Chicago will have special appeal to construction historians, particularly those interested in the history of American design and construction. Chicago is a living museum of skyscraper design, industrial sites, and transportation networks, making it one of the great centers of historic construction.

Located adjacent to stunning Lake Michigan and decorated with inspiring historic and contemporary architecture, Chicago is more than a modern city. Besides its striking downtown area, which is a showcase of historic architecture and feats of engineering, Chicago has a distinctive coastline, hundreds of vibrant parks and more than 200 unique neighborhoods. It’s this truly distinctive mix of incredible attractions and cultural allure that make Chicago one of the friendliest, most livable cities in America.

In addition to its well-known tourist sites and attractions, Chicago has developed a reputation as a must-visit destination for diners. In fact, Chicago is one of only three cities in the country to have its culinary chops rated by the prestigious Michelin Guide. With incredible shopping on The Magnificent Mile, world premiere performances in its famed Theater District and one of the country’s most active nightlife scenes, this city is always buzzing. Chicago also vaunts more than 40 museums, five regional Tony Award- winning theaters and, no matter the season, there’s always a professional sports team to cheer to victory.

Millennium Park, deep dish pizza and Wrigley Field are all compelling enough reasons to visit Chicago, but the city’s most endearing quality is its people. Chicago’s neighborhoods represent more than 100 countries and it’s through this diversity and culture that we are able to develop the country’s best restaurants, theaters and museums.

For more information about visiting Chicago visit the Chicago Visitors website.

Flying to Chicago

Chicago is an easy travel destination from the United States and abroad. It has two international airports (O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport), a bustling Amtrak station, and is reached by numerous highways. The Congress venue, the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, is accessible from the airports by public transportation, airport shuttles, and taxis.

United Airlines is offering discounts to registrants of the Fifth International Congress on Construction History.  Book your travel online at and enter Offer Code ZTHN292540 in the Offer Code box when searching for your flights.

If you are booking through a travel professional, or to book through United Meetings (phone: 800-426-1122), please give them the following information:

  • Agreement Code: 292540
  • Z Code: ZTHN

Outside of the United States, please call your local United Airlines Reservation Office.

O’Hare International Airport

O’Hare International Airport provides connections to more cities, more often than any other airport in the world. On the outskirts of the city and connected to Chicago city limits by a thin strip of land, over 190,000 people travel through O’Hare every day, and the airport was voted “Best Airport in North America” by Business Traveler International for seven years in a row.

Terminals at O’Hare International Airport:

  • Terminal 1:
 Concourses B & C. United Airlines, United Express, Lufthansa, Nippon Airways, Continental
  • Terminal 2:
 Concourses E & F. Air Canada, Delta, JetBlue, United, US Airways
  • Terminal 3: 
Concourses G, H, K, and L. Air Choice One, Alaska, American Airlines, American Eagle, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Spirit Airlines
  • Terminal 5:
 International Terminal, Concourse M. All international arrivals go through Terminal 5, as well as all flights for numerous international airlines

Public Transportation from O’Hare:

The CTA Blue Line train runs 24 hours a day between O’Hare and downtown Chicago. Trains generally arrive every 8 minutes from 5 am to 11 pm Monday through Friday, and every 10 minutes from 5 am to 11 pm on weekends. The current one-way fare to the airport is $2.25, and the ride takes 45 minutes.

The CTA station is located in the main parking garage, accessible by walkways in Terminals 1, 2, & 3.

Taxi Service at O’Hare:

Taxis are fairly plentiful, available on a first come, first serve basis and accessible from the lower level curb front of every terminal outside baggage claim. Taxis all run on meters, and the average cost is approximately $35 - $40 for a ride to downtown Chicago — expect to pay at least twice that if traveling during Chicago’s rush hours. Wheelchair accessible vehicles are available through United Dispatch at 800-281-4466.

Midway Airport

Midway Airport, located on Chicago’s southwest side, is smaller and some may say easier to deal with than O’Hare International Airport. Its anchor airline is the budget conscious Southwest Airlines.

Concourses at Midway International Airport

  • Concourse A:
 Air Tran, Air Midwest, Big Sky Airlines, ComAir, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines
  • Concourse B:
 ATA, Southwest Airlines
  • Concourse C:
 Continental Airlines

Public Transportation from Midway:

The CTA Orange Line train runs between Midway and downtown Chicago. Trains operate between 3:55 a.m. to 12:55 a.m. Monday through Friday, 4:35 a.m. to 12:51 a.m. Saturdays, 5:35 a.m. to 11:31 p.m. Sundays & Holidays. Trains generally arrive every 5-7 minutes during rush hour, 15-20 minutes early/late, and every 10 minutes the rest of the day.

The current one-way fare is $2.25, and the ride takes approximately 30 minutes.

Taxi Service at Midway Airport:

Taxis are regularly available on a first come, first serve basis and accessible from the curbfront outside baggage claim. Taxis all run on meters, and the average cost is approximately $25 plus tip for a ride to downtown Chicago — expect to pay more if traveling during Chicago’s rush hours.

Wheelchair accessible vehicles are available through United Dispatch at 800-281-4466.

Public Transportation in Chicago

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) runs a network of trains and buses that service nearly every corner of the city. The trains fall under two categories — subway and elevated trains (the “L”). A quick look at a map of the Chicago train system, and you can see it spiders out from downtown and is your best bet for getting to most of your Chicago destinations. The CTA buses fill in the gaps, running on a regular schedule on most major city streets.

Chicago Transit System fare information

  • Single Ride: $2.25 per ride for either bus or train (bus is $2 if using transit card)
  • VENTA Transit card: A transit card can be loaded with any amount from $2.00 up to $100. Transit cards are required to ride CTA trains, and are available from vending machines located at all train stations.
  • Visitor passes: Passes offer unlimited rides in a specific time period and are available at airports and train stations.
    1-day: $5.75
    3-day: $14
    7-day: $23

Here are some more basics you need to know:

  • Bus fareboxes accept the transit card as well as cash.
  • *NOTE*: neither the transit card vending machines or bus fareboxes give change, so make sure to have small bills handy when taking Chicago public transportation.

Chicago Train and Bus Maps and Routes

The CTA offers a complete system map online, in both HTML and PDF formats. The colored lines indicate a train or subway, and are generally referred to as their indicated color (Red Line, Blue Line, etc.). Bus numbers are indicated in the ovals along the routes. The CTA is always attempting to streamline their operation, so train and bus intervals can vary depending on time of day and route — especially overnight. Both bus schedules and train schedules are available online. A general rule of thumb — if you don’t have a schedule handy, during normal working hours downtown trains arrive every few minutes, buses every ten minutes.

June Weather in Chicago

High temperatures between 61 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  We recommend that you bring a raincoat or an umbrella.