New South Side bike tour

A revised South Side bike tour is here–see the extended entry.

The University of Chicago presents
Fall South Side Pedal Powered Sojourn
15 October 2003
Your hosts:
John Boyer, History
Terry N. Clark, Sociology
Hank Webber, Community Affairs
R�gine Desruisseaux, ORCSA

Note: �block� refers to a city block (100 #s on the grid), which is usually
1/8 mile, except that north-south blocks on the near south side (Madison to
31st) were condensed due to a numbering error.

Leave Regenstein Library
West on 57th for four blocks, cross Cottage Grove, around museum (old armory
building) to plaza

STOP: DuSable Museum, 5600 S Cottage Grove (north side, facing the garden).
Museum of African American history, named after Chicago�s first settler, a Haitian
fur trader most likely of mixed African descent. The museum was founded in 1961
and moved to this location in 1971; it expanded in 1993 with a wing dedicated
to Harold Washington, Chicago�s first African American mayor (from 1984-1987).North
on Payne for six blocks.

View: Provident-Cook County Hospital to the northwest, through park. A hospital
founded by Black doctors and nurses with funding from White hospitals, now part
of Cook County Hospital. The main County Hospital (as featured on �ER�) is on
the west side, near UIC. Its replacement, Stroger Hospital of Cook County, opened
in summer 2003.
Washington Park is one of Chicago�s largest parks. Originally, Chicago was divided
into three park districts � South, West, and North. The South Parks Commission
created Washington and Jackson parks; the landscape architects in charge were
Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, America�s most famous park designers
(whose credits include New York�s Central Park, Boston�s Emerald Necklace, and
Forest Park in St. Louis). Washington Park�s central green encompasses 100 acres.
In the summer of 1968, this was where the National Guard was stationed during
the Democratic National Convention.

East on Drexel Square/Hyde Park Boulevard for one block

View: Drexel Square, with fountain of Francis M Drexel. Philadelphia�s Drexel
banking family owned this land at one point and donated the square to the city.
Drexel Boulevard is part of the city�s boulevard system, a 19th century plan
that brought landscaped parkways to many Chicago neighborhoods. Many of the
boulevards, especially on the west and south side, linked major parks and ring
the city: Jackson Park, Washington Park, Sherman Park, Gage Park, McKinley Park,
Douglas Park, Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Palmer Square, Logan Square, and
finally the Lincoln Park lakefront. Additional boulevards, like Drexel, connected
other neighborhoods to this ring.

North on Drexel for two blocks, east on 49th to stop.

