This bus and walking tour invites Chicagoans to consider how recent changes in city living–particularly in Logan Square and Avondale–can provide insight into Chicago’s future as a “creative” and “experiential” city. Your guide, Executive Director Amanda Scotese, will connect how distinct trends, such as Divvy bikes, tourism, and online shopping, are changing the features of the neighborhood landscapes.
This tour is of particular relevance to neighborhood residents and creative-minded people who are seeking to better understand the large mechanisms at play in the gentrification of our neighborhoods. This includes considering our own roles in these mechanisms.
This article bills the tour as a “gentrification tour.” While this very complex topic will be addressed, the focus on the tour is the actual physical things we will see around us as indicators of change. From our 37-passenger coach, we will view new developments like luxury apartments, observe the clustering of specific kinds of creative businesses, and consider buildings that are gone or gearing up for a new phase.
Group will explore the background on recent shifts that are part of the gentrification of the neighborhood, like how a mental health clinic became a nightclub and tattoo shop. The group disembarks the bus twice: once for a brief walk to get up-close with street art and once for a brewhouse tour at the new Metropolitan Brewing on the Chicago River.
We will examine the term “hipster,” and how the presence of hipsters affects everything from storefront retail to home values. Guests get to see and consider recent developments, like the mega-popular 606 trail, as well as planned developments for historic buildings, like the shuttered Congress Theater or the abandoned Grace Furniture store. We will contrast the historic make-up of the neighborhood with that of the present day.
The group hops off the bus for a little walk on Milwaukee Avenue to explore the colorful street art, and how so many murals ended up here. Amanda, who lived in Logan Square for a decade, will also discuss some of the elements of design that make the MiCA towers so discomforting for many of us.
This Logan Square tour also visits Avondale, once known as “Polish Village,” and now filled with boarded up storefronts. Avondale, is, of course, following in the gentrification footsteps of Logan Square. Here we see how forces well beyond that of the confines of our neighborhoods can cause shifts in communities.
At the Metropolitan Tap Room, the brewhouse tour includes background on the former industrial grounds, the history of the company, and explanation of their brewing process. They do not offer tours to the public yet, so this is a special opportunity. And you’ll sample three 4 oz. beers of your choice!
After the brewery tour, you get a chance to chat with fellow neighbors and other Chicagoans about the changes around us. Will cities become like the suburbs? How do we fight big developers? Where can creative people go without becoming part of this mechanism? How can communities develop responsibly, such as without pushing out low-income housing? And can we learn from Logan Square to prevent Avondale from going the same route? We certainly don’t have the answers, but we do think there’s value in discussing these complexities.
“The Future of Cities in Avondale & Logan Square Tour” is indeed designed for both residents of these neighborhoods as well as other Chicagoans.
We hope you can come on this one-time-only Logan Square tour! Space is limited, and the tour may well fill up. We recommend you book ASAP.
We will always have the tour available as a private group tour.
- Check out historic architecture on Milwaukee Ave.
- Take pictures of cool street art
- View giant new residential and commercial developments
- Visit the eponymous square and its famous monument
- Tour the new, riverside Metropolitan Brewing
- How technology transforms neighborhoods
- The demise of the dive bar
- Neighborhood signs of the creative class
- How street art transforms communities
- The links between innovation and gentrification
- Tourism of the future
- Engaging tour guide commentary
- Driving tour of Logan Square and Avondale neighborhoods
- 3 beer samples per person
- Gratuities for servers and driver
- Special gifts
- Please be aware that Metropolitan does not serve soft drinks, wine or other alcoholic beverages beyond beer.