Weekly Events In Chicago Architecture and History

We pick our favorite weekly events in Chicago architecture and history to share with you as you plan your social calendar. This week we feature a dinner series with a lecture about the Mexican immigrant community on Chicago’s South Side, an exclusive tour of a 1920s Neo-Gothic skyscraper church, and a public open house to a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Chicago’s Rogers Park.

1. Navigating the Steel Barrio: the Making of Mexican South Chicago – Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St.

DINNER AND LECTURE – Thursday, April 24, 5:45pm

$25 – Reservations required

As part of the Chicago History Museum’s “Urban History Seminars” series, Michael Innis-Jiménez of the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa will present on his historical research. He specializes in the history of labor and community among Mexican immigrants on Chicago’s South Side during the first half of the 20th century. The program includes free parking, an opening reception, dinner at 6:15pm, and the seminar at 7:00pm. There’s a cash bar, too!


2. Exclusive Temple Tour with Views and a Toast – Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington St.

TOUR – Friday, April 25th, 5:45pm-8:00pm

$36 – Reservations required

Held by yours truly, Chicago Detours, this special tour of the historic Chicago Temple Building includes a prosecco toast from the pastor’s private balcony overlooking downtown Chicago. It may be the last time we offer this special experience because the pastor is retiring. Come on this tour and you will experience the stained glass windows and architecture of this 1920s skyscraper, and you will explore the “Chapel in the Sky” on the 26th floor. Guests will hear the stories behind the Neo-Gothic skyscraper church, the history of the “kitsch Jesus,” and the radical events that led to the integration of the church in the ’60s. The $36 ticket includes tour guide commentary, presentation of shared images on iPads, entrance to the Sky Chapel, exclusive access to the senior pastor’s private balcony and penthouse, and prosecco toast with small bites. 

3. Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Emil Bach House – 7415 N. Sheridan Rd.

NEIGHBORHOOD OPEN HOUSE – Sunday, April 27, 11:00am-3:00pm


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Emil Bach House in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the north side of Chicago will be open for free tours this Sunday. You can grab a complimentary tasty beverage as you get to enter prior to the official opening to the public in May. After that, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust will offer its seasonal tours of the simple architecture of this Frank Lloyd Wright house. 


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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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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.”
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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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