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Neighborhood Transformations Near Campus Bus Tour for UChicago Alumni

Bus Tour with Obama Center Presentation

Join your fellow UChicago alumni on a tour of new buildings, businesses and other developments on campus and in surrounding South Side neighborhoods. This 2.5-hour-long bus tour includes a walk to see the UChicago Arts Block in Washington Park and its recently restored 1892 “L” Station. Highlighting the experience is a discussion with Distinguished Alumni Honoree Ghian Foreman along with coffee and cookies. 

Neighborhood Transformations Near Campus Bus Tour Details

Sites we will experience include the wide green spaces of historic Washington Park, the Obamas’ home, new campus architecture, historic homes in Jackson Park Highlands, commercial developments on 53rd Street and new construction on 63rd Street. We’ll see the historic architecture and new developments in Hyde Park, Washington Park, Kenwood, South Shore and Woodlawn. Additionally, we will see how the University is expanding its reach into these surrounding communities. We start and end our tour in front of the Booth School of Business.

From the bus, you’ll see grand new buildings by Jeanne Gang and Raphael Vinoly architectural firms. Tour guests will see changes along 53rd Street in Hyde Park, which is vibrant with new businesses like the Sophy Hotel or Virtue Restaurant. Your  tour guide will also delve into the rich history and contentious future of Jackson Park. Home to the famous “White City” of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the park is also the planned site for the Obama Presidential Center and the stalled project for Tiger Woods-designed PGA golf course.

We will also visit Woodlawn, which the University is heavily investing in. Woodlawn was one of Chicago’s busiest and most populous neighborhoods at the time of the 1893 World’s Fair. Decades of population shifts, disinvestment, and an at times adversarial relationship with the university, changed all of that dramatically. Now, after decades of seeing the Midway as an invisible wall, the University has several new buildings in the area.

On this special tour, the group will get off the bus twice. In Washington Park, we’ll have a brief walk to see the various activities of the UChicago Arts block. This is the brainchild of acclaimed artist, community builder and UChicago professor Theaster Gates. We’ll get to see up-close one of the city’s oldest “L” stations, which was built for the 1893 World’s Fair.

Secondly, we’ll exit our bus at the Jackson Park Field House for a visit with Ghian Foreman, MBA ’01. He is president and CEO of the Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative, which is managing impending changes to the communities that surround the future Obama Presidential Center. For his presentation and Q&A, he’ll answer what everyone is asking – will the Obama Center reinvigorate or gentrify Woodlawn, Washington Park, and South Shore? Chicago Booth recently recognized Ghian with the Distinguished Alumni Public Service/Public Sector Award. Coffee and home-style cookies (potato chip/pecan and chocolate chip) will be provided by a local cafe’ and Give Me Some Sugah Bakery.

About Chicago Detours

In business since 2010, we are proud to be a top-rated Chicago tour company with five-stars on Yelp and TripAdvisor. Many of our Chicago architecture walking tours integrate historic bars, food, and music history. We hope you’ll join us to explore stories and places locals don’t even know, both downtown and in Chicago neighborhoods!

Book this Tour Before It Sells Out

Chicago Detours Guide and UChicago alum Amanda Scotese will lead this bus tour. Our events with UChicago alumni sell out quickly and there’s a very limited number of seats. We advise you to book asap if interested! 

If you can’t make it on this date, please consider our other UChicago Alumni Association tours we are offering:

We hope you’ll join us. You’ll get to meet the ever interesting community of UChicago alumni and explore Chicago!


2.5 Hours


Bus tour, some walking



  • Days & Times

  • Saturday, November 16th
    10:45am & 2:00pm


  • Jeanne Gang's Campus North Residential Commons
  • Obama Center Q&A w/Distinguished Alum Ghian Foreman
  • Chicago's oldest 'L' Station, recently restored
  • Historic Washington and Jackson Parks
  • Theaster Gates' Arts Block and Stony Island Arts Bank
  • New schools in Woodlawn

Stories & Ideas

  • The University’s relations with nearby communities
  • How arts and culture can transform neighborhoods
  • The contentious development of the new Obama Center
  • The spectacle of the World’s Columbian Exposition
  • The strategic revival of 53rd Street
  • How architecture adapts to cultural changes

Tour Includes

  • Transportation via 37-passenger coach bus
  • Engaging tour guide commentary
  • Talk with Obama Center expert Ghian Foreman
  • Coffee and cookies
  • Special gifts

Tour Location

Booth School of Business, 5807 S. Woodlawn

Book Now


Call: 312.350.1131
E-Mail: [email protected]