STOP: Rainbow Coalition/Operation PUSH headquarters in a neo-Classical former
synagogue on the right. Welcome to South Kenwood, which was where many of the
city�s wealthy built homes on spacious suburban lots between the 1880s and 1950s
(and again today). Many of the original owners of these houses have buildings
on campus named after them. Note that the lots here are much wider and deeper
than those south of 51st street, and that there are no alleys.
Across the street (4938 S Drexel): McGill Park Apartments. 1890, architect Henry
Ives Cobb (same as the university), later a YWCA, now condominiums. At NE corner
Drexel/49 (4851 S Drexel): Martin Ryerson (lumber) house.East on 49th for four
blocksView: along the way: at 49/Ellis, NW corner (4848 S Ellis) Gustavus Swift
(meatpacking) House, SE corner (4901 S Ellis), Julius Rosenwald (Sears Roebuck)
house (reportedly the largest on the south side); at 49/Greenwood (4840 S Greenwood),
Charles Goodyear House; 49/Woodlawn, Elijah Muhammad House; NW corner at Kenwood
(4852-4858 S Kenwood) Two �bootleg� houses done under the table by Frank Lloyd
Wright, done while he was an apprentice of Louis Sullivan.South on Dorchester
for 1.5 block
View: Kenwood Park. Reportedly, cows and sheep grazed on this pasture well into
the twentieth century.West on Madison Park for one blockView: Madison Park,
a very early planned community centered around a private park which shows almost
eighty years of urban housing: 1883-1961. Single family and duplex houses are
from around the turn of the century, the large apartment buildings the 1920s,
and the windowless �atrium houses� from 1961-1966. That was a time of urban
riots, and homeowners were very concerned with security at the time. More famous
private parks include Gramercy Park in Manhattan and South Park in San Francisco.North
on Woodlawn for 1.5 blocks
West on 48th for four blocks
North on Drexel Boulevard for eight blocksView: Fourth Ward aldermanic office,
47/Drexel; King High School, 45/Drexel � reopened in 2002 as a magnet school
for college prep students on the near south side; Jazz on the Boulevard (around
40th Street) � a former public housing site under re-construction. The Chicago
Housing Authority is undergoing a much-ballyhooed $1.6 billion �Plan for Transformation,�
replacing 25,000 housing units and attempting to build new, mixed-income communities
on the sites of demolished public housing. The main wrinkle: the cost of building
housing for the extremely poor (as all CHA tenants are, by definition) is so
prohibitive, and the supply of available city-owned land is so scarce, that
nowhere near as many replacement apartments will be built as will be needed
to re-house everyone moved out of CHA�s infamous high-rises. Other wrinkles:
for now, many tenants have been relocated to private apartments, most in areas
which were already distressed. The CHA has only six years left in its Plan,
but has yet to build 15,000 units. Many families won�t qualify for return due
to stringent rules � rules which still can�t placate middle-class homebuyers
wary of living next to former public housing residents.West on Oakwood Boulevard
for one blockView: Northeastern Illinois University Center for Inner City Studies,
700 E Oakwood � originally the Abraham Lincoln Center, a settlement house built
1898-1903 by Frank Lloyd Wright for his uncle. Also, Holy Angels Roman Catholic
Church, an interesting passive solar design.North on Langley for one block
East on Pershing for one block
View: Ida B. Wells Homes, a 1930s (pre-high rise) public housing project that
was the setting for �There Are No Children Here.� Mostly empty now and scheduled
for demolition.North on Cottage Grove for two blocks
East on 37 for one block
North on Lake Park for two blocksView: St Joseph Carondolet, built as a hospital
for wounded Civil War soldiers but converted to a Catholic child care facility
after the war.North across 35 to Douglas Monument & Tomb
STOP: Stephen Douglas Monument & Tomb. Douglas was Lincoln�s debating partner
(hence �Lincoln-Douglas debate�) and political adversary; he also owned much
of the south lakefront, especially the part we still call Oakwood. Also, a good
time to learn about Bronzeville, and a preview of the high-rise urban redevelopment
we�ll see in a bit.
Stephen Douglas is also of note because he donated the land for the original
University of Chicago, which was established in 1857 by Chicago�s Baptist community
as a seminary. The old university closed in 1886; its buildings are gone, except
for a single stone from Douglas Hall which is embedded into the passageway between
Wieboldt and Classics. The Baptists resurrected the university in 1892 with
$600,000 from John D. Rockefeller, who stipulated that locals would have to
raise another $400,000. In order to fulfill that pledge, local Baptist leaders,
led by Rev. Thomas Goodspeed, had to approach non-Baptist donors from Chicago�s
nouveau riche and pledged to make the university nonsectarian.West on 35 one
North on Cottage Grove one block View: Groveland Park, on your right, is another
example of a private park owned by surrounding residents � like Madison Park.West
on 33 for two blocksView: Lake Meadows, on your right, was the first part of
the Near South Side Urban Renewal plan, a plan devised in the late 1940s by
Michael Reese Hospital and IIT. It was developed between 1950 and 1960 and is
notable both for its architecture (the site plan was by Walter Gropius, one
of Mies� colleagues at the Bauhaus; see IIT description for details on Modernism
and the Bauhaus) and for its initial racial integration. The site was cleared
by the city with federal slum clearance funds and resold to New York Life for
a fraction of its initial cost. The shopping center on your left was part of
the redevelopment; Gropius, like other modernists, believed in the rigorous
separation of uses.South on King Drive for two blocks
View: The houses along King Drive just south of 35th are a reminder of what
this street looked like in its days as Grand Boulevard, when the gentry would
promenade their carriages down Drexel and up Grand. There�s a bronze map of
Bronzeville in the median at 35/King; we�ll ride up along sidewalks north of
35th to see plaques in sidewalk honoring Bronzeville notables and strange looking
benches, paid for by McCormick Place as part of its last expansion.
North on King Drive for two blocks
West on 32 for one block
South on Calumet for one block View/stop: Bronzeville. Historic houses along
Calumet, notably the Roloson Houses (3213-3219 S), the only Wright row houses
ever built and among the few multifamily Wright buildings still standing. Most
housing on these blocks dates from 18800-1890s and miraculously survived urban
renewal. At Calumet and 33rd stood Camp Douglas, a prisoner for captured Confederate
soldiers during the Civil War.
West on 33 for four blocks to State. Cross State and into IIT campus, to lawn
facing Crown Hall.View: Pilgrim Baptist Church/former KAM Synagogue, 3301 S
Indiana � 1890, Adler & Sullivan. KAM (Kehilath Anshe Ma�ariv) is Chicago�s
oldest congregation, founded in 1847, since merged with the Isaiah Israel congregation
and now stands at Greenwood Avenue and Hyde Park Boulevard.STOP: At Michigan,
we cross over into the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Most
of the housing is east of State, the academic buildings to the west. Ludwig
Mies van der Rohe, perhaps the most influential architect of the 20th century,
fled the Nazis in 1938. (The Nazis called the Bauhaus, where Mies worked, �an
aquarium of Jewish-Marxist art.�) He first applied his famous dictum �less is
more� to create these black boxes (he called them �universal space�) for the
1939 campus plan. Black boxes may be ubiquitous nowadays, but this is where
it all began. Mies� vision for IIT could hardly be any further from Cobb�s vision
for the University of Chicago, but less than fifty years and four miles separates
them.The most notable buildings on campus are Mies�, S. R. Crown Hall (the college
of architecture), 3360 S State, and the 1891 Main Building, whose brick gables
can be seen to the west (at 33/Federal). IIT opened two striking new buildings
along State Street this fall, bridging the two halves of campus: a set of glass
dormitories designed by Helmut Jahn (directly across State) and, north of 33rd,
a new student center by Rem Koolhaas. Koolhaas is currently the world�s most
fashionable architect, and this is his first complete building in North America.
Both buildings reinterpret Mies� style by introducing curves, angles, colors,
new materials, and graphics. Jahn�s curvaceous dormitories maintain a strong
tie to Mies with their clean lines and palette of glass and steel, but the organic
forms are reminiscent of the �blob architecture� popularized by architects like
Frank Gehry. Koolhaas, the master of the Deconstructivists, turns Mies upside
Back to State.
North on State for two blocks
East on 31 for four blocks
North on Vernon; west on 29th; north on Vernon; north on Ellis; west on Vernon/26thView:
This route takes us through Prairie Shores, one of the key components of the
Near South Side Urban Renewal project. Notice the difference between this area
and the Calumet-Giles historic district we passed through before going through
IIT � fewer but taller buildings and lots of green space. Also note that the
street grid has disappeared, replaced by �superblocks� bounded by wider streets.
The urban renewal projects which transformed the Near South and Near West sides,
like Prairie Shores, IIT, UIC, State Street public housing, and the expressways,
are prime examples of Modernist urban planning: the old, dirty, dense, complicated
city fabric, deemed �urban blight� by officials, was completely wiped away and
replaced with rational, mechanical, clean �towers in a park.� This vision was
invented by architects like Mies and Le Corbusier (who once proposed replacing
Paris with a �Radiant City� of twenty massive towers, evenly spaced amidst parks
and expressways), and embraced after World War 2 by academic and government
officials in the U.S. and abroad. Federal urban-renewal programs paid to raze
slums and build freeways, public housing, and universities in their place.
By the late 1960s, critics like Jane Jacobs and Michael Venturi began attacking
both the premises and methods of Modernism as inhumane and antithetical to the
very notion of the city. The billions poured into grand urban renewal schemes
did little to stanch the exodus of people and capital from America�s cities,
accelerated the loss of industrial jobs as former manufacturing districts adjacent
to downtown were redeveloped, and even less to ameliorate the social problems
of the ghetto. The Reagan administration cut funding for many urban renewal
programs in the 1980s, leaving many cities to stagnate until the boom of the
late 1990s.
Michael Reese Hospital, to the east, was established in 1881 as the city�s first
Jewish hospital.West on 26 to King Drive

