Forgotten Chicago Avondale Bike Tour
Avondale, "the neighborhood that built Chicago," will be explored in a new, in-depth, and insightful Forgotten Chicago bicycle tour. Join us we explore this proletarian nook of Chicago's great Northwest Side, which has far more to see than smokestacks and steeples (although we will also explore those during our tour).
The long-time home to Chicago's "Polish Village," Avondale in recent years has also been a magnet for other ethnic groups. Forgotten Chicago's Jacob Kaplan and Dan Pogorzelski are two of the authors of an upcoming book on Avondale, which is scheduled to be published this year. Jacob and Dan will reveal some of their most interesting research finds during this tour of one of Chicago's most dynamic, fascinating, and overlooked neighborhoods.
The tour will begin fittingly with the beginnings of Avondale, including its early history along the Chicago River and the Chicago and Northwestern railroad. The early ethnic history and some of the first housing in the area will be examined. Then, we will ride west into an area with modest beginnings that later became the cultural mecca for Poles in Chicago. The commercial strip of Milwaukee Avenue will be discussed in-depth, including architecture, storefronts, ethnic history and the growth and evolution of the area.
The tour will also touch on other facets and curiosities of architecture, urban design and everyday life in the area. Of course, we'll explore oddities, curiosities in the street grid, and other overlooked elements of the densely populated Avondale area.
Industry played a large part in the development of Avondale, so it will also be examined in depth. We will ride through early industrial development along the river and later factories along the railroads and arterial streets. We'll talk about the products made in these plants, the notable companies that inhabited them, and the workers who flooded into the neighborhood to take jobs in manufacturing. Some of the best industrial architecture in the city is found in Avondale, and we will discuss the architects and innovative designs of these iconic structures.
All of these elements will be tied together as we study the evolution of one of Chicago's unique outlying neighborhoods.
When? Sunday June 23 at Noon. Rain or shine.
Where? The tour will meet and begin above the Belmont Blue Line station (Belmont/Kimball). It will conclude at the same location.
How Long? The tour will consist of approximately 10 miles of riding, and will last about 2 1/2 hours.
How much? $15 per person. Advance purchase is required. No walk-ups. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. If severe weather cancels the tour, credit will be issued for use on a tour of equal value.
Riding Experience? This tour is recommended for moderately experienced cyclists. While we will mostly be riding on residential streets, we'll sometimes venture onto busy thoroughfares where extreme caution must be exercised.
What should I bring? A bike and helmet are required. Sunscreen and water recommended.
Note: All tour participants will be required to sign a liability waiver before embarking on the tour.
Belmont Blue Line (Tour Start) (View)
3398 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL 60618