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October Events in Chicago: Architecture and History

By Jenn Harrman on September 30, 2014


Celebrate architecture and history with some spectacular October events in Chicago. Each week we feature our favorite happenings in the windy city and this week includes a look at the historic Palmers during the Great Chicago Fire, an evening at a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, and a spectacle on the Chicago River.

potter palmer house chicago architecture
Photo Credit: Jenn Harrman

1. Love Under Fire: The Story of Bertha and Potter Palmer – FILM SHOWING

Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington St. – Tuesday, September 30th, 6:30pm-8:00pm


The story of the Great Chicago Fire cannot be told without the stories of the people that lived through it and this week the city shares that history during the Great Chicago Fire Festival. To kick things off this Tuesday, the story of Chicago’s fire of 1871 comes to life in film following the story of Bertha Honoré and Potter Palmer, one of Chicago’s early great families, and their passion for the city. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Executive Producer Lori McGunn, Director Amelia Dellos and notable Chicago historians.

2. After Hours at Robie House – EVENING EVENT

5757 S. Woodlawn Ave. – Fridays, starting October 3rd, 5:00pm-8:00pm

$30 members/$35 non-members

Fall is the perfect time of year for a house party and what better setting than Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. This month the famed south side Chicago residence will open every Friday after hours for an evening of light music, appetizers, drinks and exploration in the atmosphere of the Wright masterpiece. After Hours includes access to the Robie House balcony, which opened last spring, and is a unique opportunity to see the house in a new perspective… as a party guest.

3. Great Chicago Fire Festival – FIRST ANNUAL CELEBRATION

Chicago River between State and Columbus – Saturday, October 4, 8:00pm (activities begin 3:00pm)


This Saturday experience a spectacle of fire on the Chicago River. The first ever Great Chicago Fire Festival celebrates Chicago’s epic resurgence and strength after the Great Fire of 1871 and the people that toiled at pushing forward. Fiery cauldrons will be lowered from the bridges, hundreds of kayakers will pull flaming buoys and prairie gardens, and three floating sculptures resembling pre-1871 homes will be set ablaze. Each of the homes are also staged to reveal a dramatic and symbolic interior core. Naturally the event will include a fireworks display, which will be set to music that pays homage to our diverse Chicago neighborhoods.



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.


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