karamondayDid you know? The world’s first skyscraper was built in Chicago Illinois.

The Home Insurance Building was a skyscraper in Chicago. Built in 1885, it had 10 stories and rose to a height of 138 feet. It was the first tall building to be supported by a steel frame. With the ability to use a material lighter than brick, the building could carry more weight, allowing for the structure to rise much higher and carry its own weight more safely. The majority of the structure used cast and wrought iron.

The designer, architect William Le Baron Jenney, also designed the Horticultural Building for the 1983 World's Columbian Exposition  held in Chicago. His designs earned him the nickname “The Father of the American Skyscraper.”

Scholars regard the Home Insurance Building as a key example of the Chicago School of Architecture, serving as an early template for skyscraper architecture. The building was demolished in 1931 to make way for the Field Building (now known as the LaSalle Bank Building). It stood for 46 years. If you would like more information on this building or its architect click here.

lincolnparkzoo may29Did you know? Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo is the oldest public zoo in nation.

The zoo was established in 1868 when the Central Park’s Board of Commissioners in New York City gifted two pairs of swans to the Lincoln Park Commissioners.

The zoo is home to more than 1,000 mammals, reptiles and amphibians, along with thousands of fish and insects. Many of the 200 species of animals found in the zoo collection are rare and endangered. Fortunately, there’s an entire department full of staff and researchers dedicated to the conservation and improvement of animal management.

There are 20 exhibits to visit, all of which combine naturalistic homes for the animals and awe-inspiring encounters with visitors. A notable exhibit is the state-of-the-art Regenstein Center for African Apes. The center offers 29,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor living space, 5,000 feet of artificial vines for climbing, and dozens of trees and bamboo stands.

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museumsDid you know? May 18th is National Museum Day. Our State Museum is located in Springfield.

This Friday, several museums across the state are participating in National Museum Day by offering free admission and special event s. This is a great opportunity to explore the educational and cultural opportunities of our state.

To celebrate, we’ve highlighted our State museum, located in Springfield. It was founded in 1877 as a natural history museum, and was first housed in the State Capitol building.

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aaaaaFrederic W. Goudy (1865-1947) was an American printer and typographer from Bloomington who designed more than 100 typefaces.

Goudy was a bookkeeper and a self-taught printer and typographer. He designed numerous fonts inspired by blackletter medieval manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts, and Roman square capitals carved into stone. His taste matched the trends of the time period, and his mechanical, geometric fonts proved to have long-lasting appeal, becoming especially popular for use in the body text of books.

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horseshoeDid you know? The horseshoe sandwich was invented in Springfield Illinois by Joe Schweska in the 1920’s.

Joe came up with the idea for the horseshoe with the help of his wife Elizabeth Schweska. It was first served at the Leland Hotel (now the Illinois Commerce Commission). The Leland Hotel was the leading hotel of Springfield for its time, hosting travelers, party-goers, celebrities and politicians.

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