Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Reminder: Stroll 66 on November 6th Chicago Walking tour

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Chicago Hilton, formerly the Stevens Hotel, where the Nov 6th tour begins

Chicago Hilton, formerly the Stevens Hotel, where the Nov 6th tour begins

…and there is still time to join us! The tour begins at the Chicago Hilton Hotel, 720 S. Michigan Avenue, at exactly 12:06 p.m. (66 minutes after 11 a.m.!).

From the railroad era through the Route 66 era, Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard were the main destinations for tourists and visitors in Chicago. Our December 6th Stroll on Chicago’s Route 66 will trace the history of lodgings, rail stations, and other attractions that brought the world to Chicago’s “route center.”
The tour will meet on Sunday, November 6th at 12:06 p.m. (66 minutes after 11 a.m.) at the historic Chicago Hilton Hotel, 720 S. Michigan Avenue. When built in 1927, it was the Stevens, the largest hotel in the world and convenient to two of Chicago’s six passenger rail stations: the Illinois Central and the Dearborn Station.
We will walk north along Michigan Avenue and discuss the Blackstone, the Congress, the Auditorium, the Richelieu, and the Stratford Hotels. Along the way, we will discuss “smoke-filled rooms,” labor unrest, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, and the changing face of Chicago.
Turning west on Jackson, we will see the original starting point of Route 66, Chicago’s most musical corner, and the site of former luxury hotels: the Wellington, designed by Henry Ives Cobb; Burnham & Root’s Great Northern and Majestic; and Boyington and Jenney’s Grand Pacific. The tour will end at Adams and LaSalle, where the former Midland Hotel lives on as the W, and a bank building designed by D.H. Burnham & Company is now home to the J.W. Marriott. By the end of our walk, we will have a thorough understanding of why this corridor has been home to Chicago’s visitors for 140 years.
All participants in the tour will pay a discounted price equal to 66% of the regular $18.00 per person cost—that is only $12.00 per guest for a 2-hour adventure.
Reservations required. To register, send an email to: dave@windycityroadwarrior.com . Or Contact Me Here: http://windycityroadwarrior.com/Contact.html
Or call me at 312-432-1284.
I hope to see you Strolling Chicago’s Route 66 (and neighborhood) TOMORROW, November 6th, at 12:06!

Meet the Route 66 Authors Oct 5th at Berwyn 66 Museum-

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Berwyn Route 66 Museum Logo

Berwyn Route 66 Museum, 7003 W. Ogden Avenue, Berwyn IL

Come visit with Dave Clark and Jim Hinckley, noted and award-winning authors of books on Route 66 (and other subjects). We will be at the Berwyn Route 66 Museum from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on October 5, 2011. Feel free to come by to buy an autographed book, bring books you already own so we can sign them, or simply engage in conversation about Route 66, transportation history, Chicago and the great American West, or anything else! It will also be a great opportunity to see the new Berwyn Route 66 Museum and what it has to offer!

Ghost Towns of Route 66 by Jim Hinckley

Ghost Towns of Route 66 by Jim Hinckley (click above to visit Jim's blog, Route 66 Chronicles

Jim Hinckley – Author of Ghost Towns of Route 66

Explore the beauty and nostalgia of these abandoned communities along America’s favorite highway! Ghost towns lie all along the Mother Road. The quintessential boom-and-bust highway of the American West, Route 66 once hosted a thriving array of boom towns built around oil mines, railroad stops, cattle ranches, resorts, stagecoach stops, and gold mines. Join Route 66 expert Jim Hinckley as he tours more than 25 ghost towns, rich in stories and history, complemented by gorgeous sepia-tone and color photography by Kerrick James. Also includes directions and travel tips for your ghost-town explorations along Route 66!
Hardcover • 160 pages
151 color & 21 b/w photos, 1 map
$25.00 US

Route 66 in Chicago

Route 66 in Chicago by David G. Clark

David Clark – Author of Route 66 in Chicago

Vintage photographs and postcard views, as well as contemporary images, are weaved together with narrative and captions to tell the pictorial history of the world’s most famous highway and the city in which it began.

“Much as Route 66 and the city of Chicago share a kindred history, so do the art and text, paired perfectly so that readers get plenty of information and are able to see what the author is talking about” –Jon P. Callender, American Road Magazine.

“David Clark has produced an excellent volume tracing the Route 66 corridor through the Chicago of today and back to early Native American trails and waterways…Clark is noted for his outstanding research and entertaining writing style and this book does not disappoint in either category”—Bob Moore, Route 66 Magazine.

First place winner, nonfiction history book, 2008 Illinois Women’s Press Association Communications Awards.

Softcover: 128 Pages, 6 1/2″ wide x 9 3/16″ tall, 195 photos & illustrations. $19.99.

Both authors will have these titles and more available for purchase and signing. Come by for casual conversation about Route 66, other U.S. Highways, your travels, local and U.S. history, or to just say hello!
Berwyn Route 66 Museum, 7003 W. Ogden Ave., 708-484-9349 http://www.berwynrt66museum.org- info@BerwynRt66Museum.org

Another Promo for CBS 2 9/30 Route 66 Your Chicago Segment

Friday, September 30th, 2011

… this time I speak! I was asked the question why people come to Chicago from all around the world for their 66 adventure and I said, “It is the adventure of a lifetime that they’ve been looking forward to.” Enjoy!

