Chicago is known as the "Windy City". Some people think this is because of the breeze that blows almost constantly. The city is located in the state of Illinois on the shore of one of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, which is the fifth largest freshwater body in the world. Chicago may also be called the windy city because of the wind tunnel effect created in downtown by many tall buildings.
Skyscrapers are an important part of Chicago's history. The first skyscraper in the U.S. was built in the city in 1884. At only 10 stories, it was impressive for its time. The skycraper was eventually demolished. Chicago is the home of other famous firsts. It was the birthplace of the refrigerated rail car, mail-order catalogs, the car radio, the TV remote control, the first Ferris wheel, the first steel rail road, the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. Chicago is also the home to the first blood bank and the first drive-in bank. It is also the home to The Lincoln Park Zoo, the oldest public zoo in the U.S. Maybe the windy city should be called the city of firsts.
Chicago is the third most populous city in the U.S., after New York City and Los Angeles. A little more than two and a half million people live in the city that has more than 100 neighborhoods. President Barack Obama used to live in Chicago.
Nearly 40 million people visit Chicago every year. Many of them visit the Willis Tower. Formally known as the Sears Tower, it is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. It takes only a minute to get up to the 103rd floor Skydeck thanks to some of the fastest elevators in the world. From the Skydeck visitors can see four states: Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.