Three Cool Architectural and Historic Chicago Events in Feb.

In this week’s list of our top architectural and historic Chicago events, we bring you a tour of a church in a skyscraper, a forward-looking meeting with the Chicago Loop Alliance, and a unique tour and art show of the Logan Square landscape.

1.  Chicago Chapel in the Sky Guided Tours – Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington St.

TOUR – Monday thru Sunday at 2pm; also Sunday 12:15pm


Tours of the chapel’s history and architecture start at the First United Methodist Church offices, located on the second floor. They take you to the top of the main building where your guide shares history about the church and its architecture. You’ll see beautiful stained glass windows with a view of the city, carved wooden beams (with steel inside), and a wood relief of Jesus looking over a 1960s Chicago cityscape. The whole thing takes about 25 minutes and it’s for donation only.

2. Chicago Loop Alliance Annual Meeting – Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, 636 S Michigan Ave

NETWORKING EVENT – Friday, February 14th – 8:00am-9:15am 

$35-$50 – reservations required

The event will bring together nearly 300 business, cultural and civic leaders who have a stake in the health and prosperity of Chicago’s downtown as a place to live, work and study. We’re most looking forward to announcements about the CLA’s awesome place-making initiatives, such as their transformation of vacant storefronts, medians, alleys and other spaces in the Loop into pop-up urban experiences. Breakfast is included!

sunset in chicago alley winter
Photo credit: Amanda Scotese

3. Saturated Landscape Logan Square Tour and Art Show – Azimuth Projects, 2704 N. Whipple St.

ART SHOW AND  TOUR – Saturday, February 15th from 2pm to 5pm

$12 – Reservations required

This one-off event integrates an exhibition of landscape-inspired works at Azimuth Projects apartment gallery in Logan Square with a walking tour of the neighborhood landscape led by our founder and Executive Director, Amanda. Both the tour and exhibition address the metamorphosis of landscapes and the emotional and social ideas we attach to nature and the built environment. The curated exhibit will feature works by artists’ Peter Cardone and Madeleine Bailey and the tour will explore the ways we overlook or interpret the unseen processes and messages of our everyday Logan Square landscape and its vernacular architecture.

Two limited groups of 18 can experience the walk at either 2:15pm-3:15pm or 4pm-5pm which start at Azimuth Projects. The $12 ticket includes Katherine Anne Confections hot chocolate for the walk, hand warmers, and gifts.


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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.
“Sonny was extremely knowledgeable about all things Chi-town.”
Wade K


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.”
Katie K

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.”
Shelby F

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