Recap of Berwyn Route 66 Car Show

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

…from Saturday September 10th. Thanks to the hospitality of the Berwyn Route 66 Museum folks, I was able to take a portion of their table and tent at the Car Show to meet & greet the patrons and offer my books for sale. I was also able to meet Bill Kelly for the first time. Bill is the director of the Illinois Route 66 Heritage Corridor and Scenic Byway, and prior to Saturday we had only met via phone and email. It was a fun and busy day at the booth, meeting old friends and making new ones, while talking up Route 66 and the new museum in Berwyn.

I was so busy that I could not take any photos of the amazing cars on display. Thus, I was happy to see this slide show on the Time Out Chicago website. I especially enjoyed the photo of the 1960 Buick Electra (6th picture in the slide show) since our family car from 1963-1970 was a black sedan 1960 Electra.

Oct 6 Stroll 66 on the 6th Chicago Walking Tour

Friday, September 9th, 2011

October 6 2011 tour begins at Dearborn Station in Chicago

October 6 2011 tour begins at Dearborn Station in Chicago

…will begin at Dearborn Station and end with a bar crawl from the Berghoff to Miller’s Pub! It will begin at 6:06 p.m. (exactly 66 minutes after 5!) Along the way we will walk a street that was a notorious red light district at the turn of the 20th century (as far as I know, all the brothels are long gone). We will discuss many of the early skyscrapers of Chicago along Dearborn from Congress to Jackson, including the magnificent Monadnock Building.

When we reach the Federal Center, we will discuss its architecture and controversies about its construction and the structures demolished to build it. We will discuss the famous trial that happened in the old court building on this site in which Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion.

After visiting the breathtaking lobby of the Marquette Building featuring a dazzling Tiffany mosaic, we will next discuss the history of the Berghoff restaurant and its historic buildings dating from 1872–and how a little political intrigue in the early 1960s nearly led to their destruction.

Then, it will be time for libations! We will visit the Berghoff Bar at 17 West, where tour patrons can enjoy the ambiance and if they wish purchase a Berghoff Beer (or a Berghoff Root Beer).

Neon sign at Millers Pub, Wabash north of Adams (Route 66), Chicago

Neon sign at Millers Pub, Wabash north of Adams (Route 66), Chicago

We will end the tour discussing the history of Miller’s Pub, its move from the original location on Adams around the corner to Wabash, and then patrons can enjoy a beverage if they wish at the bar!

All participants in the tour will pay a discounted price equal to 66% of the regular $18.00 per person cost—that is only $12.00 per guest for a 2-hour adventure.

Reservations required. To register, send an email to: dave@windycityroadwarrior.com . Or Contact Me Here: http://windycityroadwarrior.com/Contact.html
Or call me at 312-432-1284.

Tour subject to cancellation if fewer than 6 reservations are received by 10/5/11. The first six people to make reservations will receive a FREE set of five full-color Route 66 postcards!

I hope to see you Strolling Chicago’s Route 66 (and neighborhood) on the 6th of October at 6:06!

Recap of Sept 6 Stroll on Chicago’s Route 66

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Misting fourntain at Mary Bartelme Park, where the tour ended on September 6.

Misting fourntain at Mary Bartelme Park, where the tour ended on September 6.

…It was a leisurely, fun, and fact-filled 2 hour tour for 15 happy folks at 1:06 p.m. on September 6th. We walked from Jackson Boulevard and Jefferson Street in Chicago, right across the street from Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant. Along the way we saw Chicago’s oldest church, a stretch of street that was Route 66 for only nine months back in 1953, Greektown’s restaurant row, beautiful restorations and reuses of buildings once part of the West Loop manufacturing district, the home of Bay’s English Muffins, and a visit to beautiful Mary Bartelme Park. To see more details of the tour, click here

I will be posting more info about next month’s Stroll on Chicago’s Route 66, happening on October 6th at 6:06 p.m.! For a sneak preview, click here

New Superman Movie filming on Chicago’s Route 66

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

…The movie will film from today to next week and will feature shoots around the Willis Tower and the Chicago Board of Trade Building–both prominent features of Route 66 in Chicago. Here’s the story from the Chicago Tribune:

Superman movie sets up shop in the Loop – chicagotribune.com

New Berwyn, IL Route 66 Postcard available

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Berwyn Route 66 Postcard available with purchase of Book!…for the first time this Saturday, September 10th, at the Berwyn Route 66 Car Show! It will be given away free with every purchase of one of my books: Route 66 in Chicago, Exploring Route 66 in Chicagoland, and The Roads that Lead to Lincoln

Both of the photos show the same view, just 111 years apart. On the left we see Ogden Avenue in Berwyn as it appeared in 1900 looking east from Home Avenue, and on the right is the current view of 2011.