View: This statue commemorates the Great Northern Migration of African Americans
to the North. Chicago was an especially popular destination for African Americans
from the Mississippi Delta region, since the Illinois Central trains from New
Orleans (now Amtrak�s �City of New Orleans�) went north along the Mississippi
and across Illinois, terminating at Central Station (once an actual train station
at Roosevelt Road and the lake). Starting before the Civil War, but especially
during the labor shortages of the World Wars, hundreds of thousands of African
Americans rode the trains north to settle in Chicago; over 1.5 million left
the South for the North.West on 26 two blocks to MichiganView: on your left,
Prairie Courts public housing and South Commons mixed income housing; on your
right, Mercy Hospital.North on Michigan two blocks, west on 24 to WabashSTOP:
The Chicago Defender, one of the most famous African American newspapers in
the U.S., is published in the building at 2400 S Michigan (formerly the Illinois
Automobile Club). The Defender was smuggled to the South by railway porters;
in the 1910s, two-thirds of its readers lived outside Chicago. The praises it
sang of the North (helpfully printed alongside train schedules) were influential
in spurring the Great Northern Migration.
Quinn Chapel, 2401 S Wabash, the city�s oldest Black congregation; the building
was built in 1891, but the congregation was established in the 1840s.Looking
west, you can see the Hilliard Homes, public housing high-rises designed by
Bertrand Goldberg � also architect of the Marina City and River City complexes
downtown. The circular building is for seniors, minimizing hallways; the arcs
will soon be among a handful of public housing high-rises for families left
in the city, as their less well-designed counterparts come down.North on Michigan
two blocks

