The Chicago Illinois temple was the Church's 35th temple. Built in 1985, it was the only temple in Illinois for nearly 20 years before the Nauvoo temple was re-established in 2002 (originally built in 1846). With it's 6 stately spires, it closely resembles the Dallas Texas and Boise Idaho Temples. It's a unique 80's look. The columns are partially made from marble with white-tipped spires. The temple was expanded to more than double it's original size and rededicated in 1989.
Facing extermination in Missouri in 1838, many Saints flocked to Illinois. The opposition and dissension didn't decrease in Illinois either. Many were persecuted and an angry mob killed the founder of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, in Carthage Jail in Illinois in 1844. Although they knew their time in Illinois was limited, faithful Saints hurriedly and carefully finished completion of the Nauvoo Temple. Both Illinois Temples are beacons of hope, a reminder of past faithful members and the struggles they went through and part of our history.
Metro Chicago offers some first-class restaurants, but you can also find good eats in the suburbs of Glenville, near the temple. You can start with a hearty breakfast at Egg Harbor Cafe. You can find a good selection of lunch and dinner entrees at Wildfire, a steakhouse and seafood restaurant. Pita Inn offers some very affordable Mediterranean cuisine. If you're looking for a good Italian family restaurant, Via Roma will satisfy your cravings. If you're closer to Chicago and have a hankering for some good barbeque, try BBQ Smoque, where a limited menu allows them to focus on doing barbeque as it should be.
The windy city is known for architecture and the art scene. Some great places to immerse yourself in this culture is Millennium Park-Cloud Gate, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation & Unity Temple. This will give you a good preview of the artistic side of the city. If you have little ones, you might want to check out the Kohl Children's Museum for some hands-on play. If you want to get a bird's eye view of the city, 360 Chicago (formerly John Hancock Observatory) has a fantastic view. Try Tilt for a "moving" experience.