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Let's See Chicago (1940s)

"Let's See Chicago" was presented by the Santa Fe Railroad to promote trans-continental travel. It (:08) takes viewers on a trip to Chicago from Los Angeles beginning at the Union Station in LA (:22). For eastbound travelers, this is where the trip begins using transcontinental streamline trains (:29). From the observation tower at the Board of Trade, we are viewing one of America's largest inland cities (1:49). During the gold rush, Chicago only hosted a few business blocks and roads of mud (2:03) yet, now was home to nearly 3-1\2 million and became the second largest populated cities in the western hemisphere (2:11). Due to the city’s geographical location, it achieved great industrial enterprises, merchant institutions, and markets for grain and livestock (2:07). The elevated railroad (2:40) would be replaced by subways around the ‘loop’ (refers to the city's business section). State Street includes the richest retail and trading area in the country. Along LaSalle Street (3:12) are many brokerage and banking offices. The Chicago Board of Trade had become the world’s principal grain market (3:21) and we see the city’s ticket offices of several railroad lines (3:36). Chicago, a fresh water port, sprang from Lake Michigan (3:50). Gazing westward from it, the city's skyline hangs over Michigan Blvd (4:02). In the city's front yard rests the Buckingham Memorial Fountain (4:24). Michigan Blvd also contains the Art Institute and the Opera Building (4:45). We see the Navy Pier (4:50) and the band shell in Grant Park (5:02). The Soldier’s Field (5:09) accommodates events such as sporting, military displays and police and fire shows. Adler Planetarium hosts astronomical exhibits (5:22) and the Field Museum of Natural History boasts natural habitats, resources, and various deep sea creatures (5:26). The city's history began in 1803, at the lakefront, and just south of its original location is Fort Dearborn (5:43). City transportation systems include the “L” and a network of trolleys and bus lines (6:13).The tour leads to the northern section with an old relic of the fire of 1871, the water tower (6:44). Chicago's riverways carry trade, commerce (7:25) and in the summer, sporting. Lake Michigan is also enjoyed along the miles of well guarded beaches (8:44). Lincoln Park is shown (9:26) and many specimens of wildlife are found in Chicago’s zoological gardens. An example being in Brookfield, holding one of the largest collections. The well maintained Garfield Park Conservatory boasts various floral displays seasonally appropriate (12:19).Jackson Park was once the scene of the Columbian exposition that commemorated the 400th anniversary of America's discovery and signified the recovery from fire 20 years earlier (12:59). The Japanese gardens, from this exposition, are a part of the city's legacy (13:17). On the boulevards, the Museum of Science and Industry can be seen (13:28). Trains bring a plethora of produce from the Southwest (13:54). As coal is still the main feul sorce it is imperative mines be accessible to railroads. The demonstration has all been conducted at the Sante Fe railroad display in miniatures at the Museum of Science and Industry (15:03). Nearby is the University of Chicago (15:13). Cook County Forest (15:55) covers more than 33,000 acres and provide winter and summer recreation. Chicago's Union Stockyard is the largest in the world (16:37) and nearby Amphitheater hosts the international livestock exposition (16:48). This city boasts the world’s greatest produce markets (17:20) and South Water market is the center of wholesale produce (18:08). For entertainment, there are annual 5 month seasons of horse racing (18:53), many golf courses (19:20), the Wrigley baseball field (19:47), the football stadium Northwestern University in Evanston (20:29) and an acclectec nightlife on streets like Rush street (21:12). The film ends (23:00) on Chicago's city skyline at night. The film was an Atlas Production.

See also:

Santa Fe Railway

Classic Railroad Films

Railroad Classics YouTube Channel

Chicago rail yards in 1943. Photo by Jack Delano, Library of Congress.

Let's See Chicago
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