Loop Neighborhood Tour


Named after the "Loop" of the elevated trains overhead, downtown Chicago is the Second City's business and financial center. The Loop represents a rich working-class history in, for example, the Marina City Towers (300 N. State St.), built with the pension fund of the Building Service Employee's Union, and originally meant to be low-cost housing for union members. The area also includes Printers Row, once the home of Chicago's vibrant printing trades. Along with the many historical landmarks which dot the downtown landscape, you will find many sites of great importance to the history of the Chicago labor movement.

Important sites in the Loop include:

*Chicago & Northeast Illinois District Council of Carpenters
*Site of the "Bread Riot"
*Site of the "Eastland Disaster"
*Chicago Tribune Tower
*Lake and Franklin wholesalers buildings
*Printers Row
*Tattersalls Hall
*Kalo Shop
*Chicago Art Silver Shop (Art Metal Studios)
*Chicago Womens Club
*Fallen Firefighter and Paramedic Memorial Park

Labor Trail

The Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies (CCWCS) is proud to present the Interactive Labor Trail, made possible by a generous grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. This on-line history resource builds on “The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle,” a map of 140 significant locations in the history of labor, migration, and working-class culture in Chicago and Illinois. The Labor Trail is the product of a joint effort to showcase the many generations of dramatic struggles and working-class life in the Chicago area's rich and turbulent past. The Trail's neighborhood tours invite you to get acquainted with the events, places, and people -- often unsung -- who have made the city what it is today. In addition, the statewide map is just a starting point for further exploration of Illinois' labor heritage. This Interactive Labor Trail expands the number of locations and provides a greater depth of information, while giving map users the chance to add their knowledge of locations and events in the Chicago area’s working-class history.

We invite all individuals, groups, and institutions interested in the labor and working-class history of Chicago, Cook County, the Calumet Region, and Illinois to contribute to the map. Users can add new sites, edit or build upon existing entries with additional text, photographs, primary sources, audio and video files, as well as links to related websites.

Easy-to-use instructions for adding to the on-line version of the map are available at www.labortrail.org.

More information on the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies is available at: www.workingclassstudies.org

The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle

Project Director:
Leon Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Advisors:
Tobias Higbie, Newberry Library
Lisa Oppenheim, Chicago Metro History Education Center
Liesl Miller Orenic, Dominican University

Administrative Director:
Jeffrey Helgeson, University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Assistants:
Aaron Max Berkowitz, University of Illinois at Chicago; John H. Flores, University of Illinois at Chicago; Erik Gellman, Northwestern University; Dan Harper, University of Illinois at Chicago; Emily LaBarbera-Twarog, University of Illinois at Chicago

Web Design:
William Atwood and Melissa Palmer