-Part of OOFD's Wander Ride Series
Welcome to the iconic Illinois Centennial Monument of Logan Square Park. This 70ft monument was built in 1918 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Illinois’ Statehood. It’s made up of three parts: the top has an eagle in reference to our state flag, a doric marble column in the middle and then the base which contains reliefs depicting the rapid transition of Illinois during its first 100 years.
The top two sections of this monument were designed by Henry Bacon, the famous architect responsible for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. The reliefs on the base were created by Evelyn Beatrice Longman. She is the first woman elected into the National Academy of Design.
The reliefs on the east side of the monument contain symbols for fine arts, agriculture, labor, and developing transportation. The relief on the west side depicts Native Americans next to Jesuit missionary Pere Marquette and Pioneers Robert de LaSalle and William Clark. Marquette, LaSalle, and Clark are known for their exploration of the Mississippi River, and the Great Lakes area. Marquette was very well received by Native Americans in the Chicago area. In 1920, Chicago mayor William Dever declared December 4 as Marquette Day in Chicago.
Part of the monument's history is its connection to Chicago’s Boulevard System: the beautiful green spaces that run along Logan, Kedzie, and Humbolt Blvd. This system was created by John Wright, an urban developer in 1870. Originally these parks wrapped around the entire city. It was known as the 28 mile Emerald Necklace. Wright’s goal was to bring beauty and nature to a rapidly growing urban area.
Today most of the scenic boulevard is paved over. Only about 2.5 miles are left in the Logan Square neighborhood. In 2005 the remaining Boulevard system was recognized as an official Chicago landmark.
If you are interested in taking a solo bike ride to see this monument come to Logan Square Park on North Milwaukee Avenue and Logan Boulevard.
OOFD's Wander Ride Series
We know with COVID 19 many folks are craving some outside time. Some of the go to trails are not open or crowded as heck, so not the best to ride in as you try to stay socially distant. Instead, use our city's incredible bike lanes to cruise a new neighborhood. By the way, out of the 77, how many have you been to? Get out there. Explore this city. Ride its streets to soak in its mourning and enclosure and distance.
Find that interesting neighborhood you've heard of. Seek out that place that carries weight of our history. Stroll that cemetery or park for the first time. Take the back streets to get there. Wiggle around the city on two wheels and keep exploring. Use The Reader's Mellow Map and Openland's Get Outside Map. And check out our Bike Camping hopes and dreams. We'll do our best to keep you inspired enough to wanna immerse and educate yourself in the beauty that is our home, Chicago.
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"To immerse , educate, preserve & advance the history, culture, trails and native habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area"