Illinois

A museum of the rock fluorspar, which is used in industrial operations such as steel processing, and of the mineral fluorite, which it contains. Fluorite is the official state mineral of Illinois, where half of the nation's supply is produced. The museum is...

This is the corporate headquarters and, at 1,125 acres, probably the largest of ADM's 200+ manufacturing facilities worldwide. ADM is one of the largest agribusiness companies in the world. The company principally purchases raw farm products, the big American...

A large and diversified federal R&D lab, owned by the Department of Energy and operated by the University of Chicago, and one of the major scientific campuses in the USA. Facilities at this 1,700 acre installation include particle accelerators and a...

A chemical waste site with a capacity of 3 million cubic yards, operated by Chemical Waste Management, a subsidiary of waste giant WMX Technologies. One of around 30 large, official, commercial chemical waste sites in the country. The Calumet area has a...

A 2,125-acre Air Force Base now closed, and undergoing clean-up. Chanute was constructed in 1917 as a storage site and training base. Technical training continued until 1993, when all military operations ceased, and the base began to be converted to civilian...

Chicago's main airport is usually cited as one of the busiest airports in the world, with around 2,300 take-offs and landings a day.

The nation's largest publicly held collection of postcards and related materials, the Postcard Archives represent all fifty states, all the provinces of Canada, and about 75 other countries. It is computer-indexed by location, date and subject.

A decaying shopping mall shuttered since 1979, the Dixie Square Mall was an economic reflection as well as centerpiece of the depressed south-side suburb town of Harvey, IL once known as "the gateway to the south suburbs." Many attempts (including an ongoing...

The Effigy Tumuli earthwork consists of five geometrically abstracted animal forms, created on old mining land along the Illinois River. Now a state park, the sculpture is in flux, parts eroding, parts overgrown, others nearly bare. It is one of the largest...

FermiLab, west of Chicago, is one of the major physics research sites in the USA, and has the nation's only large-scale particle accelerator. Owned by the Department of Energy, and operated by Universities Research Association Inc. on a 6,800 acre site.

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The lab where the first nuclear chain reaction took place, in 1942, was in a converted handball court at the University of Chicago, under the grandstands at the Stagg Field Stadium. Stagg Field was demolished in the late 1960's, but a monument was constructed...

The largest US Navy training center. All Navy recruits go through boot camp here, and more than three million sailors have been trained here since 1911. The base covers 1,628 acres on the shore of Lake Michigan, north of Chicago. Has a museum.

When these gates on the Chicago River were opened ceremoniously in 1900, the course of the river reversed direction, in the culmination of an eight year engineering project. The river was reversed to move the sewage it contained, dumped into the river by the...

The largest government-owned weapons manufacturing plant in the country. It is operated by the Army's Industrial Operations Command, and staffed mostly by civilians. Producing weapons on this 946 acre island in the Mississippi River since 1862, it currently...

Museum for the US Army arsenal, located on Rock Island, the largest federally-owned munitions plant in the nation. Displays of historical arsenal photos and weapons. Located in Building 60.

Once the largest munition depots in the country, during WWII military operations had ceased by the time the base officially closed in 2000. However, much of the 13,165-acre depot will remain off-limits for some time due to lingering hazards, as areas were...

One of the nation's six original low-level radioactive waste sites, Sheffield was opened in 1967, was filled to permitted capacity in 1978, and was subsequently closed. For much of its life it was operated by US Ecology, a division of American Ecology, which...

The Stickney Water Reclamation Plant is said to be the largest sewage treatment plant in the world. It serves a 260-square mile area, with around 2.4 million people. Up to 1,440 million gallons of sewage per day can be treated in the 166 tanks at this 570-...