Parades, Protests and Politics


The Buildings

The Republican Wigwam of 1860 cost $5,000 and was
one of the finest buildings in town.

The Republican "Wigwam" of 1860 cost $5,000 and
was one of the finest buildings in town. (CHS)

The 1860 Republican Convention was held in a temporary wooden building dubbed the "Wigwam," (a term that had come to mean "meeting hall"). Located at Lake and Wacker Streets, it took six weeks to build and was finished just in time for the convention. The "Wigwam" contained a movable stage and room for 10,000 delegates. Outside, a brass cannon was fired when the winning candidates were announced.

Outside the Civic Auditorium Building, site of the 1888 Republican convention.

Outside the Civic Auditorium Building, site of the 1888 Republican convention. (CHS, ICHi-14867, photo by J.W. Taylor)

Other meeting halls built specifically for conventions include the 1864 Amphitheatre, which partially collapsed and injured 50 people, and the 1892 Wigwam. Finished only days before the convention, the 100-foot by 180-foot structure was considered the largest indoor meeting place in America. The first permanent convention hall, the Interstate Exposition Building, was built in 1880 on the site now occupied by the Art Institute of Chicago. All in all, 11 convention halls have hosted Chicago's 25 main party conventions.


Al Capone
Black Sox
Century of Progress
Chicago Fire
World's Columbian Expo
Parades, Protest and Politics
Parades, Protests and Politics Photo Gallery
Parades, Protests and Politics Artifacts
Parades, Protests and Politics Bibliography
The Pullman Era
The Stockyards
Fort Dearborn

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