Wicker Park Walk

Joe Steffen will lead a 1.5 hour, 2.2 mile walk through the Wicker Park Landmark District, following this route. Wicker Park began in 1870 as a working-class neighborhood of German and Scandinavian immigrants, joined by a few wealthy foreign-born families who were not welcome in the wealthy neighborhoods of the American-born. We will see the former homes of novelist Nelson Algren at 1958 Evergreen, and anarchist August Spies at 2132 Potomac, who was executed for speaking at the Haymarket Riot. We will walk even if it is raining, so bring an umbrella or poncho. Please do not bring your dog.

Although hundreds of people may RSVP Yes, only about half will attend, and I have a portable public address system so you will be able to hear me no matter how large the crowd is.

Directions: CTA: Take the Blue Line to Damen, and walk 2 blocks south.
Driving: There is limited free parking on Schiller St. west of the park.
If you arrive after we have departed, walk 1 block south to Evergreen Ave. and wait for us. 

If you have a smart phone and are good with maps, touching the meet up location "Wicker Park" shows a map with a pinpoint on the exact location. Touching the phrase “following this route" shows the route map so you can try to find us if you are late.

This is the first of about 20 different walks that I will be leading through the historic neighborhoods and parks of Chicago and nearby suburbs. These will be at an easy walking pace of about 2 miles/hour with stops to listen to my brief historical and architectural descriptions, and to give you time to take photos of the historic houses. My walks are a compromise between the fast pace of walks purely for exercise, and the slow pace and detailed information of the tours given by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago History Museum.

 

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  • Tricia B.

    Loved the neighborhood, first time there. Good background information.

    2 · April 9, 2014

  • Judi G.

    thanks Joe and Tom for a great walk. We always enjoy this meetup group.

    1 · April 9, 2014

  • Kathy

    Great day and informative walk. Many went and sometimes hard to hear. If possible could you post the information about the houses and history ahead of time, so that we would be able to follow along and not worry about missing some history. It would be nice to download the info you impart on your historic tours.

    2 · April 7, 2014

    • Marilyn

      Joe, our group, as you had said yourself, earlier, was the largest ever. Yet, you started talking about the history of each building way before all of us could possibly gather around you. Being in the middle of us, would give us time to gather in a circle around you (crucially, especially given the size of the group) is practical. Half of the group wasn't able to hear you, even you operating a voice enhancement tool. None of us were slow pokes. One, walker, worked harder to get up to you & was walking with a steel cane. My suggestion, although isn't practical to you; it is to those who weren't able to hear you without the time to gather around you, or without you placing yourself in the middle of the group. I do believe in starting on time, staying on time, and stopping on time, for meetings. However. If your goal is for people to learn & enjoy what you are saying, adjusting to the size of the group is key..

      April 8, 2014

    • Marilyn

      Also, while info may have been posted on the website, prior to the walk; it wasn't in depth. Why not charge $5 for the walks, and provide participants with a sheet of historical landmarks, photos and points. The walk wasn't an easy one, so thus my additional comment. This is in no way criticizing you, but to ask you to adjust to the size of the group. Thanks.

      April 8, 2014

  • Silvia C

    I think you did an excellent job, and if people want to be spoon fed, they should hire a private guide. Thank you for the introduction to Wicker Park, I will definitely go back to explore the area, and I am looking forward to your next tour. I would like to thank Stan Donuts for the yummy treat! Worth another the trip to Wicker Park to to have another donut!

    2 · April 8, 2014

  • Kathie Q

    Really nice walk through Wicker Park. The original old mansions with their stonework and ironwork were gorgeous.

    1 · April 7, 2014

  • Laura M

    My first walk with this group..Finally!! Really enjoyed it..Thanks for allowing me to discover another great neighborhood in the best city in the world...

    2 · April 7, 2014

  • Eilene

    What a wonderful idea...exercise, education, and friendship!!!

    5 · April 6, 2014

  • Bruce M.

    We had the right day and a great group to walk with. Lots of good comments on the buildings. Good tour, Joe.

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Mark B.

    Went on an Atlas Obscura field trip 2yrs ago covering similar material

    April 6, 2014

  • David

    Interesting and informative walk with nice people.
    Thanks, Joe and Tom.

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Marilyn

    And, thank you to Joe!!!

    April 6, 2014

  • Marilyn

    Thnx 2 the lady & gent, who helped me become more technologically adept. Captured some photos, on my IPhone, with your kindness/ engaging in talk about CA; 2 young ladies, spoke with about 'my book' & your encouragement 2 expand my horizons & laughter. 2 those who lived in NJ, or NY at 1 time, as I had. '6 Degrees of Separation' does occur! 2 the ladies, we talked ' a colleague's job loss,' it's worth a try! Anything, worthwhile takes patience, determination & information. And, even if things, don't go our way; we've had the courage to get out there & try. We know, what we know, at any given moment & act on this.When we gain different info - then we can act upon things wisely. 2 Anna, 4 your advice on Polish Restaurants - love Polish food. :)

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Dee C.

    Had a wonderful time today. Will participate again definitely!

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Marilyn

    PS - Those, I didn't get to meet, hope to the next walk. :) Special thanks to Tom B and Ursula, those tacos, at BIG STAR were great! And, the company delightful. Should have a built-in after tour late lunch, or early dinner? Just a thought.....Be well all and keep smiling!

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Sherita

    Great first walk and look forward to the next!

    April 6, 2014

  • Marilyn

    It was a great time, meeting others, who are interesting and fun! And, being able to walk and see some historical sites in Wicker Park. See you all on the next neighborhood walk!!!! :)

    April 6, 2014

  • aly

    Thanks Tom and Joe for a great, friendly and informative tour!

