June 5, 2013
Designed by John Root and Daniel Burnham of Burnham & Root, this limestone gate is crowned with the head of Sherman the bull (said to be the prized steer of Stock Yard boss and co-founder John B. Sherman, Burnham's father-in-law). It's the only relic left of was once the biggest meatpacking complex in the world. It opened on Christmas Day, 1865 and closed for good in 1971. Now, the place is an industrial park. You can't talk about "the Yards" without mentioning Upton Sinclair's novelistic expose of slaughterhouse life (and death), "The Jungle," which described the place like this: "There would be meat stored in great piles in rooms, and the water from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of rats would race about on it." Directly behind the gate is a statue honoring the 21 firefighters who died in a massive 1910 stockyard fire that, prior to Sept. 11, 2001, had caused the greatest number of professional firefighter deaths in U.S. history.
At Exchange Avenue and Peoria Street