Neighborhood Transformations Near University of Chicago

Bus Tour with Lunch for UChicago Alumni.

This three-hour-long bus tour explores the historic architecture and new developments in Hyde Park, Washington Park, Kenwood, South Shore and Woodlawn.We stop for a big soul food lunch at Daley’s Restaurant, currently the oldest operating restaurant in the city.

Your private group tour guests will see how the University of Chicago is developing within campus and expanding its reach into these surrounding communities. We start and end our tour at the Currency Exchange Café in Washington Park. This community-oriented café is part of the UChicago Arts Incubator. Our last activity will be a tour of the various spaces inside this innovative building, the brainchild of acclaimed artist, community builder and UChicago professor Theaster Gates.

Our comfy bus will loop around these neighborhoods that surround campus. Highlights include the wide green spaces of historic Washington Park, the Obamas’ home in Kenwood, new campus architecture, historic homes in Jackson Park Highlands, commercial developments on 53rd Street and new construction on 63rd in Woodlawn.

Your tour guide will delve into the rich history and contentious future of Jackson Park. Home to the famous “White City” of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, it is also the planned site for the Obama Presidential Center and a new Tiger Woods-designed PGA golf course.

We also visit Woodlawn, which 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 (and other powerful groups) are investing heavily. It’s here in Woodlawn where we’ll stop at Daley’s Restaurant, now the oldest operating restaurant in the city, for our soul food meal.

At Daley’s, Chicago’s oldest restaurant though recently relocated into a newer building, your private tour guests will get a chance to connect over home-made soup, their choice of meatloaf with mashed potatoes or catfish with mac & cheese, and sweet potato pie for dessert. These options come with corn bread. Prepare to be stuffed! Vegetarian option is mushroom burger with soup.

As you decide on a private group tour of Chicago, this quick guide may help you understand if Chicago Detours is the right tour company for your special event.

Length

3 Hours

Distance

Highlights

  • Jeanne Gang's Campus North Residential Commons
  • Future site of the Obama Presidential Center
  • Historic Washington and Jackson Parks
  • Theaster Gates' Currency Exchange and Stony Island Arts Bank
  • New schools in Woodlawn
  • Soul food lunch at Daley's Restaurant

Stories & Ideas

  • The University's influence on neighboring communities
  • Urban renewal and gentrification
  • Racial segregation and integration
  • The spectacle of the World's Columbian Exposition
  • Creative redevelopment of neighborhoods

Tour Includes

  • Transportation via 37-passenger coach bus
  • Engaging tour guide commentary
  • Full lunch with dessert and beverage (see details above)
  • Tour of the UChicago Arts Incubator
  • All taxes and server gratuities
  • Special gifts

Tour Meeting Spot

The tour begins and ends at Currency Exchange Café, 53 E. Garfield Blvd.

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