The Great Chicago Fire Offers Lessons For Climate Change
Few people realize just how dry Chicago was during the summer and autumn of 1871. According to WGN meteorologist Tom Skilling, the last significant rain event before the fire was 1.57 inches on July 3, and the period from the Fourth of July through to the day of the fire remains the driest period in Chicago’s history. Given rising global temperatures and an increasing number of droughts leading to wildfires, the circumstances that led to the Great Chicago Fire may offer lessons for our changing climate.
Andell Inc Acquisition Of The Fire
More change came soon afterward. On September 6, 2007, Andell Holdings, a Los Angeles-based private investment firm controlled by chairman Andrew Hauptman, acquired AEG‘s interest in the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. Reports estimated the purchase price to be upwards of $35 million. The team has not won a major trophy since Hauptman bought the team.
On the field, behind Blanco and Wilman Conde, Osorio’s central defender at Millionarios, the Fire went on an extended unbeaten run to close the season, easily qualifying for the playoffs but were defeated at New England in the Eastern Conference Final. On December 10, 2007, the Fire announced Osorio’s resignation. He was named manager of the New York Red Bulls eight days later. Hauptman filed tampering charges with the league in protest, and the Fire were compensated by the Red Bulls with cash and draft picks.
The 2009 season saw few alterations to the previous year’s roster. The story of the season was much the same, as continued poor home form offset excellent performances away from Toyota Park. This led to a second place Eastern Conference finish behind Columbus. Despite this, Real Salt Lake managed to upset the Crew in the quarterfinals, meaning Chicago would host the semi-final for the first time in six years. Chicago’s nearly flawless home playoff history meant little in the end, as they lost to Salt Lake, 53, on penalties after 120 scoreless minutes. Shortly thereafter, manager Denis Hamlett was dismissed.
Culture And Contemporary Life
The city’s waterfront location and nightlife has attracted residents and tourists alike. Over a third of the city population is concentrated in the lakefront neighborhoods from in the north to in the south. The city has many upscale dining establishments as well as many ethnic restaurant districts. These districts include the neighborhoods, such as along 18th street, and La Villita along 26th Street the enclave of in the neighborhood , along South , immediately west of downtown , along Taylor Street in in in around Lawrence Avenue near in Uptown and the area, along in .
Downtown is the center of Chicago’s financial, cultural, governmental and commercial institutions and the site of and many of the city’s skyscrapers. Many of the city’s financial institutions, such as the and the , are located within a section of downtown called “”, which is an eight-block by five-block area of city streets that is encircled by elevated rail tracks. The term “The Loop” is largely used by locals to refer to the entire downtown area as well. The central area includes the , the , and the , as well as the Loop. These areas contribute famous , abundant restaurants, , , a for the , , , and .
contains the and the . The features the nation’s largest concentration of contemporary art galleries outside of New York City.
Recommended Reading: Best Wings In Chicago Suburbs
The Great Chicago Fire: Introduction
Image by John R. Chapin, originally published in an 1871 issue of Harper’s Weekly
The Great Chicago Fire, which burned from October 8-10, 1871, destroyed 3.3 square miles of the city, killed around 300 people, and left 100,000 people homeless. The fire originated in or around a barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O’Leary according to legend, the fire started in the barn when a cow Catherine O’Leary was milking kicked over a lantern. This story has been disproven, and the actual cause of the fire remains unknown. The fire spread quickly due to drought conditions and strong winds, and the city’s primarily wooden buildings and sidewalks burned readily.
- Publication Date: 1971
Return To Soldier Field And Rebrand
As the 2019 MLS campaign concluded, the Chicago Fire organization began the ambitious process of reinventing the franchise during the course of a three-month offseason. The changes included securing a downtown Chicago venue, adding new front office positions, shifting organizational roles, making major roster changes, and rolling out a new brand identity.
Two days after the end of the season, October 8, the Fire officially announced they would return to Soldier Field to play the 2020 MLS season, that same day Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement. Two days later, the Fire announced the signing of midfielder Álvaro Medrán, eight days later Designated Player and former Golden Boot winner Nemanja Nikolic announced he would be leaving the team.
