Known as the birthplace of modern architecture (Chicago’s Home Insurance building was the world’s first skyscraper) the city is filled with incredible, significant tidbits from times past.
From the incredible Chicago-style jazz clubs to prohibition-era speakeasies, and more, you’ll always find a culturally and historically significant spot while traversing the Windy City.
Keep reading for another historically significant Chicago fact:
Amongst that impressive list above is a street that stands out as the longest-continuous street in Chicago! With a breezy 20+ mile stretch, Western Avenue is known as the longest continuous street in the entire city.
Running between Howard Street and covering a total of 24 miles, Western Avenue, as the longest-running street in Chicago, connects Chicago’s northern boundary and southern city limits at 119th Street.
It also continues south, past the city, extending another 26 miles to the Will/Kankakee County line.
Known as the longest continuous street in the city, some argue Western Avenue is the longest-running street in the U.S.! Though Colfax Avenue in Denver, CO is said to earn the coveted title as the longest commercial street in America.
While most Chicagoans will say Western Ave is Chicago’s longest street, other nearby streets like Kedzie are just as long, according to the Chicago Public Library.
Apart from Western Avenue, other long streets in Chicago include:
Halsted, Ashland, Pulaski, Kedzie, and State (Which does the famous Sundays on State). After that, other streets are about 40 blocks shorter!
If you’re looking to walk the entirety of Western Ave, lace up your comfiest shoes as the walk could take anywhere between 3 hours and 29 minutes or 3 days depending on your journey.
What’s along Western Ave?
Starting at the commercial intersection on Howard Street, the beginning of Western Avenue is unassuming. As the street slices through the middle of Chicago, there are tons of sights to take in. Along the long street, you’ll find famous car dealerships, neighborhoods, the Rosehill cemetery, and more everyday buildings and businesses.
With popular restaurants like Kens on Western, and plenty of other great food choices along the 24-mile stretch, there’s something for everybody to enjoy.
Whether you stop by to go sightseeing, walk around historical neighborhoods, stop at a beer garden, or bar like The Green Post at Lincoln Square , visiting any part of Western Ave is a journey unto itself. With a total of 64 bars and hundreds of restaurants along the stretch, you’ll surely want to stop and grab a bite to eat.
Along Western Ave, you’ll also encounter historic railroads and popular industrial areas like Back of the Yards which was a popular Irish and German settlement in 1889. Today, Back of the Yards is a bustling community area located in New City.
Ending at Morgan Park, Western Avenue actually extends past 119th Street, but now we’re technically at the Chicago city boundary so anything past that is over the line!
Additional fun facts about Chicago:
- Can you name the oldest street in Chicago? That would be Rush Street which has been around since 1837.
- Willis Tower is the tallest building in the city with a total of 110 stories and a hot live-fire restaurant.
- Did you know that Chicago has hosted a large number (6 in total) of political debates?
- The Aqua Tower is the tallest building designed by a female architect. . See inside the stunning new hotel here.