View: This area is called Motor Row; in the 1920s, just as mass production
and marketing pushed autos into mainstream American life, all of these storefronts
were automobile dealerships. A few still are, although heavily altered with
commercial schlock. The area was designated a historic district in 2001. We�ll
pass by the old Chess Records building at 2120 S., as well as the site of the
Epitome nightclub, where a stampede killed 22 in March 2003. Behind Motor Row,
another expansion of the already monstrous McCormick Place convention center
is planned for construction starting in 2004.

East on Cermak Rd 2.5 blocks
View: The Lexington Hotel, formerly at Michigan and Cermak, was a hangout of
Al Capone. Geraldo Riviera searched in vain for Capone�s hidden treasure just
before the Lexington�s demolition in 1990. Anton Cermak, the mayor for whom
Cermak Road is named, was a longtime nemesis of Capone. He was assassinated
in Florida in 1933 by a bullet intended for President Franklin D. Roosevelt,
although conspiracy theorists think Capone was behind it all.North on Calumet
two blocks

View: The Industrial Gothic buildings were the R. R. Donnelly Calumet Plant,
one of the world�s largest printing presses. The largest is now Lakeside Technology
Center, an office building.

West on Cullerton one block
North on Prairie four blocks

STOP: Prairie Avenue historic district and Clarke House: in the late 19th century,
this was where Chicago�s rich and famous made their homes. Marshall Field, Jr.,
George Pullman, William Kimball. The white house in Hillary Rodham Clinton Park
(she was raised in northwest suburban Park Ridge) is the Henry Clarke house,
built in 1836 and believed to be Chicago�s oldest building. Also standing in
the park is an 1893 memorial to the Ft. Dearborn Massacre: on 15 August 1812,
settlers fleeing a Potawatomi attack on Ft. Dearborn were ambushed and killed
near this site. A few of the stately mansions survive, most notably H. H. Richardson�s
1885 Glessner House at 18th and Prairie. Richardson�s Romanesque � heavy rusticated
stone and round arches � style was the fad in 1880s America. Indeed, Henry Cobb,
who � partly on the merits of his Romanesque work for the Newberry Library �
won the commission to master-plan the University of Chicago, proposed to build
in a Romanesque idiom. The university�s trustees rejected the Romanesque idiom
in favor of Gothic, which is more closely tied to the academy in the American
public imagination.
The street�s vacant lots have now mostly been replaced by the blocky rowhouse
and high-rise developments of Central Station, a 72-acre development of upscale
housing that is replacing the old Illinois Central railroad station and its
rail yards; once again, a Prairie Avenue address has some cachet. Oddly enough,
the new developments� historical references are largely to the 1910s Prairie
School of architecture; by that time, Prairie Avenue�s 1890s heyday had long
since passed.
The �new� Soldier Field and the Museum Campus may be visible over Lake Shore
Drive in the winter.
Note the difference in form between these new developments and the 1960s urban-renewal
projects. Central Station, like many developments built after the mid-90s, includes
many elements of �New Urbanism,� a recent movement in urban planning which revives
traditional urban planning forms like blocks, streets, alleys, and squares,
while embracing mixed uses, architectural ornament, and narrow streets, all
of which were rejected by Modernists as outdated. Some deride it as reactionary,
unrealistic, fake, and elitist.
LOGISTICS: This is about halfway through the tour. If you need to leave at this
point, the nearest entrances to the lakefront are via a pedestrian bridge at
18th Street or through McCormick Place (walk your bike through the building,
following the signs to the lakefront). The nearest public restrooms are inside
McCormick Place; walk your bike up the staircase beside the west entry and walk
down the corridor; they�re next to Starbucks. The nearest �L� station is Cermak-Chinatown
(red line), about 3/4 miles southwest. (You can bring bicycles aboard CTA trains,
except 7-9am or 4-6pm on weekdays.) Most CTA buses have bike racks on the front
which can be used anytime; catch the #4 Cottage Grove a few blocks west on Michigan
or ride up to Roosevelt & Columbus and catch the #6 Jackson Park or #28
Stony expresses. The nearest bike shop is about half a mile away: Recycle, 1416
S. Michigan.

