Food and Architecture of 1893 Tour

Last Saturday I went on the “Food and Architecture of 1893” tour, one of the hundreds of tours offered by the Chicago Architecture Center. I am a member, and I use my member benefits so rarely, it’s not even funny!

I loved a description of this tour and made plans to attend. These plans were challenged by a number of circumstances, but in spite of all of them, at 1-30 PM on Saturday I was in the lobby of the new CAC building.

I love our beautiful city and know quite a bit about its history and architecture. But still, any tour would add some new information. Also – it is always great to have an opportunity to pretend you are a tourist and take more pictures of your favorite places. We started the tour enjoying the famous view of the Wrigley Building. Not because we were nearby, but because at the time of World’s Fair Mr. Wrigley was promoting his chewing gum business at Fair Grounds. Nowadays, we are used to the promotions of new products by giving them away in public places, but it was a novel idea back then. And just think about it – there were over 10 million visitors from all over the world! (At this point all of us has received a pack of Wrigley gum:))

We talked about the railroads at the time of theWorld Fair – there were definitely more trains coming in and out of the city back than! More train lines, more train stations within the city limits – where did it all go?!

We saw some of the hotels, which existed in Chicago at the times of Wold’s Fair, and talked about the food they were serving.

The Fair call for food which was easy to eat, to be able to consume on the go, and one of them was Chicago-style hot dog. We visited one of the “hidden treasures”- a place in the South Loop with best-possible-chicago-style-hot dogs. Our docent told us that this particular one is as close to the original, as possible, only the skin is thinner these days.

The Palmer Hotel was already there and quite popular. And in case you do not know – it was there where Mrs. Beth Palmer invented brownies – a dessert which can be consumed on the go, without a fork. And each of us got a piece made according to the true original recipe!

The Palmer Hotel lobby
One of the decor pieces

The last stop on the tour was a building of the Roosevelt University (the Auditorium Building), a part of which was also a hotel at the time of the Fair.

Used to be a hotel reception

The building was designed by Sullivan and Adler  and what I did not know that it was built on the raft foundation, and sank a little bit throughout the years:

After the tour was over, my friend Lena and I walked to the train station by the Riverwalk, which is one of my favorite places in the city, and had “my usual” affogato at the Tiny Cafe.

Isn’t it nice to be a tourist in your own city?

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