Top Ten Bridges! - 5th Anniversary Celebration!


I formed the Windy City Explorers on May 17, 2009 with two people!  Now, five years later we have over 3500 members!! Wouldn't it be fun if all of you come out for this anniversary party?


Please join us to celebrate the success of the Windy City Explorers as we duplicate our hugely popular Top Ten Bridges Tour.  This event is timed to coincide with a "river run" where many sailboats will be coming down the river for the season, heading to their respective Lake Michigan harbors.  The bridges will be opening to let all the boats pass.


Bring your cameras as this will be a sight to behold!  This will be a walking and gawking tour of my ten favorite bridges over the Chicago River. Our walk will be slow and distracted by bridge openings and sailboat crossings.   Included in our route will be the following: 1) The famous Michigan Avenue Bridge which opened in 1920, paving the way, literally, to Chicago's Magnificent Mile. 2.) The Wabash Street Bridge, home to Chicago's Vietnam War Veterans Memorial 3) The LaSalle St. Bridge, site of the famous Eastland Disaster of 1915. 4) The Wells St. Bridge, one of Chicago's most photographed sites where the elevated train crosses the Chicago River. 5) We'll also observe, from a distance, the Kinzie Street Bridge where the Chicago River sprung a leak in 1992, flooding the entire loop!! Some of you may also be familiar with another famous incident happening at the Kinzie Street bridge involving a bus, a band, and a boat. You won't want to miss this tour!! Be sure to bring your cameras!


Our gathering time is 10:30am at the base of the Trump Tower Riverwalk. We will meet by the large gallery of stairs. Below are links to a map and photograph of the meeting spot.


Map of Meeting Spot


Photograph of Meeting Spot


For those of you who wish to arrive a little early, there is a McDonalds Restaurant right there adjacent to Trump Tower. We can grab a morning snack and coffee while waiting for the group to arrive. I'll be there around 9:30 - 10am to get settled. For those of you who are interested in a little reading, here are some links related to this adventure.

The Great Chicago Flood of 1992

The Eastland Disaster

Extensive Links To Specific Bridge Info For True History Buffs 

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum Website 

A neat website promoting Chicago's Loop Bridges.

Join or login to comment.

  • Jeanette

    Great, Informative! Tom was a great instructor, very welcoming. I really enjoyed myself and learned alot of Chicago bridges. Really enjoyed the tour! Will attend future one.

    1 · May 19, 2014

  • Jodey S.

    Hi
    I thought it was really well done. Tom, you really shared so much information &kept this huge group together! Thanks so much 2 all the organizers

    May 19, 2014

  • chrystal

    One of the best.

    1 · May 19, 2014

  • shel o.

    This was my first walk with your group. It was fabulous. Great walk, some neat history, and I really appreciated the commenatary. thanks, Tom. Shel

    May 18, 2014

  • Tom B.

    The 18th Street Bridge down river failed to open. All boats had to turn back after 2 hours on the river!

    2 · May 17, 2014

    • Katherine

      Ed and I came today but arrived at 11am so we missed the walk and no bridges were still up. But we had a nice walk too.

      May 17, 2014

    • Elizabeth F.

      It was a wonderful tour, regardless! Thanks, Tom!

      May 18, 2014

  • Bat

    Awsome Walk. Awsome Weather. Douze points Tom (and for the traffic controller as well).

    May 18, 2014

  • Kathy S.

    Just perfect!

    May 17, 2014

  • Danah

    I was running to late to catch up man looks like I missed a good one!

    May 17, 2014

  • Napoleon U.

    Enjoyed the day walking with fellow explorers.

    May 17, 2014

  • Sharon

    Thank you so much Tom for calling me back and letting me know where the group is. What a wonderful walk you lead for us and for Chicago. I end up not catching the group because I had to be else where early afternoon so I decided to leave early for that... but looking forward to next year and other walks!

    May 17, 2014

  • Maree S.

    First time for my husband and myself. We really enjoyed the walk and will be paying our membership dues.

    May 17, 2014

  • Naya

    I loved the walk! The day was gorgeous, the company lovely, and learned some really neat things about Chicago. I gave this meetup two thumbs up!