West on 16th three blocks
South on Michigan 2 blocks View: Vietnam Veterans Art Museum at 1801 S. Indiana;
the Cotton Club, a jazz club at 1710 S. Michigan.
Second Presbyterian Church, at Cullerton/Michigan, is one of the city�s most
opulent churches � built in 1874 to serve this elite neighborhood. In later
years, it was superceded by Fourth Presbyterian (on North Michigan) as the favored
church for the city�s Protestant elite.

West on Cullerton one block
North on Wabash one block
West on 18th eight blocks (one mile)View: at 18th street bridge, you can see
several early 20th century bridges over the river. To the north, the B&O
and St. Charles bridges are single-leaf bascules; to the south, there�s the
Pennsylvania Railroad bridge, 195 feet tall.Down on the riverbank to your left
is Ping Tom Park, a new park built as part of Chinatown�s expansion onto the
riverfront railroad yards. The pavilions are quite cute. To the north along
the river are vast abandoned rail yards that have reverted to wild lands (including
the 70 acre �South Bend� tract north of 18th, where a bend in the river was
straightened out in 1931 � but the resulting land was never developed) and a
terrific view of the skyline. Access to these riverfront parcels is difficult,
but plans were recently filed to build some 5,000 houses and stores for Ikea,
Target, Home Depot, and others on these lands.The Schoenhofen Brewing Company,
once one of the largest breweries in the city, stands at 18/Canal. The tower
was a water tower.
North on Halsted for eight blocks.View: East Pilsen has long been known as an
artists colony and is now home to hundreds of artists and art related businesses.
Many storefront galleries have opened on Halsted in just the past year, along
with restaurants, bars, and other emblems of artist-led gentrification.

