The Chicago River
A River and Its City
In the epic drama that is Chicago’s history, the Chicago River has played many roles, by turns hero, villain, and underdog. The most iconic river scenes lie near the river’s confluence with Lake Michigan, the junction that gave rise to the city itself, where skyscrapers now exalt the river’s banks and form a spectacular canyon of stunning architecture. But there are many more miles to this story, stretching south into the Sanitary and Ship Canal and winding north through the Skokie Lagoons and the Chicago Botanic Garden. And there’s more to the river than scenery. This story is loaded with river lore. It’s been re-engineered on a scale never seen before in American history. It’s seen heart-wrenching tragedies and given us one-of-a-kind characters. Today, people live, work, and play along the river. A few brave souls have even gone for a dip in its waters. Join Geoffrey Baer and WTTW for a journey along the river that gave birth to Chicago.
Additional support is provided by:
Judy and John McCarter, the Susan and Stephen Baird Foundation, AARP Chicago, ITW, and Peoples Gas.
Funding is also provided by:
Millennium Properties R/E, Paul and Joan Rubschlager, Ken Norgan, Peter Kelliher II, the Steve and Delores Sarovich Foundation, and Foley & Lardner LLP.