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> This is where the Main, North, and South branches of the Chicago River meet.
> Wolf Point is the site of Chicago's first taverns, hotel, ferry, and drugstore.
> Today, there is new residential and office development in the area, and the Kennedy Family still has interests in Wolf Point real estate.
This is the area where the main branch of the Chicago River forks into the North and South branches. The name Wolf Point originally referred to the West bank of the river where early settlers laid down their roots. Origins of the name are unconfirmed, but one story states that it was named for a Native American "Moa-Way" meaning Wolf, who once lived there.
James Kinzie opened the city's first tavern here in 1828, and one year later Samuel and John Miller opened the first store on the north bank. Other firsts at Wolf Point include the first ferry operation across the river, Chicago's first recorded factory, the first drugstore, and first hotel. The Sauganash Hotel was opened by Mark Beaubien on the South Bank in 1829.
Twenty years later, The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad opened Chicago's first railway depot here. Marshall Field owned the property north of the bank until he sold it to the Kennedy family in the 1940s. They've since sold most of the property, including the Merchandise Mart, but they retain a small portion on the North bank of Wolf Point. It's a coveted piece of real estate which is now occupied by Wolf Point Towers. Prior to the beginning of construction for the towers in 2014, this land lay largely unoccupied. Wolf Point West is a 46-story residential complex that was completed in 2016. Construction for Wolf Point East began shortly after.
Cover image source: Chris D, CC BY-SA 4.0, No changes made.