Ogden Avenue in Berwyn has a long history as a public highway. It became one of Cook County’s first official highways all the way back in 1831. It became part of the Illinois state highway system in 1918 as Illinois 4 and 18. In 1926, U.S. Highways 32 and 66 were aligned on Ogden. 32 was replaced with 34 in 1933. Although there is no current route designation on Berwyn’s portion of Ogden Avenue, it is still under the jurisdiction and maintenance of the Illinois Department of Transportation.

So, this postcard shows the “before” and “after” of Ogden as a U.S. Highway. And it can be yours if you make you way to the Berwyn Route 66 Car Show this Saturday and buy a book (autographed, of course!). I will be at the registration table! See you there!

Update: I have had some inquiries on Facebook from people that cannot come to the Car Show this weekend, but they would like the postcard. I will happily include a Berwyn postcard with any book purchase from this Web site In the next few weeks I will evaluate whether to offer this as a standalone purchase item or perhaps it might be added to the color postcard set I already offer. However, in the mean time, feel free to order a book if you have been putting it off!

Come Stroll Chicago’s Route 66 on September 6th…

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Tour group Strolling on 66 at Adams and Michigan …the first of a monthly series of special walking tours! What better day each month to celebrate the history and importance of Route 66 in Chicago than the 6th? Explore the Double-6 and its neighborhood every month on the 6th!

Month in and Month out, keep your eye on the 6th and if you are available and in the area, you will find me talking and walking somewhere on or about Route 66 in Chicago!

The time of day that each tour starts will vary, but it will always be 66 minutes after an hour! (The first tour on 9/6/11 will start at 12:66 p.m., a.k.a. 1:06 p.m. to most folks!)

On September 6th, we will explore the sights and history of Chicago’s West Loop and Greektown on and around Route 66. We will walk a street that was part of the 66 alignment for a short nine months back in 1953. We will talk about today’s restaurants and the early 20th century pioneers of affordable dining from which our current favorites evolved. We will discuss the changes in transportation through the decades that transformed this section of Chicago from tall-grass prairie to shipping center to railroad mecca and to highway corridor. Along the way, we will mention Lou Mitchell, architect Alfred Alschuler, Albert Loeb and his infamous son, and so much more!

This tour will explore the Near West Side and Greektown. It will start at Jackson and Jefferson, across the street from Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant. All participants in the tour will pay a discounted price equal to 66% of the regular $18.00 per person cost—that is only $12.00 per guest for a 2-hour adventure. Reservations required. Tour subject to cancellation if fewer than 6 reservations are received by 9/5/11. The first six people to make reservations will receive a FREE set of five full-color Route 66 postcards!

To register, send an email to: dave@windycityroadwarrior.com. Or Contact Me Here: http://windycityroadwarrior.com/Contact.html
You can also send me a twitter message Follow windycityroad on Twitter or call me at 312-432-1284.

Future tours in the Stroll 66 on the 6th series will be scheduled for mornings, some in the afternoon, and some will be during Happy Hour after people are done with their 9-to-5s! (These might even include a bar crawl or two, or SIX!) Ideas in the planning stages include a tour/bar crawl that will start at Dearborn Station and include stops for libations at the Bar at the Berghoff and at Miller’s Pub, LaSalle Street Corridor tour, and a tour including the Hull House area, Maxwell Street, the Chicago Fire Academy, and the site of Grand Central Station. Stay tuned!

Restored Tower Revealed!

Monday, May 10th, 2010

International Tailoring Company Building, circa 2003

International Tailoring Company Building, circa 2003 when the clock tower was still sheathed in ugly corrugated metal.

The International Tailoring Building at 847 W. Jackson Boulevard (eastbound Route 66) in Chicago has been on the National Register of Historic Places since June 2008. It is currently undergoing an interior renovation as Tailor Lofts, to be used as off-campus student apartments for the University of Illinois-Chicago. More importantly for Route 66 travelers, the beautiful exterior restoration has brought the building back to its original look. For years, a four-story clock tower was sheathed in ugly corrugated metal.

The gleaming enameled terra cotta now shines again, and the four clock faces show the current time in all directions just as they did when the building first opened in 1916.

The restored International Tailoring Building as it looks today

The restored International Tailoring Building as it looks today.

The second decade of the 20th century was a volatile time in the Chicago garment industry. Most large clothing companies farmed piecework out to sweatshops that employed immigrants for low pay in deplorable conditions. In the aftermath of several worker strikes, companies like International Tailoring decided to build large modern factories and to hire the workers directly, thus putting the sweatshops out of business. This building is a legacy of that period in Chicago history.

The building was built in 1916 from designs by the architectural firm of Mundie & Jensen, formerly Jenney, Mundie & Jensen. This firm was established originally by William LeBaron Jenney, the architect and engineer responsible for building the Home Insurance Building in 1885, the world’s first skyscraper to use steel beams in its structural skeleton. The firm also designed the downtown building used for a Sears Store at the southeast corner of Van Buren and State (currently Robert Morris University), and the Union League Club at 65 W. Jackson.

Ron Warnick posted about the International Tailoring Building on Route 66 News when the building was first placed on the National Register in 2008. There is also a Wikipedia entry concerning the building. It is great to see a grand old building on Route 66 lovingly restored and revived for a great new purpose.