North of the railroad viaduct, University Village is UIC’s attempt at building
a university residential neighborhood from scratch, mixing for-sale housing
for professors and yuppies with dormitories, athletic fields, and shops. UIC�s
stated goal is to replicate an environment like Hyde Park, where professors,
students, and residents create a community where learning takes place outside
the classroom. The sad remnants of the open-air Maxwell Street Market, demolished
and then reassembled to dress up new neighborhood retail buildings for University
Village, are visible at its intersection with Halsted.West at Polk to Hull-HouseView:
Hull-House was the settlement house established by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates
Starr in 1889, when the building was a furniture store and the neighborhood
was a densely packed immigrant neighborhood. The settlement house grew over
the next few decades and now operates (for now) from a building in Lakeview.
The neighborhood was demolished to build UIC, but parts of the original Hull-House
complex have been converted into a museum.West around Chicago Circle Center
to Lecture Center & CourtSTOP: UIC, originally the University of Illinois
at Chicago Circle (named after the �spaghetti bowl� interchange just northeast
of campus) is another notable example of urban renewal. The university opened
in 1965 and, in case you couldn�t figure it out on your own, was designed by
Walter Netsch � architect of the Regenstein Library and Northwestern�s University
Library. Like the Near South Side Urban Renewal, the campus is Modernist in
plan, with tall buildings fronting onto wide open spaces and few interior streets.
The �Brutalist� style of architecture, with its heavy concrete exteriors and
dark interiors, was quite in vogue in the 1970s, especially among universities.
It was the last gasp of architectural Modernism before the rise of postmodernism
in the 1980s. Note again the contrast between this campus and those of IIT and
the University of Chicago.
The campus is laid out by function instead of discipline: all classes, regardless
of subject, were to be held at this central �Lecture Center.� Faculty and administration
offices were centralized in the inverted tower to the west; only laboratory
buildings were segregated by discipline. In recent years, the university has
moved away from this plan; it may make sense in terms of reducing time between
class changes, but doesn�t do much to foster collegiality. Even though the university
has 25,000 students, twice as many as Chicago, the campus feels eerily empty
much of the time.
The U of I first opened a temporary Chicago branch, at Navy Pier, in 1946 to
accommodate a flood of GI Bill students returning from the war. Various other
permanent locations were floated, most notably the South Loop rail yards which
are now Dearborn Park, but this neighborhood was already slated for demolition
when President Kennedy designated federal urban renewal funds for Chicago. (Whether
or not Kennedy owed his election to Mayor Daley�s precinct captains and their
deceased friends is disputed.) The location was also convenient for the students
and faculty, all of whom commuted there.
LOGISTICS: Nearest bathroom: inside Chicago Circle Center (student union), entered
either from Hull House plaza or from the circle stairs in the back. Nearest
�L�: Halsted-UIC on Blue Line, two blocks north along Halsted.South on Morgan
for two blocks
West on Roosevelt for one block
Southwest on Blue Island for six blocksView: Blue Island and 18th is the commercial
heart of Pilsen. Pilsen has been an immigrant neighborhood for most of its history,
starting as a German and Czech area (hence the name); the Italianate shopfront
buildings at this intersection and south along Blue Island are among the city�s
best preserved from the 1880s-1910s. Note the Rudy Lozano library at the southeast
corner; the ornament is derived from a temple in Oaxaca. The neighborhood�s
many murals take inspiration from similarly pre-Columbian sources. Pilsen still
serves as an entrepot for new immigrants, who often settle here before moving
on to other neighborhoods � much of the southwest side was transformed in the
1990s by Mexican families leaving Pilsen in search of more breathing room.
Vaulted sidewalks: Pilsen was one of the last city neighborhoods to get sanitary
sewers. Since the city is flat and doesn�t drain terribly well, the city built
the sewers on top of the existing streets, then raised the street level to cover
the new sewers. By the time the sewers got to Pilsen, the area was already built
up; hence, the entrances to the buildings were now below street level. You might
see some of these �sunken houses� in the neighborhood. The sidewalks, �vaulted�
above ground level, are prone to collapse � hence the gaping holes in the sidewalk
here.West on 18th for five blocksSTOP: Harrison Park is Pilsen�s spiritual center,
a heavily used green space in the heart of one of Chicago�s densest neighborhoods.
The Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, at the park�s southern edge, is the largest
museum of Latino art and history in the U.S.
Note the 19th-century skyline of the neighborhood, dominated by church towers
and not skyscrapers: to the northeast, St Adalbert�s, to the southwest, St Paul�s,
to the northwest, a turn-of-the-century grain elevator. (The concrete grain
elevator was invented in Chicago, allowing for the commodification of grain
and ultimately the creation of modern commodities markets.)West on 18th for
one block
South on Damen for two blocks
East on 21st for six blocks

View: Benito Juarez High School at Ashland/21

Northeast on Canalport for one block
South on Halsted for one block
East on Cermak for six blocks

View: Cermak bridge/river industrial corridor and Chinatown Square, an expansion
of Chinatown built in the 1990s on old railroad yards. (Railroad yards covered
a huge portion of the Near South Side until the 1970s.) This city-sponsored
expansion gave breathing room to a neighborhood that was formerly tightly bound
on all sides by railroads and elevated freeways, but which has continued to
experience population growth.

