Here's Old Chicago's legendary dome
under construction. Back then Old Chicago was surrounded by mostly
farmland so you could see the dome for miles and miles along Interstate
55. I remember driving by Old Chicago often during construction
and the enormity of the place was awe inspiring to someone who was 3-4 at
These photos were sent to me by Bryan S. and they are really some of the
most amazing Old Chicago photos that I have seen. This is a shot from
the edge of the dome showing the amusement park section of Old Chicago under
construction. The circular ramp to the right was the main entrance
to the park which sat a story below the shopping center.
Here's a closer view of the amusement park under construction in 1975.
The big marquee attraction was the Chicago Loop and as you can see here
about half the ride is complete with a bunch of track sitting around ready
to be welded into place. The Chicago Loop was a "Corkscrew"
type coaster by Arrow Dynamics. This design was a copy of the prototype
Corkscrew that Arrow built for Knott's Berry Farm earlier that year.
The Chicago Loop was the first looping coaster in the Midwest and the third
modern looping coaster in existence.
To the right of the Chicago Loop sits a Trabant and a Ferris Wheel all
set up and ready for Old Chicago's opening.
Also the openings in the wall by them are where the windows for the Old
Chicago Beer Garden Restaurant were. I always loved going out to eat
there because we'd grab a window seat and I'd get lost watching all the
rides while I ate.
What's interesting to me in this picture besides the coaster is that
at this point in the construction only half the floor was paved. A
big problem with Old Chicago was they they paved the floor, had concrete
walls and a metal roof so the sounds of all the rides became quite a problem
and really took away from the experience. I wonder if they'd have
had less of a problem with sound if they'd done something besides build
a park in a concrete box. Maybe if they'd built the park with plants and
landscaping like they have at the Mall of America it would have turned out
better in the end.
Another photo that Brian sent me was this shot of Old Chicago's Super
Round Up. These rides use centrifugal force to hold you standing in
In 1978 there was a death on this ride at Old Chicago. A man named
Francisco Nejera un hooked the chain that goes across a riders chest and
tried to move from his rider position to another and ended up being thrown
from the ride.
Over the years I have had countless emails about Old Chicago from people
who have fond memories of the park. A few of these have wanted to contribute
to my Old Chicago section, not just with their memories, but with photos
and memorabilia from the park.
We have our first Old Chicago fan art. Timmothy Cumings sent me
the following song about Old Chicago. Click on the link below to download
a zipped up MP3 of Old Chicago Drive.
Old Chicago Drive
Copyright 2003 Timothy Cummings Music
I was sent a DVD of some old home movies of Old Chicago. Click
here to see Old Chicago
in living color and motion.
Vince Smith sent me this card for Old Chicago's Beer Garden.
Dave Moorehead sent me this portrait of him and his sister Liz that was
taken in Old Chicago's Old Time Portrait Studio. Since portraits like
this were pretty popular back in the 1970's I'm sure there are almost as
many photos like this filling photo albums as there are photos of kids sitting
on top of Old Chicago's famous Lions.
The first email I received from someone wanting to contribute to the
site was from a gentleman who worked at Old Chicago as a security guard.
He sent me this cool Old Chicago patch.
What was really cool was that he also sent me his Old Chicago security
patch which is something just anyone couldn't get their hands on.
Old Chicago Index
Copyright 1999 - 2017