History of Chicago's Honorary Streets
Chicago's honorary brown signs are commemorative, co-names for many streets in the City of Chicago. They remind locals and tourists of the contributions of the famous and the obscure who have made a difference in Chicago and in the world.
Honorary Chicago has collected the largest and most comprehensive dataset of honorary street names, locations, and biographies.
We have curated our collection for Chicago aficionados and offer a variety of specialized tours, informative books, and delightful Chicago gifts for your enjoyment.
History of Chicago's Honorary Signs
Thirty years ago the City of Chicago standardized the process of giving commemorative names to streets, similar to historical markers, by installing brown street signs with the title of "Honorary" and four 6-point stars, which are symbols from the Chicago municipal flag.
Honorary streets are not official street names, they do not describe an actual address and they cannot be found on maps - until now.
How Honorary Streets are named
Recommendations for honorary streets are made by the residents of a neighborhood. The nomination is submitted to the Ward office where the honorary sign is to be located.
The Alderman of the Ward submits the proposal to the Chicago City Council, where it is considered by a Committee. Upon approval the City Council writes an order to the Department of Transportation to install a sign at the designated location.
The sign is unveiled at a dedication ceremony attended by the honoree, the Alderman, and the community.
For more information on dedications - contact us.
On December 3, 1984
the Chicago City Council officially adopted an Ordinance for the standardization of honorary streets.
On February 22, 2017
Sweeping changes were made to the qualifications and limitations were imposed which limits the number of new honorary streets which can be named each year.
About the Honorary Chicago tour flag "Hearts and stripes forever"
City of Chicago flag meets the Honorary Chicago tour flag Hearts and Stripes Forever!
Our tour flag was inspired by the City of Chicago flag which has blue stripes and four 6-point stars. We changed the stars to hearts to show the world that we "love, love, love, love Chicago!"