Chicago Union Stockyards Arch - Chicago, Illinois
Posted by: Hikenutty
N 41° 49.114 W 087° 38.902
16T E 446151 N 4629835
Quick Description: Chicago was famous for its huge stockyards and the filth and stench of the area inspired many a writer, including Sandburg, Dreiser, and most famously, Upton Sinclair for his book, "The Jungle." This gate marks their entrance.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 9:04:16 AM
Waymark Code: WM2K3D
The Union Stockyards thrived for over a century until their closure in 1971. This limestone entrance arch marked the entrance of the yards and it is one of the only remaining reminders of Chicago's reign in the livestock and meat packing industries. It was designed by the famous architecture team of Burnham and Root in 1875.
The steer is thought to represent "Sherman" a prize-winning bull named after John B. Sherman, one of the founders of the Union stock Yard and Transit Company.
It was this area that inspired Carl Sandburg to write the line "Chicago, Hog butcher to the world," in his famous poem "Chicago". The yards inspired many well known American writers, but the most famous book set at and around the stockyards is Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle". The book exposed the dirty and dangerous conditions of the industry, prompting President Theodore Roosevelt to push for reform.
The following passage from Sinclair's book was set near here at the packinghouse gates.
All day long the gates of the packing houses were besieged by starving and penniless men; they came, literally, by the thousands every single morning, fighting with each other for a chance for life.