In the 1850's Chicago had to raise it's grading and many of the structures in order to install a comprehensive sewer system. Prior to the new sewer system, it was impossible to separate drinking water and wastewater, thus many people died or became ill. Entire buildings were literally raised 6 plus feet with jack screws.
During the Great Depression a wide variety of items were used to insulate homes, including the use of horse hair.
Transom windows in vintage buildings (the small windows above doors) betweeen rooms were designed to allow the passage fo heat, or cool air to flow between rooms.
The Wrigley building, which was completed in 1929(excluding the skywalk) has a quarter million terra cotta tiles custom made in England. Each tile is tracked by computer to determine when it needs maintenance. Consider this the next time your vintage 2 flat needs tuck-pointing.
Due to the Vietnam War, and strikes, the price of copper skyrocketed. Thus many homes that were built the late 60's to the 70's used Aluminum wiring throughout. Solid aluminum wiring smaller than 8AWG has a different expansion and contraction rate than steel. This can cause wires to loosen and even cause fires. Stranded aluminum wiring is viewed as acceptable.
Wrigley Field was built in 1914 and is the 2nd oldest ballpark in the majors behind Boston's Fenway Park.