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Every building has a past. Ellen Shubart talks with author and fellow CAC docent Joni Hirsch Blackman about Blackman’s book, “This Used to be Chicago,” and the stories it reveals about nearly 90 local buildings.

$8 Public
Free for CAC members

This program will be hosted on Zoom. Approximately 3 hours before the start of the program, you will receive a link directly from Zoom with details about how to access and view it.

If you do not receive your link 2 hours prior to the start of the event, please contact Please note, if you do not contact us at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the program, we cannot guarantee admittance.

Discover the hidden history behind a liquor store that was a speakeasy during Prohibition, condominiums in a former piano factory, a school for circus arts that used to be a church and more at this virtual program.


Joni Blackman

Author Joni Hirsch Blackman, in addition to being a CAC docent since 2013, has been a copy editor, columnist, newspaper reporter and writer for magazines and wire services. She is the author of four books including “This Used to be Chicago,” published in 2017 by Reedy Press.



Ellen Shubart

Ellen Shubart has been a CAC docent since 2006, leading many tours on land, on the Chicago River and from the top of an open-air bus. Prior to becoming a docent, Shubart worked in journalism for 20 years, followed by land planning and public policy advocacy. Photo by Kathleen Carpenter.

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