Rambling Around Rogers Park

Take a straight shot to the north edge of chicago to find Rogers Park, which has the eclectic mix of people you’d expect of a  border town — except it’s a border neighborhood. Hop off the CTA red line at Morse and you are in Rogers Park; The Glenwood Avenue Arts District, to be exact. Rogers Park rubs shoulders with Evanston to the North and Lake Michigan to the East. Because it’s far from downtown and other sleeker Chicago regions, the Rogers Park community has made sure they have their own arts and events so that they can stay local.

Touring Rogers Park

Discovering Rogers Park

I first discovered what Rogers Park had to offer when I began a part-time job at the Heartland Cafe several years ago. I figured it would be a good job to have while I applied to graduate school, and at the time I didn’t know how essential this restaurant was to the surrounding neighborhood. Open since 1976, not only does the Heartland serve food, it also has a Buffalo Bar, a General Store, hosts annual run/walk races along the lake, and even broadcasts a radio show on WLUW live from the restaurant on Saturday mornings. A visit to the Heartland, and a look at the current photography on the walls of the place would be a good way to start exploring Rogers Park, though I can’t go so far as to strongly recommend the food.

Find FLW in Rogers Park

For some more residential architecture, north of the quirky Armadillo’s Pillow Book Store you’ll find a Frank Lloyd Wright building. Built in 1915 at 7415 N. Sheridan, the Emil Bach house has aged rather ungracefully, as the neighborhood changed over time; and the opulence  was slowly displaced by practicality. Fortunately, the historic landmark has restored to its original luster and opened for public events thanks to James Pritzker and his team.

Food, Drink, and a Show

If you are in the mood for music, grab a drink or dinner at the Morseland while watching live jazz, or head over to the The Red Line Tap, a dog friendly neighborhood bar that hosts a weekly open mic, and all sorts of shows, including a metal night if you’re into that kind of thing.

Rogers Park’s performing arts are a particular draw, and the neighborhood can boast being the winner of past theater awards because of their local, high-quality theater venues like the Boho Theater at 7016 N. Glenwood. Just a short walk south down the same street at 6912 is the Lifeline Theater, which seems to have benefited from its name with having been around since 1983.

— Sophie Grimes, Editorial Intern


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Private Tour Coordinator and Tour Guide

There is no shortage of things to discover in Chicago—I love being an urban explorer and uncovering its hidden places. I have an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, and I have worked as a museum educator and kindergarten teacher. My desire to learn new things fuels my passion for educating others, which I get to experience every day as a Chicago tour guide. I live in the northern neighborhood of Rogers Park.

“Our guide Ellen was exceptional and gifted with a great personal touch.”


Tour Guide

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, the vibrant history and modern majesty of Chicago never ceases to amaze. I’m a graduate of Columbia College with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. I’ve worked for many years as an educator at City Colleges of Chicago. As tour guide at Chicago Detours, I integrate my enthusiasm for culture and architecture with my passion as an educator. West Town/Noble Square area is home for me.

“Jen was a perfect storyteller and kept us spellbound for hours.”


Tour Guide

With our Chicago neighborhoods, vibrant cultural institutions and nearly two centuries of larger-than-life stories, there’s never a dull moment here! I’m a fifth generation Chicagoan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to guiding tours, I’m a creative writer and amateur genealogist. I also enjoy the city’s dynamic theater scene. You can also read overlooked stories from 19th-century newspapers on my “Second Glance History” blog. I live in River North.


Tour Guide

Chicago is unique as it always evolves into the future while holding on to the past. I’m fascinated by how people latch on to old architecture but happily pave over others. My background is in theater and performance and I’ve been a tour guide here for more than 10 years. Currently I’m finishing my Master’s in Public History at Loyola University because I love to teach the history of this scrappy city. I’m in the Edgewater neighborhood.


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

“Marie was a bubbling fountain of information and contagious enthusiasm.”


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
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Content Manager and Tour Guide

Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

“Alex was fascinating to listen to. He clearly knows his history and it shows.”
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Amanda Scotese

Executive Director and Tour Guide

I’m an interpreter of personal stories from the past and the city’s landscape. I love to imagine what originally happened inside old unmarked buildings, and what forces have shaped their design. I studied Chicago history, architectural history, and anything Chicago-related through my M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. My love for stories was enriched by my B.A. in Literature from the University of Michigan. I’ve written travel articles for publications like Rick Steves’ Italy best-selling travel guides, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of West Avondale.
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