This past Saturday was our annual autumn quarter South Side Bike Tour! Around 40 participants joined Dean of the College John W. Boyer, Professor John Mark Hansen, and Professor Terry Clark on a 20.1-mile tour around some of the South Side's most significant historical landmarks.
The bike tour's first stop was the DuSable Museum of African and African American History on 740 East 56th Place, where we learned about the first and oldest museum in the country dedicated to African American culture.
We then biked to the Stephen Douglas Tomb on 636 East 35th Street to learn about the life and legacy of distinguished Illinois statesman Stephen Arnold Douglas, who debated against Abraham Lincoln in 1858.
Our next destination was Bronzeville, a significant place of emigration when the "Great Migration" of 1910 and 1920 brought thousands of African Americans from the South to Chicago.
Then, we biked to the Prairie Avenue District on 1827 South Indiana Avenue, the site of the Battle of Fort Dearborn and the city’s most fashionable residential district after the Great Chicago Fire.
Our fifth stop was the Jane Addams Hull House 800 South Halsted Street. The city's first social settlement in 1889, the historic building is now a museum on the University of Illinois campus.
Afterwards, we biked West to the Mayor Richard J. Daley Home on 3536 South Lowe Avenue to learn about the city's 48th mayor who served in office for over 20 years.
Heading back South, we biked to the Union Stockyard Gate on South Union Avenue, which was Chicago's meatpacking district for more than a century, as well as where some of the city's earliest international companies were stationed.
Finally, we wrapped up our 20-mile, almost 6-hour tour by visiting a Hyde Park staple, President Barack Obama's Home South Greenwood Avenue and East 50th Street. The 44th President of the United States as well as University of Chicago Law School Professor from 1992-2004, Obama's name has almost become synonymous with Hyde Park.
Normally, our tour would also stop by the Harold Washington Cultural Center on 4701 South Dr. Martin Luther King Drive to learn about the center's namesake, Harold Washington—the city's first African-American mayor (1983) and Bronzeville native. Typically, we would also visit the Chicago Coliseum Site at 1513 South Wabash Avenue, the city’s premier meeting hall from 1900 until the Chicago Stadium opened in the late 1920s. Unfortunately, limited time made those two stop-offs impossible; but we hope to see you on our springtime bike tour, which will take us around more historical sites, this time in the South-east neighborhoods of the city!
October 17, 2018