Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : Globalization: Chicago and the World
Globalization: Chicago and the World
Essay: Introduction
Essay: Chicago in the Middle Ground
Map: Chicago's World¬óWithin a Day's Travel
Essay: Global Chicago
Colonial Trans-Atlantic Networks
A Cosmopolitan Frontier
Global Capitalism and Chicago Real Estate
Built Environment in a Mercantile Metropolis
Networks of Rails
World's Columbian Exposition of 1893
Turn-of-the-Century Industrialization and International Markets
The Chicago Region and Its Global Models
An Upstart Behemoth
Mailing To the World
The World in Chicago
Chicago's Twentieth-Century Cultural Exports
"The Whole World Is Watching"
Corporate Headquarters and Industrial Relics
Map: Changing Origins of Metropolitan Chicago's Foreign-Born Population
Corporate Headquarters and Industrial Relics

Deindustrialization influenced the Chicago area's landscape nearly as dramatically as earlier periods of industrial expansion. Sites of closed steel mills were repurposed into parks and historic sites. Manufacturing areas were converted to office parks or residential developments, even as the long-term environmental impact of these defunct factories continued to be studied. Meanwhile, service-oriented businesses and high-tech industries moved into the Chicago area, drawn by some of the same factors--including geographic centrality, access to transportation networks, and size of available workforce--that had been attracting investment and development in the region for more than a century.

Motorola Co. in Schaumburg, 1968

In 1976, when Motorola Co. moved its headquarters to a Schaumburg location not far from this plant, the company was an international leader in the production of consumer electronic products, semiconductors, and microprocessors. By the 1980s, Motorola had become a multi-national corporation, with more than 100,000 employees worldwide, and a clear example of the significant impact of high-tech industry on metropolitan Chicago's economy and global status.

See also: Architecture: Second Chicago School; Electronics; Motorola Inc.; Schaumburg, IL; Globalization (Digital Essay)

Lakeshore Property (Formerly U. S. Steel South Works), 1987

The shoreline on the South Side of Chicago that was laden with steel mills for most of the twentieth century is just beginning to be transformed. The South Works Steel Mill, located ten miles south of the loop between Rainbow Beach and Calumet Park, occupied a mile and a half of lakefront property. In 2004, the city of Chicago was working with South Chicago to develop public space along that stretch of lakefront.

See also: Historic Preservation; Iron and Steel; Iron and Steel Industry (Map); Water in Chicago (Digital Essay)

Joliet Iron Works Historic Site, 2005

The Joliet Works opened in 1869 and was a major employer until it closed in the 1930s. By the end of the twentieth century, Chicago no longer was an international center for iron and steel manufacturing. That production had shifted to China, where mills turned out nearly one-third of the world's iron and steel supply. Sites like the old Joliet Works no longer embodied the region's industrial might, but rather offered examples of recent efforts to develop tourism based on an industrial past. In 1998 the Forest Preserve District of Will County opened an interpretive walking trail through the remains of structures at the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site along the path of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. The photograph shows the foundations of the gas engine station, which consisted of three large Allis-Chalmers engines that generated electricity for the works. The Joliet Penitentiary, built in 1858, is in the distance.

See also: Historic Preservation; Iron and Steel; Pullman