Forgotten Chicago Downtown Confidential Walking Tour
As an extension of our two Friends of Downtown presentations The Overlooked Loop, which we conducted in 2013 to more than 200 guests, Forgotten Chicago is reprising one of our most popular walking tours, Downtown Confidential, last offered in 2011.
On this walking tour, we're going to do the opposite of every other Loop walking tour. Instead of Sullivan and skyscrapers, we'll be looking at various marginal structures like parking garages, three and four story brick buildings, aging facades, and interesting conversions. We'll look at examples of a disappearing mixed-use downtown, much of which is hiding in plain sight.
Chicago's Loop is rapidly changing, and has undergone an enormous transformation in just the last half-decade. In a bizarre coincidence, during a previous Forgotten Chicago Downtown Confidential tour on June 21, 2009, the former Showmen's League Building, one of the Loop's last buildings to date from the 1870s, was demolished during our tour. A video of this demolition posted by legendary architecture blogger Lynn Becker may be seen here.
This tour will focus on buildings that are, at least for now, extant. Some of what we will cover includes what is likely the oldest structure built as a hotel still standing in Chicago, the 1906 Hotel Brevoort at 120 South Madison, as well as a grouping of two remarkable buildings from the 1930s, the former Benson-Rixon building on South State Street and its neighbor, the former Bond store by Miami Beach's Morris Lapidus, top right.
Additionally, we will discuss the building and removal of the State Street Mall, and some of the many Loop buildings devoted to parking, such as the dramatically cantilevered 60-year old parking structure across from the Auditorium Theatre and still in use, above right. We hope to see you on this exclusive Forgotten Chicago tour!
When? Sunday September 21 at Noon. Rain or shine.
Where? The tour will meet and begin in Grant Park at the southeast corner of Congress/Michigan (directly across from the Congress Hotel). It will conclude near Michigan/Lake.
How Long? The tour will consist of about 3 miles of walking and will last approximately 2 1/2 hours.
How much? $15. 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.
Southeast Corner of Congress/Michigan (Tour Start)
521 S. Michigan
Chicago, IL 60605