Chicagohenge---You are Here

Chicagohenge---You are Here

Approaching the autumn equinox, you are here. Baseball has its numbered days, and tomatoes are ripening. The hurricane season is getting more active. Nights are early now. The full Harvest Moon on September 13 is waning.  Mornings have a crispness and clarity. And the sun is a golden light on everything.

It is this time, around the spring and fall equinoxes, that the sun appears almost directly along an east-west line, aligning with the east-west streets of downtown Chicago.  At this time and place, the sun rises and sets between the buildings, an effect almost like the stones of Stonehenge.

You can read more about the Chicagohenge effect in this article from the Chicago Sun-times.

Before the days of GPS, people navigated around the earth following the sun and other stars. Later, they drew  lines of longitude and latitude on the round globe of the earth.  Property descriptions still  describe a specific place in this way.

The effect of Chicagohenge is more a time than a place. It is fleeting and beautiful.  But every day, the sun is fleeting and beautiful.

Light on the people walking to the  train, light on the morning glories in the alleys.



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  • I'm not convinced of the total accuracy of Chicagohenge, as there are obvious surveying errors from the late 18th or early 19th centuries, such as along Central Road in the north suburbs, or I-57 (including when 162nd St. becomes 159th). Lake-Cook Road is supposed to be 20 miles north of Madison St. according to house numbers, but it is really 18.5.

    BTW, today is supposed to be the first day of "normal" weather here in a long while. I hope that the climate change deniers are enjoying the July weather from May into October in the southeast.

  • In reply to jack:

    Dear Jack--
    I am not convinced of Chicagohenge, either, but the photos were spectacular. The sunsets lately have been stunning.
    Yes, the southeast is really feeling the heat, while the first blizzard of the season hit Montana!

    By the way, are you an attorney, Jack? You have such a fine and logical mind.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    I went to law school. Didn't help my employment prospects.

  • Thank you for a beautiful post that has been helping me savor "going toward the light," which will become walking in the dark soon enough.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thanks so much for reading!

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