Part of the reason I wanted to go to Chicago in general is because it contains locations featured in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files novels. This is my all time favourite book series! An urban fantasy featuring a wizard living in modern day Chicago. For those who know the books, you’ll like this.
There will be spoilers in this post, so I would suggest looking away now if you plan to read them.
The Field Museum was featured primarily in the novel Dead Beat. With necromancers running around Chicago, Harry has to find them and the word of Kemmler before they do any permanent damage. One of the necromantic hotspots was featured on Wacker Drive.
One of the other necromantic hotspots was in the Field Museum itself. Down in the staff offices. Obviously we didn’t get a chance to see those, but we were able to get some good photos of Sue, the most complete T-Rex skeleton discovered to-date! Sue was actually a major pawn in the conclusion of Dead Beat and lets be honest, it’s a wizard riding a dinosaur, how could it NOT be amazing.
St. Mary of the Angel’s church is a location featured in almost every book. The building is huge and beautiful. I was unlucky enough to visit on the day it was pouring rain, so I could not stop to investigate the church properly.
This also meant I was not able to loiter and consider the ramifications of knocking on the service entrance, asking for Father Forthill and saying “Harry sent me.”
I completely geeked out and made a special trip to union station for the sole purpose of imagining Harry being chased around it the creatures of the fae; two trips actually. The first time I stopped by, it was in the evening and there was some kind of function happening in the great hall. Since this party was not open to outsiders I was unable to gatecrash and take my photos. They had a lot of funky lights and loud music, so it was probably for the best.
This was Wednesday night and we were leaving the next morning, our flight was at 1pm, so we had to be at the airport around 11am. It is about an hour on the L from our hotel to the airport. I decided to get up early so Paul and I could walk over to union station to get the photos.
This was a much better time of day to photograph such a large and impressive building. With lots of natural sunlight streaming in the architectural details were much more evident.
I am not going to lie to you, the entire time I was in Chicago, I would suddenly remind myself that it is the setting for my favourite supernatural series. I feel like it really gave the books a lot more depth now that I have seen the city.
As a bonus, I found the water fountain that is an important location in The Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill. This is also the biggest fountain I have ever seen in my entire life. As it is a seasonal attraction, there was no water. I may have to go back in warmer weather and see it in its fullest glory!
There are definitely Dresden Files locations I missed, but these were the ones I was able to see and photograph during my short time in Illinois.