Union Stockyards Gate


The castle-like gate was once the main entrance to the vast stockyards where millions of cows and hogs met their ends each year. During the 1893 World’s Expo the stockyards were a popular tourist draw, with nearly 10,000 people a day making the trek here to stare, awestruck, as the butchering machine took in animals and spat out blood and meat.

The value of those slaughtered in 1910 was an enormous $225 million. While sanitary conditions eventually improved from the hideous levels documented by Upton Sinclair, during the Spanish-American War American soldiers suffered more casualties because of bad cans of meat from the Chicago packing houses than because of enemy fire.

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