Things To Do In Chicago Architecture And History

We feature our favorite events each week of things to do in Chicago architecture and history. This week we highlight events that will get you enjoying Chicago out of doors including an overlooked historic house tour, a live jazz performance with picnic, and a unique bike tour of historic demonstrations.

1. Tuesday’s on the Terrace: Jason Stein Quartet – JAZZ PERFORMANCE

220 E. Chicago Ave., Museum of Contemporary Art – Tuesday, August 5th, 5:30pm-8:00pm

FREE – $25 for buffet option with table, reservations required at 312.397.4034

Every week during the summer months, the Museum of Contemporary Art celebrates the history of jazz in Chicago with a free jazz concert on their terrace. This week they bring in the Jason Stein Quartet who promise to bring torrid, bop-rooted synchronicity. Make the evening into a picnic with a blanket and munchies to enjoy on the garden. Or for a fun date idea in Chicago, enjoy the Wolfgang Puck catered dinner buffet for $25 that features fresh, locally grown produce from the MCA Farmers’ Market. Cocktails via a cash bar are served on the lower terrace as well.

louis sullivan frank lloyd wright chicago architecture tour
Photo Credit: David Schalliol

2. Charnley-Persky House Museum – FREE TOUR

1365 N. Astor St. – Wednesdays, 12:00pm; Saturdays, 10:00am & 12:00pm

FREE Wednesdays – first come, first served; $10 Saturdays

Chicago has incredible architecture and legacy of architects. So when two of Chicago’s architecture greats combine forces, you get a pivotal piece of architecture known as the Charnley-Persky House. Louis Sullivan designed the house with the collaboration of his draftsman at the time, Frank Lloyd Wright, in 1892 and it is now part of the Astor Street Historic District in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Tours every Wednesday at noon are free as is a self-guided walk around the ornate neighborhood with historic homes dating from the 1880s.

3. Chicago in Revolt – SPECIAL BIKE TOUR

1601 N. Clark St., Chicago History Museum – Sunday, August 10th, 9:30am-12:30pm

$25 non-members/$20 members – reservations required

With so few months of nice weather in Chicago, a bike tour is a unique way to take advantage of above freezing temperatures. The Chicago History Museum is offering some special bike tours this summer and this Sunday will take you to sites of Chicago’s best-known demonstrations, from the Haymarket Affair of 1886 to the 1968 Democratic National Convention to the more recent Occupy Wall Street movement. This is for the more active Chicago enthusiast as it is an exhilarating 10 to 15 miles of biking.



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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.

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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.
“Sonny was extremely knowledgeable about all things Chi-town.”
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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.
“You can TELL Amanda is hyper-passionate about doing the research and getting the story that nobody’s heard before.”
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