The first full month of the off-season saw the Fire continue their overhaul. On November 4, the team traded captain Dax McCarty to expansion side Nashville SC. Ten days later Homegrown Player Grant Lillard was dealt to MLS’s other expansion team Inter Miami. That same day, November 14, Chicago Fire President and general manager Nelson Rodriguez fired head coach Veljko Paunovic and his staff. News that the Chicago Fire would not be renewing the contract of their last-remaining DP, Nicolas Gaitan, as well as winger Aleksandar Katai was overshadowed by an even larger organizational unveiling one week later.
Don’t Miss: Hotels Near Chicago Taste Fest
There Were Fire Tornados
Known as fire whirls or convection whirls, the scorching hot airupon coming into contact with cooler airbegan spinning like a hurricane, howling like myriads of evil spirits, according to one eyewitness. These flames could form walls of fire that reached up to 100 feet into the air, turning the city into a proverbial hell on earth.
How Did Chicago Rebuild After The Great Fire
Reconstruction efforts were made not only to the homes and buildings that were destroyed during the event, but also to the laws affecting building codes and fire safety to prevent future fires. Over time, the people not only recovered, but they also flourished. The city saw profound economic and population growth and even became home to the worlds first skyscrapers, paving the way for modern architects to create innovative structures worldwide.
Also Check: Chicago Toll Pay Online
Entertainment And The Arts
The performs at , and is recognized as one of the best orchestras in the world. Also performing regularly at is the , a more diverse and multicultural counterpart to the CSO. In the summer, many outdoor concerts are given in and . , located 25 miles north of Chicago, is the summer home of the CSO, and is a favorite destination for many Chicagoans. The is home to the . The was founded by in 1956, and presents operas in .
Other live-music genre which are part of the city’s cultural heritage include , , , and . The city is the birthplace of and , and is the site of an influential . In the 1980s and 90s, the city was the global center for house and industrial music, two forms of music created in Chicago, as well as being popular for , , and . The city has been a center for culture, since the 1980s. A flourishing independent rock music culture brought forth Chicago . feature various acts, such as and the . A 2007 report on the Chicago music industry by the ranked Chicago third among metropolitan U.S. areas in “size of music industry” and fourth among all U.S. cities in “number of concerts and performances”.
Chicago contains a number of large, outdoor works by well-known artists. These include the , , and by , by , by , by , by , by , and the mosaic by .
The Fire Began In O’leary’s Barn
On the night before the great fire, another major fire broke out that was battled by all the citys fire companies. When that blaze was brought under control it seemed that Chicago had been saved from a major disaster.
And then on Sunday night, October 8, 1871, a fire was spotted in a barn owned by an Irish immigrant family named O’Leary. Alarms were sounded, and a fire company which had just returned from battling the previous night’s fire responded.
There was considerable confusion in dispatching other fire companies, and valuable time was lost. Perhaps the fire at the O’Leary barn could have been contained if the first company responding had not been exhausted, or if other companies had been dispatched to the correct location.
Within a half-hour of the first reports of the fire at O’Leary’s barn, the fire had spread to nearby barns and sheds, and then to a church, which was quickly consumed in flame. At that point, there was no hope of controlling the inferno, and the fire began its destructive march northward toward the heart of Chicago.
The legend took hold that the fire had started when a cow being milked by Mrs. O’Leary had kicked over a kerosene lantern, igniting hay in the O’Leary barn. Years later a newspaper reporter admitted to having made up that story, but to this day the legend of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow endures.
Read Also: Pay Tolls Chicago
What Was The Damage Of The Great Chicago Fire
The fire blazed for nearly two days, leaving miles of land scorched in the fires wake. Thousands of buildings were destroyed, causing more than $200 million in damages, and approximately 300 lives were lost in the disaster .
Efforts to control the fire were minimally effective until a rainstorm brought aid on October 10. A combination of the rainstorm and the fire naturally burning itself out helped contain and end the raging fire. Finally, the Great Fire of Chicago was over.
