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chicago Chicago is the largest city in the U.S. state of Illinois and the Midwestern United States, as well as the third-most populous city in the United States with more than 2.8 million residents. Adjacent to Lake Michigan, the Chicago metropolitan area (commonly referred to as Chicagoland) has a population of more than 9.5 million people in three U.S. states, Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, and was the third largest U.S. metropolitan area in 2000. One of the largest cities in North America, Chicago is among the world's twenty-five largest urban areas by population, and rated an alpha world city by the World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University.

Chicago incorporated as a city in 1837 after being founded in 1833 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. The city soon became a major transportation hub in North America and the transportation, financial and industrial center of the Midwest. Today the city's attractions bring 44.2 million visitors annually. O'Hare International is the second busiest airport in the world. The city has a notable and famous political culture,[citation needed] is a stronghold of the Democratic Party, and has been home to numerous influential politicians, including the first African-American President of the United States, Barack Obama. Chicago has also been chosen as one of the final 4 candidates to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.



Famous places in Chicago

Chicago attracted a combined 44.2 million people in 2006 from around the nation and abroad. Upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile, thousands of restaurants, as well as Chicago's eminent architecture, continue to draw tourists. The city is the United States' third-largest convention destination. Most conventions are held at McCormick Place, just south of Soldier Field. The historic Chicago Cultural Center (1897), originally serving as the Chicago Public Library, now houses the city's Visitor Information Center, galleries, and exhibit halls. chicago

The ceiling of Preston Bradley Hall includes a 38-foot (11 m) Tiffany glass dome. Millennium Park, initially slated to be unveiled at the turn of the 21st century, and delayed for several years, sits on a deck built over a portion of the former Illinois Central rail yard. The park includes the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture (known locally as "The Bean"). A Millennium Park restaurant outdoor transforms into an ice rink in the winter. Two tall glass sculptures make up the Crown Fountain. The fountain's two towers display visual effects from LED images of Chicagoans' faces, with water spouting from their lips. Frank Gehry's detailed stainless steel band shell Pritzker Pavilion, hosts the classical Grant Park Music Festival concert series. Behind the pavilion's stage is the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, an indoor venue for mid-sized performing arts companies, including Chicago Opera Theater and Music of the Baroque.

In 1998, the city officially opened the Museum Campus, a 10-acre (4-ha) lakefront park surrounding three of the city's main museums: the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. The Museum Campus joins the southern section of Grant Park which includes the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Buckingham Fountain anchors the downtown park along the lakefront. The Oriental Institute, part of the University of Chicago, has an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeological artifacts. Other museums and galleries in Chicago are the Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum of African-American History, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Polish Museum of America, Museum of Broadcast Communications and the Museum of Science and Industry.


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