Special Events In Chicago Architecture And History This Week

Each week we pick three special events in Chicago architecture and history to recommend for your awesome social calendar. This week we feature an architecture sketching workshop with drinks, a tribute performance to Nat King Cole, and an unofficial architecture tour by bike.

1. Drinks + Design in the Studio: Speed Sketching – WORKSHOP

224 S. Michigan Ave., CAF Design Studio – Wednesday, May 21st, 6:00pm-8:00pm

$20 non-members/$15 members – reservations required

All skill levels are invited to sketch like an architect with real-life architects from Cannon Design. Whether you have been drafting for years or have no idea what you are doing, with direction from experts use sharpies, pencils and old-fashioned view finders to explore architecture through drawing it. Still not sure you want to go? There will be drinks!

Nat King Cole Chicago jazz concert
Photo Credit: courtesy of CWCMC

2. Night Out: Cabaret Show at Columbus Refectory – CONCERT

500 S. Central Ave., Columbus Park – Friday, May 23rd, 7:00pm-9:00pm


Nat King Cole was one of thousands who moved to Chicago during the Great Migration and grew up in the Bronzeville neighborhood. His jazz legacy is part of Chicago’s history and the Chicago West Community Music Center celebrates him. The group will be playing “Unforgettable” a Tribute to Nat King Cole as part of the Chicago Park District’s series of summer events.

bike drive chicago event
Photo Credit: courtesy of Bike the Drive

3. Bike the Drive – BIKE EVENT

Lake Shore Drive, enter at S. Columbus Dr. and Jackson – Sunday, May 25th, 5:30am-10:15am

Starts at $51 – reservations required

I’m calling Bike the Drive this year an unofficial lakeside architecture tour! There is some amazing architecture along Lake Shore Drive and what better way to see it than when the city closes off LSD to drivers and opens the 15 miles from 57th to Bryn Mawr for cyclists. Being part of this yearly event is pretty historic and you get to enjoy unique views of the “Michigan Avenue cliff” as well as some of my Mies van der Rohe favorites while cycling the lakefront. In addition, the proceeds go towards supporting healthy, sustainable transportation in Chicago and beyond.



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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.

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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.

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