice district. The names of many of the businesses suggest the unapologetic allure that scandalized and outraged "proper" Chicagoans.
See also: Crime and Chicago's Image
The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago © 2005 Chicago Historical Society.
The Encyclopedia of Chicago © 2004 The Newberry Library. All Rights Reserved. Portions are copyrighted by other institutions and individuals. Additional information on copyright and permissions.