South on Wentworth for 7 blocks

View: �Old� Chinatown was established in 1912, when several hundred Chinese
residents were displaced from an even older Chinatown in the South Loop. The
On Leong merchant�s association secured fifty leases in this area, and others
followed. As with 18th street in Pilsen, Wentworth Avenue in Chinatown is mostly
late 19th century storefronts that, when remodeled, take on architectural forms
from the old country. In recent years, many ethnic Chinese immigrants from Southeast
Asia have settled in Uptown on the north side, creating a �New Chinatown� at
Argyle and Broadway. Many immigrants from China are still arriving in Chinatown
and in adjoining parts of Bridgeport, or to the north and west suburbs.

EAST on 29th
South on Princeton
South on Shields 2 blocksView: New Comiskey Park, oops, U.S. Cellular Field.
The last of the concrete-bowl baseball stadiums, designed solely to prevent
obstructed views (resulting in bleachers a hundred feet above the field). The
architect�s next commission was for Camden Yards in Baltimore, the first of
the neo-traditional baseball stadiums.West on 35th for 4 blocks
South on Lowe for 3 blocksSTOP: Mayor Richard J. Daley’s house, 3536 S Lowe
— the most powerful Democrat in America, the most powerful man in the Midwest,
lived here for his entire life. His widow, �Chicago�s Queen Mother,� lived here
until her death in January 2003. Sons Richard M. (mayor of Chicago), John (Cook
County Commissioner), and William (president, SBC) were raised here, all making
names for themselves. Nepotism? Of course not.

West on 38th for one block
South on Halsted for four blocks
East on Exchange for one blockView: The old Stockyards complex. Through this
gate went untold millions of cows and pigs, and out came untold billions of
hot dogs. The abandoned bank, where Jurgis cashed his paychecks, is a copy of
Independence Hall. The business of slaughtering livestock was long ago outsourced
to cowtowns and is now often performed right at the farm (well, CAFO � a polite
acronym for a meat factory); the old stockyards now hold an industrial park.West
on Exchange for one block
South on Halsted for 1.5 block
East on 43rd for 16 blocks
South on King Drive for 2 blocksView: Former site of the Checkerboard Lounge,
legendary blues hangoutWest on 45th for two blocks
South on Michigan for two blocksView: Chicago Urban League (4510 S Michigan),
a civil rights organization, and the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments (between
46th and 47th) — an early (1929) experiment in affordable housing funded by
Julius Rosenwald and currently awaiting a new life. Its publicly funded successor,
Robert Taylor Homes (1960-1963), is still visible overhead to the west.East
on 47th for four blocks
South on King Drive for 4 blocksView: In the days when King Drive was known
as Grand Boulevard, fashionable Chicagoans would promenade in �horse drawn carriages
up Drexel and down Grand, turning around in Washington Park.South on Ellsworth
(through Washington Park) for six blocks
East on 57th Street for three blocks
END at Regenstein Library
Further reading:
Chicago Historical Society, �Harold Washington: The Man and the Movement� (exhibit,
Oct. 4, 2003 � May 31, 2004); text at
Terry Nichols Clark, ed., Trees and Real Violins: Building Post-Industrial Chicago
(Chicago, forthcoming); full manuscript available at
Marco D�Eramo, The Pig and the Skyscraper (Verso, 2003) � an Italian Marxist
visits Chicago, in vignettes
St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton, Black Metropolis (Harcourt, Brace, 1945)
� classic sociological study of Bronzeville at its peak.
Melvin Holli and Paul Green, Bashing Chicago Traditions (Eerdmans, 1989) � history
of Harold Washington�s second mayoral campaign and election.
Alice Sinkevitch, ed., AIA Guide to Chicago (Harvest, 1993) � excellent, thorough
architectural guide to city. New edition expected next year.
Gerald Suttles, The Man-Made City (Chicago, 1990)
Special thanks:
Organization of the Reynolds Club & Student Activities for coordination
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation ( for �Student Cycling in Chicago�
The Handlebar ( for megaphone
Payton Chung ( for route planning

2 thoughts on “New South Side bike tour

  1. You mentioned the statue commemorating the Ft. Dearborn Massacre being in the park just S of the Glessner house. Was that statue actually there in Oct 2003 when you took this ride? I heard it was in storage in 1999, so did they take it back out? It’s not there now. I am trying to find out where it is now. Thanks.

  2. Pingback: Neighborhood tours « west north

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