    2 · May 17, 2014

  • essar

    Thanks Tom. Kudos for what you do.

    May 17, 2014

  • Anita P

    Excellent & Fun -- where were the sailboats?!!

    1 · May 17, 2014

  • Juah S.

    Thank you. The walk was wonderful.

    May 17, 2014

  • Bob G.

    Thanx, Tom for devoting so much energy to this group. I had a very nice time.

    May 17, 2014

  • Elizabeth F.

    Great group of people.

    May 17, 2014

  • Tom B.

    Great time along the river! I loved Vincent in his bright red suit!

    1 · May 17, 2014

  • Frank

    Great !
    Excellent hosting, Tom.

    2 · May 17, 2014

  • PATRICK J.

    Great tour and I met some wonderful people. Thanks Tom

    2 · May 17, 2014

  • Dodie C.

    A great walk on what turned out to be wonderful weather. Another successful Meetup! Thanks Tom. I enjoy being a sponsor.

    1 · May 17, 2014

  • Dany

    Great job Tom, Joe, Chantal on 5 years of wonderful discoveries!

    2 · May 17, 2014

  • Ann

    Fantastic. Tom is wonderful and makes all the walks so enjoyable. Thanks so much.

    2 · May 17, 2014

  • Mary E

    This was a fantastic walk/tour! Thanks for putting it together!

    3 · May 17, 2014

  • Nick O

    Great again Tom! Thanks.

    2 · May 17, 2014

  • Sarah

    Another MOST Excellent Event with Tom! Thanks again

    2 · May 17, 2014

  • Liliana

    Can anyone let me know where are you guys at this time? I am late but would like to join. Thanks

    May 17, 2014

    • Stephanie F.

      Lake shore Drive on the trail on the south side

      May 17, 2014

  • Jill B.

    Too many delays this morning. Not going to make it on from Indiana.

    May 17, 2014

  • Eilene

    Delayed by work so missed you at Trump....guess I'll have to wait for next years anniversary tour!!! Send photos please.

    May 17, 2014

  • Stephanie F.

    So where is everyone. I'm in front of trump tower.

    May 17, 2014

    • chrystal

      Where r you now

      May 17, 2014

    • mimi

      I'm by the boats where r u Chrystal?

      May 17, 2014

  • Deb

    Just here

    May 17, 2014

    • Juah S.

      I'm a bit lost due to my lateness... where it's everyone

      May 17, 2014

    • mimi

      I'm here but I don't see anyone but boat peps

      May 17, 2014

  • mimi

    Is anyone still here?

    May 17, 2014

  • Jasminka

    I got stuck on the phone. Sorry I missed the event. Please post some pics.

    May 17, 2014

  • Jackie

    Just leaving from the Rosemont blue line! I may be a few minutes behind. Sorry!

    1 · May 17, 2014

    • mimi

      I forgot my p pass, walking from so loop

      May 17, 2014

    • Christina

      I will be about 15 minutes late sorry

      May 17, 2014

  • Lena

    Im so sad I have to back out of coming today. I've had challenges with my feet since I was a kid and today just happened to be a high pain day. I'll definitely make a walk soon though.

    May 17, 2014

  • Tom B.

    I just previewed the route and this is going to be amazing!! Sign up for the afterparty because the view is astounding today!

    May 17, 2014

  • Harriet

    Thought I posted a question but can't see it. If I'm coming by bus from the north side, I get off at the Wrigley bldg according to your map, right?

    May 17, 2014

    • Tom B.

      Yes, get off at the Wrigley Building and head west through that nice plaza toward the Trump Tower & McDonalds. You'll see the steps leading down to the river and to our starting point on the left as you walk by McDonalds.

      1 · May 17, 2014

  • Therese

    I'm working on a new deadline, so won't be able to make this amazing walk, seeing all the bridges! Sorry for late notice and to miss this walk. Enjoy the day and have fun on the walk!

    May 17, 2014

  • Pam

    Sorry to miss this one, have fun.

    May 16, 2014

  • Millie

    All you adventurers have fun. Have to withdraw.

    May 16, 2014

  • Kathy S.

