City of Chicago

This passage discusses the development of the city of Chicago.

Lexile Level: 680L

Categories: People & Places


Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. The city's greater metropolitan population is larger than seven million. O'Hare International Airport is the country's busiest airport. Millions of passengers make flight connections there each day. Chicago was built on the shores of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. It was named for a Native American tribe that lived in the area. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed most of the city. The fire started in a shed on the outskirts of town. At the time, most buildings were made of flammable materials. The flames spread fast. One of the few remaining buildings was the city's water tower. The old water tower still stands not far from Lake Michigan. The area around the water tower is now a busy shopping district called the "Magnificent Mile." After the fire, the city was rebuilt quickly. Its population has grown ever since.


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