Adjacent to the western part of the metropolis of Chicago in the state of Illinois is a city of about one hundred and sixty thousand people named after the goddess of the dawn , Aurora. However, the name of the city is not derived from this goddess, nor from the world-famous ship that infamously went down in history with its shots in 1917, but from the Latin name for the northern lights – aurora borealis.
According to Iamaccepted, today, Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois and is part of the Chicago metropolitan area. The city is often called the “City of Lights” mainly because it was one of the first cities in the United States to have all electric street lighting installed (1881). The city of Aurora officially adopted this nickname in 1908.
Before the arrival of white settlers, Indian villages were located in the area of present-day Aurora, on the banks of the Fox River. In 1834 the McCarty brothers came here, took land for themselves on both sides of the river, but only sold land on the west side to other people. They built a mill on the shore of nearby Brothers Lake, where they also lived. The city of Aurora originally consisted of two villages – East Side and West Side, which merged into one in 1857. However, the two parties could not agree on which side of the river the public buildings would stand, so they were eventually built around Stolp Island, which is located in the middle of the river. The town hall and the old post office still stand here today.
In 1980, large groups of immigrants began to come to the city for work, which unfortunately increased the crime rate in Aurora quite a lot. In the following years, factories and industrial enterprises began to close, due to which the number of unemployed also rose to 16%. In 1993, a casino was built in the city center, which helped the city to get back on its feet financially. The beginnings of tourism in Aurora date back to 1987, when the non-profit organization AACVB – Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau was established here, which began to deal with the promotion of the city and the region.
Today, the most attractive tourist attraction is the city center, the so-called Downtown, where we can find a number of interesting places. For example, the building of the Paramount Theater stands here, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. There’s also the Leland Tower, which is a former hotel that used to be the tallest building in the state of Illinois – unless you count the buildings in Chicago. The city center also houses the largest collection of works by the architect George Grant Elmslie. The main building of the Aurora Public Library and Waubonsee Community College are also found here. Aurora also has its own zoo, Phillips Park Zoo.