    The Wells St. Bridge is also the location of the first ever "Kathy Plates" - 5 foot wide metal plates to help cyclists cross the bridges more safely. There are now plates on a few more bridges, like Dearborn, Clark and Cortland

    2 · May 15, 2014

  • shel o.

    I will coming from Northbrook. What would be the best train line to Take? I can take Skokie Swift, or a line that passes through wilmette?

    May 15, 2014

  • Frederic

    The Trump Tower is on Wabash St, not State St. (see "Map of Meeting Site" on event announcement).

    From Clark / Lake Blue line L Stop, walk North to Wacker Drive (don`t cross the Chicago River). Turn East (right) on Wacker to Wabash, North (left) on Wabash (over the river). See map above.

    You should be able to see the building from Wacker Drive as you walk along the Chicago River. Also, search Google for "Trump Tower + Chicago". Switch to "aerial view" or "street view".

    3 · May 13, 2014

    • Ann

      Which ever directions all of you choose to follow you will arrive at the Trump Tower. Promise.

      2 · May 13, 2014

    • Therie

      If all else fails, look for 400 people without protest signs ;)

      10 · May 13, 2014

  • Ann

    If you are taking the Blue Line...it's easier to get off at Clark and Lake. Milwaukee and Grand is a ways away. Go to the Thompson center exit to get to the street. Follow the exit to the Thpson Center and you will come out at Lake Street. Go east on Lake Street about 2 1/2 blocks until you reach State Street. Turn left on State and cross Wacker Street and then continue on State while crossing the bridge over the river. You will see the Trump tower on your Right. From the Clark and Lake Street stop to Trump tower is maybe a 7 minute walk.

    1 · May 12, 2014

    • Katherine

      Ann... I suggested taking the bus from the Grand stop which will put her right by the Trump Tower. So it isn't that far.

      May 12, 2014

  • Marilyn

    Because, I'm new to the area, how feasible is it for me to take the Metra from Evanston to Union Station and cab it to Trump Towers? This sounds like so much fun and interesting! We will be just walking?

    1 · April 18, 2014

    • Jeanette

      Frederic made a great suggestion... I will be taking the red line to Grand stop as well, instead of driving from Rogers park. U can email/message me ...as I am new to the group as well.

      1 · May 12, 2014

    • Torri L F.

      Jeanette, I live in Rogers Park and will do the same. I'm also new to the group :-) Feel free to email me if you'd like to ride together! :-)

      1 · May 12, 2014

  • Jackie

    Hi! I'm new to this group, and this is my first event with you! I'm looking forward to it. One question I have is which Blue line stop should I take? I'll be getting on from Rosemont. Thanks!

    May 12, 2014

    • Katherine

      Jackie... I use to live in River North, so am familiar with the area. I would suggest getting off the blue line at the Milwaukee/Grand blue line stop. Then wait on Grand right by the blue line exit for bus 65. Bus 65 will head east and get off at State St stop. Trump Towers is only 1 or 2 blocks south of the State St bus stop.

      2 · May 12, 2014

    • Jackie

      Thanks Katherine for the suggestion! :) I was looking at that add that would work, or my other option would be to stop at Clark & Lake. It looks like it's about a 10 minute walk to Trump Towers.

      1 · May 12, 2014

  • Naya

    I am new to Chicago and really excited about this event. I am planning on taking the Red Line in and exiting on Grand, then walking the 0.2 miles to Trump.

    How will I know who is part of the group, or will it be obvious? I don't know what to expect but excited! Also, would appreciate someone sharing their contact number with me.

    1 · May 12, 2014

    • Trish

      Hi Naya. This is my first time with this group so I'm happy to share my contact info and look for you. We can figure this out together :-) Email me for my number at [masked]

      1 · May 12, 2014

    • Jeanette

      Hi Naya, I will be taking the red line to Grand stop as well, instead of driving from Rogers park. U can email/message me ...as I am new to the group as well.

      1 · May 12, 2014

  • Julia

    I'm sorry I can't make it; family matters have intervened.

    April 26, 2014

  • Marilyn

    BTW - The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum Website is not available, or found? Huh?

    April 18, 2014

  • Bonnie T.

    Looking forward it!

    April 18, 2014

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Imagine having a community behind you

Get started Learn more
Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy