Destinations added to Chicago tours
Seventy-seven neighborhoods wait to share secrets with visitors
CHICAGO – The neighborhoods of Chicago have long been destinations for tours. They’re a good way to learn about the city, and this year, there’s more to tour than before.
New tours available for half-day bus trips bring history and culture that’s interesting to both native Chicagoans and visitors.
Three of these new destination tours start in June: Fire! The Great Chicago Fire, Historic Hotels of Chicago, and Historic Parks and Boulevards.
n Fire! The Great Chicago Fire – The fire of 1871 burned much of Chicago, leaving ash in its place. This tour will show historic and antique firefighting equipment at the Chicago Fire Academy. Tourists will find out about the cost of the fire on the city and how Chicago moved on to become what it is today.
n Historic Parks and Boulevards – Tour-takers will see landscape architecture by Jens Jensen and other designers, and will encounter fieldhouses from the World’s Fair and historic landmarks, as well as a variety of city parks. No two tours are alike.
n Historic Hotels of Chicago – These beautiful structures ooze luxury. They were built in the 19th and early 20th century. Three hotels will be explored on each tour. They include the building’s history and those little “secrets” only staff members know.
Those who would like to explore a bit more can check out the neighborhood called Back of the Yards, a self-guided tour of the former Union Stock Yards. The stockyard’s gate remains standing on Exchange Avenue. It was built in 1865 for the stockyard’s opening. Also visible in various states of repair are frame houses that packinghouse workers called home.
Churches in the area date back to stockyard years, also. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, built in 1914 at Hermitage and 48th streets, was restored in 2000. Holy Cross Catholic Church, built in 1915, is at Wood and 45th streets. Its interior is baroque.
Also in this neighborhood is the 60-acre Sherman Park, which has been around since 1905.
There are 77 neighborhoods that make up Chicago. That can be overwhelming, but help can be found at www.explorechicago.org/city/en/neighborhoods.html where a handy neighborhood map is available.
If you go
What: Chicago Neighborhood Tours
When: Varied dates
Where: Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St.
Featured tours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., cost is $35 for adults and $30 for seniors, students and children
Reservations: Book at www.explorechicago.org or call 312-742-1190
–Fire! The Great Chicago Fire, June 14, July 12 and Aug. 9
–Historic Hotels of Chicago, June 21, July 19 and Aug. 16
–Historic Parks and Boulevards, June 28, July 26 and Aug. 23