Chicago Architecture and History Blog

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Published on December 16, 2010

Chicago Detours treats our exploration of the city as an interactive, educational experience. We want to encourage your curiosity so we welcome questions. During my several years of working as a tour guide people have jokingly asked me if I ever make up answers. I've certainly eavesdropped on other guides with wild imaginations and an ability to talk convincingly, but I've learned long ago that I'm a bad liar so even if I wanted to I couldn't make something up to my tour groups. On this blog we'll update you on answers to questions that came up on tours. I know a lot, but I won't pretend like I know everything. What's the name of the old building with the Walgreens on the corner of Monroe and Clark? The Rector Building. What exactly goes on in the Art Deco substation that we discuss on the tour? I would love to know myself. And another question - what does it look like inside? ComEd was not very open to providing answers when we contacted them due to security issues. One definition of "substation" stated that they are where power is generated and stored, and a tour guest added that this particular substation cannot generate power. Why are there watery stains in a regular pattern all around the base of the First United Methodist Church? It's odd because the messy nature makes them look accidental, but they are all the same size and spacing. I've been talking with people at the church and we're still sleuthing this out this interesting architectural detail.