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Best National Monuments Near Chicago

With a city as diverse and vibrant as Chicago, there are no shortage of museums, theaters and parks to visit to get in touch with culture, but how about visiting some of the places that have historical significance to the city and the country at large? Check out some the best National Monuments and Landmarks to visit right here in Chicago.

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The Pullman State Historic Site
11111 S. Forrestville Ave.
Chicago, IL 60628
(773) 660-2341

Although the Pullman Historic District was designated a National Historic Site in 1969, it was only recently elevated to United States National Monument status in February of 2015. President Obama designated the area, making it part of the National Park Service and giving Chicago its first and only national monument to date. The Pullman site was the first planned industrial community in the United States. The district includes the Pullman factory, the Hotel Florence as well as the Pullman Railroad Porters National Museum. For information on self-guided or guided tours of the district, check out the Historic Pullman Foundation Website.

Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-7827

Founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler, the Adler Planetarium is the first planetarium in America and a National Historic Landmark since 1987. The planetarium can be a fun visit on its own right with several exhibitions on space and the solar system. As part of Chicago's Museum Campus, the planetarium exists on the most eastern point of Northerly Island, giving visitors an incredible view of the city skyline. Check the website before you visit for fun programs and events, including everything from lunar eclipse viewings to simulated starlight yoga!

Robert S. Abbott House (Photo Credit: Library of Congress)

Robert S. Abbott House
4742 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Chicago, IL 606053

The home of Robert S. Abbott earned it's National Historic Landmark status in 1976. Abbott was perhaps best known as the founder of the newspaper The Chicago Defender, which was a weekly geared mainly toward African American readers first printed in 1905. The Defender became the most widely circulated African American newspaper in the United States. The house is located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago's south side.

Related:  Best Literary Landmarks In Chicago

Chicago Board Of Trade Building
141 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 435-7180

Both a designated Chicago Landmark and U.S. National Historic Landmark, the Chicago Board of Trade Building was for many years Chicago's tallest building (before being surpassed by the Daily Center when it was constructed). The building is known for it's architecture and stone carvings, including the three-story-high statue of Ceres (goddess of agriculture) that tops the structure. Tours of the building are given by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and are $15, lasting about one hour. It is recommended that you book in advance.

Haymarket Martyrs' Monument
The Forest Home Cemetery
863 Desplaines Ave.
Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 366-1900

Located in the Forest Home Cemetery where many of the defendants it was erected to commemorate were laid to rest, the Haymarket Monument was dedicated in 1893 and became a National Historic Landmark in 2002. A symbol of labor rights, the monument is still visited often today, most especially on May Day, a day celebrated as the day of the worker. At the cemetery entrance, take the left fork to make your way to the monument.

Related: Best Historic Landmarks In Chicago

Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at

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