The Chicago ‘Y’

Photo Credit: Blogspot

by Emily Speelman

Do you recognize this symbol? If you look close enough, this image is all over the city. It can be found on government buildings, bridges, memorials, on city works equipment (like power boxes and sewer grates), and even in the GSC logo!

So what does it mean and why is it all over the city? This image represents one of the city’s most fundamental and iconic features: the Chicago River. More specifically, it shows Wolf Point, where the river’s three branches come together. Here, the river divides the city into the North, West, and South sides.

Source: Imgur

The ‘Y’ image was first created in 1892 for a contest run by the Chicago Tribune. In 1917, this symbol was designated as Chicago’s Municipal Device. This means that businesses, city departments, and citizens alike can use the image to symbolize the city of Chicago. While the ‘Y’ is universal, the user can change the colors to their liking. The ‘Y’  is one of the oldest signifiers of the city – even older than the Chicago flag!

Though the symbol was less frequently used at the end of the 20th century, the iconic ‘Y’ can be found all over the city represented in a variety of mediums and colors. Other places that feature the municipal device include: the Chicago Cultural Center, City Hall, Millennium Park, Harold Washington Library, and, perhaps the most famous, the marquee of the Chicago Theater!

Photo Credit: Blogspot

Where else have you spotted the Chicago ‘Y’?

Read more:
https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/chicagos-municipal-device-the-citys-symbol-lurking-in-plain-sight/fd9cf47b-904e-4654-ad06-ff7fc8727758

https://www.chipublib.org/chicago-facts/

June Travelogue: Coal Swamps, Coral Reefs, and Continental Glaciers

Save the date for the next presentation in the 2017 Spring Travelogue series!

This month’s presentation will be led by Raymond Wiggers, an author and Earth Science faculty from Oakland Community College and College of Lake County. The talk is titled: “Coal Swamps, Coral Reefs, and Continental Glaciers”.

“Unjustly branded as a flat and boring place, Illinois is in fact full of scenic and scientifically significant locales that teach us much about our planet’s history. Learn about Illinois’ interesting and unique geologic history”

This talk is FREE to attend and all are welcome. Join us at Chicago Cultural Center on Tuesday, June 20 at 1 pm in the Renaissance Court. See the flyer above for more information – we’ll see you there!

Illinois Geographic Alliance’s Summer 2017 Workshops

Geographic Thinking in Action: Using Maps and Other Primary Sources in the Elementary School Classroom

The IL Geographic Alliance invites you to attend one of its two-day workshops to:

  • Learn about programs and resources available from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Program and the Illinois Geographic Alliance, a member of the National Geographic Network of Alliances for Geographic Education
  • Examine K-5 national and Illinois geography standards for learning (new Illinois standards effective 1/2016)
  • Explore geographical and historical thinking
  • Discuss strategies to help develop student’s critical thinking and inquiry skills
  • Work with experienced educators, geographers, and historians
  • Analyze maps and primary documents using both geographical and historical thinking tools and techniques
  • Receive a variety of resources and materials ready for immediate classroom use
  • Earn Professional Development hours (at no out-of-pocket cost)

For information and registration visit iga.illinoisstate.edu.