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July Chicago Events In Architecture And History

By Jenn Harrman on July 15, 2014


Architecture and history of Chicago are the focus of our weekly events listings, and this week we share with you July Chicago events in 2014 including a special event on forgotten movie theaters, an architectural bike ride, and a special tour of Prairie Avenue.

portage park chicago movie theater
Photo Credit: Jenn Harrman

1. Movie Theater History Event – SPECIAL LECTURE

Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave. – Tuesday, July 15th, 7:00pm

$5 suggested donation at door

The recently reopened historic Portage Theater hosts this Forgotten Chicago one-night-only event on the history and legacy of more than a century of movie theaters in Chicago. The 1920 movie theater originally sat 2,000 eager film goers and is now the perfect spot for a night of reminiscing in Chicago’s cinema house history. Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation Chicago, hosts the evening which includes photographs and images from the Forgotten Chicago database not seen in decades while Bill Savage, acclaimed author, editor, and Northwestern University’s Distinguished Senior Lecturer, offers insight.

2. Guided Bicycle Tour of Oak Park – BIKE TOUR

105 S. Marion St., Oak Park – Friday, July 18th; Saturday, July 19th; Sunday, July 20th, 9:30am-11:30am 

$30 members, $35 non-members – reservations recommended

This is an architecture tour for the more active enthusiast. During the summer months this year the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is offering this two-hour bike tour around the picturesque Oak Park every Friday, Saturday and Sunday where you’ll explore over 22 Wright-designed buildings. Sites featured include the Home and Studio, Unity Temple, Frank Thomas House, Heurtley House, Cheney House, Furbeck House and more. The Trust has partnered with Greenline Wheels, where the tour begins and ends, so you can either bring your own bike or use one of theirs at no extra charge.

3. Prairie Avenue Walking Tour – SPECIAL TOUR

1800 S. Prairie Ave. – Sunday, July 20th, 2:00pm-4:00pm

$12 members, $15 non-members – reservations recommended, call 312.326.1480

Executive Director of the Glessner House Museum and author of Chicago’s Historic Prairie Avenue, William Tyre, leads guests around none other than Chicago’s historic Prairie Avenue on this special tour. As the end all be all of the street’s history, Tyre is the ideal guide to share everything from Fort Dearborn to the neighborhood’s resurgence as a residential hot spot in Chicago. During the tour you’ll also see images of grand homes that have been lost, walk by the eleven remaining mansions, and step inside both the Wheeler Mansion and the 2nd Presbyterian Church.



Chicago Detours offers guided walking and bus tours of architecture, history and culture to public and private groups. We are a passionate team of educators, historians, artists and storytellers, and are proud to be one of very few tour companies in Chicago that is rated five stars on both Google and TripAdvisor.


Call: 312.350.1131
E-Mail: [email protected]