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About Chicago

2,714,856 in city
9,804,845 in metro
227.41 mi² (589 km²)

Situated along the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. Although it is in the heart of the midwest, it looks and feels like a coastal city with its position along one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world.

The city is also the birthplace of the skyscraper. After the Great Chicago Fire, the city was being replaced by buildings of stone, iron, and a new material called steel. The Home Insurance Building was born out of this building frenzy and was the world's first skyscraper. It was built using a revolutionary idea of using a steel skeleton to enable buildings to reach even greater heights.

The city is famous for its innovative architectural tradition, and its collection of buildings benefits from an urban plan that gives the public many advantageous perspectives - a long chain of parks along the lakefront, a spectacular river flowing through the heart of downtown, an extensive system of parks and boulevards, two public observatories, and a number of well-defined plazas in the business district.

Today Chicago ranks as one of the world's largest skylines. From one end of the lakefront to the other, skyscrapers are lined up along the beautiful parks and beaches - rising higher and higher toward the center where dizzying clusters of towers reach for the clouds and beyond.



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