The conflagration that tore through Chicago in October 1871 is often credited with rewriting our city’s history. Like most everything from that era, the Great Fire’s aftermath was an opportunity for those on the make. But was it really so clear-cut?
Many social and economic changes were, in fact, afoot well before the fire, while some of the greatest building safety improvements didn’t take root until after the Second Great Fire in 1874. In this special 90-minute virtual event, we’ve assembled an expert panel of local historians to answer your every question about the true impact of the Great Chicago Fire and the popular myths that continue to drive the city’s sense of self. The panel will put forward a mix of stories about historic characters and discuss larger policy and planning outcomes.