Wolf Point [[Soundex Code
Wolf Point is the location at the confluence of the North, South and Main Branches of the Chicago River in the present day Community Area 08 Near North Side, Community Area 32 Loop, and Community Area 28 Near West Side of Chicago. This fork in the river is historically important in the development of early Chicago. This was the location of Chicago's first three taverns, its first hotel, Sauganash Hotel, its first ferry, its first drug store, its first church, and the first bridges across the Chicago River. The name is said to possibly derive from a Native American Chief whose name translated to wolf, but alternate theories exist.
Historically, the west bank of the river at the fork was called "Wolf Point," but in the 1820s and 1830s it came to denote the entire area and the settlement that grew up around the fork. Wolf Point is now often used more specifically to refer to a plot of land on the north side of the fork in the Community Area 08 Near North Side that is owned by the Kennedy family as part of the larger Merchandise Mart Center complex. Today the north bank at the fork, formerly a parking lot, is a construction site, the west bank includes a condominium high rise and railroad tracks, and the south bank serves as the transition point of Wacker Drive from an east-west street to a north-south street.