Have you ever found yourself wandering through Chicago’s Fulton Market, wondering what secrets it may hold? There’s something captivating about Fulton Market’s past, a glimpse of a bygone era that serves as a reminder of the city’s history.
Let’s take you back in time. Booming with business in the mid-1800s, the area around what is now known as Fulton Market was fill with factories, warehouses and homes for immigrant laborers. Over time, its industrial heritage brought it to life and made it one of Chicago’s main commercial thoroughfares.
Today, certain landmarks remain to tell the story of Fulton Market – like the Union Stock Yard Gate, which stands tall after being construct in 1884. In this article we’ll explore the stories behind the historic sights and characters of this vibrant district. Join me as we traverse through time and uncover some of Chicago’s most amazing secrets!
Early History of Fulton Market
Once upon a time, Chicago was known as the “hog butcher of the world”— and that distinction was earn, in no small part, by Fulton Market. Located near the Chicago River, this area has been an integral part of the city’s growth and development since shortly after it was found in 1848.
Originally called South Water Street Market, this location was popular as a trading hub, with farmers selling their farm-fresh produce to local merchants. Over the years, it attracted more diverse merchants and customers, catering to everything from meatpackers to grocers to florists and more.
By the end of the 19th century, Fulton Market had become a bustling center of commerce. But its story didn’t end there—it evolved into an even more important part of Chicago history. During World War II and throughout much of the 1950s and ‘60s, Fulton Market flourished as a major distributor of food products both locally within Chicago and nationally across the United States.
Rejuvenation of Fulton Market
One of the most interesting things about Fulton Market is that it has gone through a big transformation in just a few years. From its humble beginnings as a Meatpacking District, the area has been completely revitalizeand revive with new businesses, bars, shops and restaurants.
The historic vibe remains, though. The area still maintains its 19th-century architecture and landmarks like the famous Chicago Fish House building that dates back to 1884. So while it may have changed on the surface. You can still find nods to its roots as you explore the area.
Fulton Market also benefits from being in close proximity to must-see attractions like. The National Museum of Mexican Art and Thalia Hall. And many Chicagoans flock here for live music or events at Morgan’s on Fulton, Chicago’s oldest gay bar.
It’s truly an incredible sight to behold—a place where old meets new and past meets present. And it’s all part of what makes Fulton Market such a unique destination for locals and visitors alike.
Iconic Landmarks of Fulton Market
One of the greatest parts of visiting the Fulton Market is exploring its iconic landmarks. Over the years, many landmarks have come and gone, but one legacy remains: the historic Haymarket.
The historic Haymarket is one of Chicago’s oldest open-air markets. It was once a place for farmers to sell their goods. And now it is a major tourist attraction with its combination of food vendors, local artists, and unique products from all over the world.
The National Register of Historic Places has designated the Haymarket as a city landmark for its lasting significance. Today, it serves as an open-air museum. It even has a large mural that commemorates the 1886 labor riots that galvanized political action in America!
Another landmark you can’t miss in Fulton Market is the Nabisco Factory. This classic building was built in 1921 and house the famous Nabisco bakery until 2013. Today, it has been transform into modern office space while still maintaining its historical charm.
If you’re looking for a more modern experience. Then you’ll want to check out City Hall Tower located right next door to the Haymarket. This impressive skyscraper houses many of Chicago’s city offices along with some stunning views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago.
If you’re looking to explore Chicago’s past while enjoying some great food and entertainment. Then make sure to add Fulton Market on your list! You won’t regret it!
Shopping & Dining Destinations in Fulton Market
Fulton Market is full of shops and restaurants, giving tourists and locals alike plenty to explore. Whether you’re looking for the local flavors, gourmet cuisines, or the latest in fashion, Fulton Market has it all!
When it comes to shopping and dining in Fulton Market, some key places of interest include:
- The Plant: This unique store specializes in vintage furniture, antique collectibles and eclectic artwork. Visitors can also find an array of unique gifts and home goods as well as custom services like upholstery and reupholstery.
- Bucktown Beach: This multi-level store is filled with apparel that is heavily influenced by coastal style. Bucktown Beach sells women’s clothing, shoes and accessories.
- Franklin + Poe: This neighborhood boutique offers a selection of apparel that is modern yet classic. Their collections are source from emerging European designers and make using materials like silk and wool.
- Avec: If you’re in the mood for Mediterranean cuisine, Avec Restaurant serves small plates from outdoor grills as well as dishes like charred dates stuffed with chorizo.
- Blue Door Kitchen & Garden: This restaurant features a menu inspired by seasonal ingredients from local farmers markets. Diners can enjoy brunch dishes like their signature shrimp ‘n grits or dinner options such as steak frites with wild mushrooms.
- Swift & Sons Steakhouse: If you’re craving a classic steakhouse experience, Swift & Sons Steakhouse provides prime cuts cooked to perfection along with sides like mac n cheese or Brussels sprouts with bacon lard
Visiting Fulton Market in Chicago
Exploring the Historic Fulton Market is a great way to dive into Chicago’s past. This once-bustling hub of industry is now home to a variety of trendy restaurants, shops, and galleries. Here’s what you can expect:
The food scene in Historic Fulton Market is a vibrant mix of old and new. You’ll find classic diners serving up delicious dishes alongside modern restaurants featuring innovative takes on classic favorites. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, too—so no matter your dietary preferences, you’re sure to find something delicious!
Shopping & Galleries
In addition to its amazing food scene, Historic Fulton Market also boasts plenty of unique shopping and gallery opportunities. From vintage boutiques to pop-up galleries, there are plenty of interesting shops and exhibits to explore. Many of the galleries feature local artists from around Chicago. Giving you the chance to discover something new while supporting your community.
Finally, Historic Fulton Market also has several entertainment venues that are perfect for a night on the town. From lively bars and music venues featuring local acts to intimate jazz clubs where you can get up close. And personal with some of the city’s best talent, you won’t have any trouble finding a great spot for some nighttime entertainment in this vibrant part of town.