Entitled: "The Great Union Stock Yards of Chicago. The largest live stock mart in the world." The Union Stock Yard & Transit Company was the meatpacking district in Chicago. The district was operated by a group of railroad companies that acquired swampland and turned it into a centralized processing area. Construction began in June 1865 with an opening on Christmas Day in 1865. By the 1890s, the railroad money behind the Union Stockyards was Vanderbilt money. The Union Stockyards became known as "hog butcher for the world" and the center of the American meatpacking industry for decades. The stockyards have become an integral part of the popular culture of Chicago's history. From the Civil War until the 1920s and peaking in 1924, more meat was processed in Chicago than in any other place in the world. The Yards closed at midnight on Friday, July 30, 1971, after several decades of decline during the decentralization of the meatpacking industry. The Union Stock Yard Gate was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1972, and a National Historic Landmark in 1981. Lithograph created by Charles Rascher, 1878.