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THE NEW CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE CENTER OPENS AUG. 31

Located at 111 E. Wacker Dr. at Michigan Avenue, the CAC will be a place to discover the stories and secrets behind Chicago’s magnificent architecture—through exhibits, tours and programs.

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By Ashley Powers, Web Specialist, E-commerce
With help from docents Maurice Champagne, Ellen Shubart and Marlene Stern

In 2017, CAF launched a popular series of limited edition bus tours. We created one special bus tour a month, from March to October, to showcase neighborhoods, buildings, parks or landmarks not visited in other CAF tours.

This year, we decided to bring back a few of the limited edition tours with updated content and create new bus tours around brand new topics. Where do the ideas, routes and final content for the tours come from? CAF’s docents, of course! The docents spent nearly an entire year preparing them, researching and mapping out each tour’s route. We can’t wait for you to see what they’ve come up with.

Read about three of the new one-time only bus tours below, and book your tickets quick before they sell out!

Murals by Bus

The idea for Murals by Bus has been percolating since docents Maurice Champagne, Tina Strauss and Bonnie Moore attended a fall 2016 lecture on the restoration of some of Chicago’s murals. They began researching the artwork and visited several murals in-person last spring to create Murals by Bus.

Highlights from this brand new tour include murals in a high school, a park and a union hall. Lane Tech College Prep High School, located on Chicago’s northside, has murals from the Progressive Era and Works Progress Administration (WPA), as well as more contemporary pieces. Famous murals in Humboldt Park also include both old and new pieces and cover topics like the neighborhood’s Puerto Rican heritage and the history of the community. The tour ends with a visit to one of Chicago’s union halls—a hidden gem of murals.

Fort Sheridan by Bus

This bus tour was originally created as a walking tour of stunningly beautiful Fort Sheridan, a residential area just north of the city that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. About 66 Holabird and Roche buildings dot the area around the Fort, and an additional 34 buildings designed by the Army resemble the Holabird and Roche buildings. The tour showcases the concept of adaptive reuse, with examples like Fort Sheridan’s former jail, which now houses a music rehearsal space for Midwest Young Artists Conservatory students. The Fort doesn’t see many visitors, except for students or people visiting residents, so CAF’s limited edition tour offers very special access. With so many buildings to see, docent Marlene Stern believed a bus tour would help tour takers cover more ground than the walking tour. Plus, it allows tour takers to visit the Fort’s Historic District and the Fort Sheridan Cemetery—both fascinating destinations.

Women in Architecture

The Women in Architecture tour was started by two docents who felt women architects don’t receive the credit they’re due in many accounts of Chicago’s architectural past, present and future. “We are looking to make people more aware of the role women play in architecture in general and in Chicago, specifically,” said docent Ellen Shubart, who created the tour with docent Mary Jo Hoag.

This new tour includes panoramic views of some of the newest attractions along the Chicago Riverwalk. Tour takers will also get to visit Publishing House Bed & Breakfast, a newly reclaimed 110-year-old building that was originally built for the Free Methodist Publishing House. The tour is perfect for anyone interested in what’s new and what’s next from women architects in Chicago, as well as those who want to discover lesser-known, but important architectural gems of the city.