How to Make a Grotesque Head

Can't decide what to dress up as for Halloween? Do you feel that a simple mask doesn't show enough dedication? Do you need a better costume idea? Look no further than the Chicago Park District Records: Drawings and Photographs. These collections, along with Grotesque Heads and Masks & Costumes, published by the Park District and the South […]

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Happy 50th to the Chicago Picasso!

In the early 1960s, the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was working on designs for Daley Plaza. Architect William Hartmann helped convince Spanish artist Pablo Picasso to design a sculpture for the space. Picasso would not accept payment, making this artwork a gift to the people of Chicago. Constructed from the same Cor-Ten steel used in […]

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Chicago’s Farming History

This year's One Book, One Chicago, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, encourages readers to think about their relationships with the food they eat. Kingsolver and her family complete a yearlong challenge to grow, produce or buy locally all of their food. The book also criticizes the international food industry for compromising health in favor of efficient production, and for its environmental impact. While […]

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Happy 25th, Harold Washington Library Center!

The first couple weeks of October boast a number of important anniversaries in Chicago and Chicago Public Library history. Following the Great Chicago Fire on October 8, 1871, the Chicago Public Library was founded. It bounced around among different locations for many years until October 11, 1897, when the Central Library (now the Chicago Cultural Center) […]

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Historical Chicago Directories: More Exciting Than Reading the Phone Book

We're in the dog days of summer, and there are only a few more hot weeks left before school starts. I have just the thing to cure your sweaty boredom! Check out CPL's collection of historical city directories. But wait, you say, I have more exciting things to do than to read the phone book. Well, you'll be […]

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From The Jungle to Jungle Gyms

I recently found myself across the street from one of the only remaining parts of Chicago's infamous Union Stockyards: the large stone entry gate. It was jarring to see this imposing, attractive feature on a sunny day with no trace of the stench and filth that accompany the grounds in my imagination. Like many people, when I […]

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