What`s in a name? Good Day Chicago explores city neighborhoods - New York News

What`s in a name? Good Day Chicago explores city neighborhoods

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

If Good Day Chicago asked you what neighborhood you live in, chances are you'd be able to answer pretty quickly. But what if we asked you why it's called that? Could you still answer?

FOX 32's Jake Hamilton did some digging on the names of some of Chicago's most iconic neighborhoods, and found some fun historical facts!

What's in a name? For some city neighborhoods, there's really not much to it, like Lakeview, Wrigleyville and the Loop. But for others, there's a history to be told - a history many of us might not even be aware of.

Good Day caught up with Chicago History Museum archivist Peter Alter. He took us through the dusty pages of Chicago history and gave us the real stories behind the names of our own backyards.

We began by travelling to the neighborhood of Pill Hill on the South Side.

"It got its name around the early 1900s because a lot of doctors lived there who worked at the Chicago hospital," Alter said. "They made some money, so they had nicer houses. Their specific small neighborhood was known as Pill Hill."

From there, we stayed on the South Side to pay tribute to Pullman Palace Car Company.

"Pullman is named for George M. Pullman," Alter explained. "He was a manufacturer of really fancy railroad passenger cars. So there was a massive factory in that neighborhood."

But not all Chicago neighborhoods were named after attributes of The Windy City. Some were tips of the hat to cities across the pond.

"We're familiar with Hyde Park, where the University of Chicago is, Museum of Science and Industry and other bookstores and restaurants," Alter told FOX 32. "It was named after a neighborhood in London and also in New York City, because the founders really wanted it to have that famous quality and that kind of fancy quality."

To toast the history of Austin, located on the West Side, you might want to do so with a non-alcoholic beverage.

"Named for George Austin, who was actually a temperance guy in the mid 1800s," Alter said.

West Side neighborhood Garfield Park has a bit of a darker history, but began with a more familiar name.

"President Garfield was actually assassinated by a Chicagoan - small fact – but it wasn't renamed for Garfield because of Chicago," Alter explained. "It was renamed because he was the first president to be assassinated after Lincoln."

Behind every name is a story. Whether it's obvious or one hidden in the pages of history, they're what make our city's history great. No matter what the name behind our neighborhood is, there's really one name that really matters: home.

If you're curious about the names behind your own backyard, reach out to us on the FOX Chicago News Facebook page or tweet Jake Hamilton @JakesTakes. Your neighborhood name could be featured later in the morning or on our next segment in a few weeks!

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