The end of the fire didnt mean the end of trouble though. In the weeks following, panicked citizens faced martial law in response to the chaos of the events and the lawlessness that ensued during and following the disaster.
What Really Started The Great Chicago Fire
No one is sure what really started the fire. October 1871 was exceptionally dry for the season, and most of the buildings in Chicago were wooden and, consequently, susceptible to fire. The fire could have been a cow-induced accident or a matter of heat, dry air, and unprotected buildings. Regardless of how the OLeary barn really caught fire on October 8, the events that followed couldnt have been predicted any more than they could have been stopped.
You May Like: Illinois Tollway Pay Violation Online
Great Chicago Fire Begins
On October 8, 1871, flames spark in the Chicago barn of Patrick and Catherine OLeary, igniting a two-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings, leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million in damages.
Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in the OLeary barn and started the fire, but other theories hold that humans or even a comet may have been responsible for the event that left four square miles of the Windy City, including its business district, in ruins. Dry weather and an abundance of wooden buildings, streets and sidewalks made Chicago vulnerable to fire. The city averaged two fires per day in 1870 there were 20 fires throughout Chicago the week before the Great Fire of 1871.
In 1997, the Chicago City Council exonerated Mrs. OLeary and her cow. She turned into a recluse after the fire, and died in 1895.
WATCH: Tech Effect: Chicago Fire on HISTORY Vault
Not All Of Chicago Burned
In the popular imagination, Chicago was left in ruins, but the truth is a little less sensational. While most of Chicago’s downtown areathe city’s central business districtwas destroyed, much of the citys West Side remained unscathed. Crucially, the stockyards on the South Side, most of the citys railroads, and the wharfs, mills, and lumberyards along the Chicago River remained untouched by the flames, allowing the city and its economy to rapidly recover and continue as the hog butcher of the world.
Read Also: Party Loft Rental Chicago
Foundation And Initial Success
Founded in 1997 at Navy Pier, on the anniversary of the Great Fire, the Fire immediately tapped into the diverse ethnic makeup of the city. The team brought in Polish players Piotr Nowak, Jerzy Podbrozny, and Roman Kosecki the Mexican Jorge Campos and the Czech Lubos Kubik. While all showed their talent while playing for Chicago that first year, American players proved most integral to the Fire’s continued success. Under the club’s first head coach, Bob Bradleyand against all expectationthe team completed the double in its first competitive year, beating D.C. United in the 1998 MLS Cup Final, and defeating the Columbus Crew in Chicago to win the 1998 U.S. Open Cup a week later.
The team’s momentum continued, reaching the 2000 MLS Cup final and winning the 2000 U.S. Open Cup. Internationally experienced players such as Hristo Stoitchkov joined the Fire, while young American talents such as DaMarcus Beasley developed. The Fire quickly became cemented as one of the league’s preeminent teams.
The Great Fire Led To The Gentrification Of Chicago
It is popularly thought that the fire led Chicago to become a world leader in skyscrapers, but the truth is it took another decade for the skyscraper boom to begin. That doesnt mean working class Chicagoans were spared the pitfalls of gentrification, though. As Jerry Larson, a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Cincinnati told WTTW, most of the buildings were rebuilt almost exactly as they looked before the fire. Building with materials other than wood was cost-prohibitive, meaning working-class Chicagoans who couldn’t afford more fire-resistant materials were forced out of Chicago’s downtown area.
Also Check: Rent A Loft For A Party Chicago
Chicago Fire: October 1871
In October 1871, dry weather and an abundance of wooden buildings, streets and sidewalks made Chicago vulnerable to fire. The Great Chicago Fire began on the night of October 8, in or around a barn located on the property of Patrick and Catherine OLeary at 137 DeKoven Street on the citys southwest side. Legend holds that the blaze started when the familys cow knocked over a lighted lantern however, Catherine OLeary denied this charge, and the true cause of the fire has never been determined. What is known is that the fire quickly grew out of control and moved rapidly north and east toward the city center.
Did you know? The same day the Great Chicago Fire began, a fire broke out in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, in which more than 1,000 people perished.