Focus on Family: Hunting for history in Chicago

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The Lady With The Alligator Purse

Chicago Scavenger Hunt

Clue #1:
Knock. Knock. Go to what is called Chicago’s front door. Get in close for a photo. Hint: Hope you brought an umbrella-you may get wet!
Answer 1: Buckingham Fountain
Made of Georgia pink marble, Buckingham Fountain is considered Chicago’s front door since it resides in Grant Park, the city’s front yard. Kate Buckingham donated it to the city in memory of her brother, Clarence Buckingham. It represents Lake Michigan and each sea horse symbolizes a state that borders the lake (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan). The lighting is designed to mimic moon lighting. It contains a million and a half gallons of water, its center jets shoot water up 150 feet. During a display, you’ll see more than 14,000 gallons push through 193 jets per minute.

Clue #2:
Here kitty, kitty. These brothers have been standing still for almost 150 years. They are huge sports fans and don jerseys. They also love Christmas and wear a wreath “collar” during the holidays. Gather under them and roar for a picture. Bonus if you can give me their names.
Answer 2: The Art Institute Lions
These two bronze lion statues have been standing guard at the Art Institute since it was re-built for the World’s Fair after the first building was destroyed in the Chicago fire. The Art Institute was established in 1879 by 35 artists and has the most notable collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in its permanent collection. At one million square feet, it is the second largest art museum in the United States behind only the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The artist who designed them named the lion to the south Stands in an Attitude of Defiance and the lion to the north On The Prowl.

Clue #3:
Don’t drown. You get a “crown” for this one-wade your way through the waters, then strike a pose. Aim high and tell us how tall these glass video towers are.
Answer 3: Crown Fountain
Built in 2004, the Crown Fountain is an interactive work of art and video sculpture in Millennium Park. The reflecting pool is made of black granite. And the 50-foot-tall towers are made of glass brick with an LED digital video display that flashes 1,000 pictures of Chicagoans. Since it was built, it’s become an iconic part of Chicago’s pop culture and a very popular spot for family photos.

Clue #4:
Oh beans, this 100-ton outdoor sculpture is not officially called The Bean. Check out the “clouds,” then get in its “gate” and take a cool picture-let’s shoot for 21 smiling faces! Can you figure out its official name?
Answer 4: Cloud Gate
The Cloud Gate is a 110-ton elliptical sculpture forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates designed to reflect the city’s famous skyline and the clouds above. Inspired by liquid mercury, the sculpture is among the largest of its kind in the world, measuring 66 feet long and 33 feet high.

Clue #5:
Look up at the jewel of “the mile.” Oh, and it would be SO dumb if I didn’t give you a piece of gum.
Answer 5: The Wrigley Building
It is often called the Jewel of The Mile. The giant two-story clock in the south tower features four dials, each 19 feet, 7 inches in diameter. Each dial has an hour hand that measures 6 feet, 4 inches long and a minute hand that is 9 feet, 2 inches long. Because of its positioning, people coming from all directions of the city can see the clock.

Clue #6:
Holy cow! Chicago is such an urban city and in the middle of it is a piece of farmland. Find one of these (there were 320 in all) that made Chicago famous (and raised a ton of dough for charity) in October 1999. Quick picture here. We need to keep on MOOooooving!
Answer 6: A cow
You’re right, a cow, the same animal blamed for kicking over Mrs. O’Leary’s lantern and starting the Great Chicago Fire. These cows stampeded Chicago in 1999 in an array of bright colors crafted by local artists. Afterwards, the cows were sold, raising about $2 million for charity. This bronze cow is at the Chicago Cultural Center, at the northwest corner of Washington and Michigan.

Clue #7:
Got a nickel? It used to cost just five cents and was a booming business for many during the Great Depression. Now it’s one of the foods Chicago is most known for. If you can guess what it is, you can eat one. Get a picture with mustard in the creases of your smile.
Answer 7: The Chicago-style hot dog
The Chicago-style hot dog got its start from street cart hot dog vendors during the Great Depression. They’d start with a hot dog, pop it in a steamed poppy seed bun and cover it in mustard, relish, onions, tomato, pickle, peppers and a dash of celery salt. Money was scarce, but business was booming for these entrepreneurs who sold their hot dogs for only a nickel.  There is a Gold Coast Dogs at Randolph and Wabash. (159 N. Wabash Ave.)

Clue #8:
Fast travel it does make, go under it and you start to shake! Photo op: Get in step, start to assemble, if a train comes through, you’ll start to tremble!
Bonus: There is no other system quite the same, but do you know how it got its name?
Answer 8: The L
The Chicago rapid-transit system is called the “L.” The nickname comes from the earliest days of the elevated railroads when newspapers in the 1880s referred to Chicago’s proposed railroads in Chicago as “L” roads.

Clue #9:
You’re in the Loop, you’re a good snoop. Head where folks used to go for a late greet-often called the “Great Street.”
Answer 9: State Street
Bounded by the Chicago River, Lake Michigan and Roosevelt Road, the Loop got its name in the day of cable cars. The 1.6-mile area was surrounded by a large loop of cable wire that the cars traveled, pulled by a pulley. Still called the Loop, it’s the second largest business district in the U.S. In the center of the Loop, you’ll find State Street, often called the Great Street.

Clue #10:
Tick tock. You rock if you can find this famous clock.

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