8. Modern architecture
From building of the world’s first skyscraper in 1885 to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House and the world’s tallest building, Chicago has led modern architecture in America. While some may no longer consider the Sears Tower tallest in North America, we disagree. If antennas are your thing, then you may consider New York’s One World Trade Center building the tallest. However, we still maintain that the Sears Tower is the tallest... and we also maintain that it should never be called Willis Tower.
9. America’s first serial killer
The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago introduced many wonders to the United States: the Ferris wheel, zippers, the dishwasher, Nikola Tesla’s lamps, a host of popular breakfast foods, and, uh, America’s first serial killer. Like many enterprising Chicagoans, HH Holmes realized that the upcoming World’s Fair was the perfect opportunity to build a hotel on his property at 63rd and Wallace. Unfortunately for his guests, HH Holmes’ structure was more “murder castle” than hotel. The building featured soundproof rooms that were built for the sole purpose of gassing, hanging, suffocating, or incinerating his victims. While the exact number of victims is unknown, it is estimated that he may have murdered as many as 200 people before receiving the death penalty in 1896.