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Ryan Smith is a freelance Chicago-based journalist. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Reader, Chicago Sun-Times, Belt Magazine and other publications.

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16 iconic signs that define Chicago

From neon church crosses, flashing theater names, and the red Wrigley marquee.

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Discover 10 Prairie School buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright disciples

Unique early-20th century churches, homes, a brewery, and more.

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Celebrate Black History Month by getting to know these 10 landmarks

Famous African-American churches, newspapers, and cultural sites.

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12 modernist buildings every Chicagoan should know

Steel-and-glass mid-century masterpieces by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and other visionaries.

5 cozy cottages perfect for an escape from Chicago

Hole up in a Frank Lloyd Wright cottage, a secluded house with treetop views, and log cabin with character.

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8 urban places to see wildlife in Chicago

Here’s where the wild things are: coyotes, foxes, deer, and birds of prey.

How Fulton Market lost the last of its grit

In the last decade, the neighborhood has become a Disneyfied version of itself.

Vacant Wabash storefronts to get Bauhaus-inspired murals

The hope is to attract new businesses with the public art.

What you should know about the 130-year-old Auditorium Theatre

The national landmark celebrates its 130th anniversary.

Can the world’s largest Starbucks perk up Chicago’s Mag Mile?

The Willy Wonka of coffee has arrived.