    4 · April 6, 2014

  • melinny w.

    As always, this opening walk of the season is one of my favorite--my 6th Wicker Park walk and Joe always brings a new twist and more information to the table. The history goes on an and on and us history buffs can never get enough of it. Love all the info Joe shares with us. Keep it coming!

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you Tom and Joe.
    Let's do some more!

    2 · April 6, 2014

  • Silvia C

    My first walk but not my last!

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Pat

    Thank you Tom and Joe for the start of what will surely be a great season of neighborhood walks!

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Akash C.

    Nice..

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Jill

    Excellent tour! Timely, great weather, great info!

    2 · April 6, 2014

  • Linda W.

    Great kickoff to the Windy city Explorers season

    2 · April 6, 2014

  • Tom B.

    Great time and terrific weather!

    3 · April 6, 2014

  • Therie

    A great start to the walking season, Joe & Tom! Good to see familiar and new faces.

    3 · April 6, 2014

  • Sheena J.

    This meet up was a lot of fun! Looking forward to others :-)

    2 · April 6, 2014

  • Mary M.

    Loved it

    2 · April 6, 2014

  • Merci

    Made it :)

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Diana

    Sooty, have to miss this one!

    April 6, 2014

  • Jenya

    Delayed with traffic. Almost there. How do I find you?

    April 6, 2014

  • Jorie

    Went to the wrong fountain. Hope to be there shortly.

    April 6, 2014

  • Ursula M.

    On shuttle from blue line

    April 6, 2014

  • Tom B.

    Thanks to Alisa for the heads up on the Blue Line issue if you're coming from the North on the train. See details: http://www.transitchicago.com/travel_information/alert_detail.aspx?AlertId=22399

    1 · April 6, 2014

    • Kathie Q

      On the blue line waiting for shuttle at Western

      April 6, 2014

  • Marilyn

    Is the Fountain at 1425 N. Damen Avenue?

    April 6, 2014

  • Dee C.

    We are close by, at Francesca's having brunch. See y'all at 1pm by the fountain.

    April 6, 2014

  • Steve

    Hey Tom, If you can squeeze me in to the Open House, that would great !

    April 6, 2014

  • aly

    For those taking the CTA, please note that the Damen Blue Line "L" station is closed between Western and Damen due to construction, so allow extra time to hop on the CTA shuttle bus, grab a 24-hour Divvy pass, take a cab or walk. Please see CTA customer alert: http://www.transitchicago.com/travel_information/alert_detail.aspx?AlertId=22399

    2 · April 6, 2014

    • Kathie Q

      Okay so from Rosemont i get off at western and free shuttle to damen i think

      2 · April 6, 2014

    • Jorie

      yes, I had to do this last night getting home from ohare

      April 6, 2014

  • Tom B.

    There's an "open house" today at a historic property along this route. Being a Realtor, I cannot pass up this opportunity. Although we cannot ALL file through that home for sale, I will lead a much smaller contingent Please email me or reach out to me at the beginning of today's event if you have any particular interest in this.

    5 · April 6, 2014

    • Kathie Q

      Count me in. Kathie Q

      1 · April 6, 2014

    • Don

      Hi Tom, my friend Susanna and I (Don) would like to join you for the open house tour. We'll check in with you at the park. Thanks

      1 · April 6, 2014

  • Don

    Hey Tom, my friend, Susanna and I (Don) would like to join you in the open house 'detour' if there is still room. We'll check in with you at the park. Thanks

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • kristene

    Sick kid today! Will join group and would love to try again!

    April 6, 2014

  • aly

    For those driving, there are usually (fingers crossed) un-metered spots on Schiller, just west of Damen, a very short walk from the park. There are also un-metered spots along Wicker Park Avenue which runs along the east side of the park. See map: http://bit.ly/1mPcl49

    April 6, 2014

  • Yumira

    I'm so sorry to change my RSVP in such a short notice, but I have to go to work, and I just was told so. Hopefully, I'll see you for next walk! :)

    April 6, 2014

  • Marco S.

    Uses to live in wicker Pk. Still love the neighborhood.

    April 5, 2014

  • Jorie

    for those driving there's a metered parking lot about a block from the starting point of the meet up. It's located on Bosworth Avenue across the street from the drive-through teller for the fifth third Bank. across the street from the drive-through teller for the fifth third Bank. You're able to park there for up to 10 hours.

    March 28, 2014

    • Marilyn

      No other parking lots? Metered - what is the cost per hour?

      April 5, 2014

  • Tom B.

    Maybe we can break the bread into enough tiny pieces to feed the masses.

    1 · April 5, 2014

    • aly

      That sounds like a good idea. Definitely halves, and then quarters if necessary. La Colombe is offering a free cup of coffee to any walkers that mention DNAIRL before the walk.

      1 · April 5, 2014

  • Lindsay F.

    This sounds fun!

    1 · April 5, 2014

  • Torri L F.

    Uhmm, oh no! Their apple fritters are lethal! I may have to brush up on my martial arts to protect myself (and burn calories), lol!

    2 · March 29, 2014

    • Torri L F.

      I'm not gonna be able to make this one due to a last minute conflict. I'll be walking with you in spirit and see you next Sunday! :-(

      1 · April 5, 2014

  • aly

    hi, all. Just an update that we are at capacity with the free doughnut #DNAIRL tweet-up at the fountain at 12:30 p.m. before the walk. Here is the final list of names of people that RSVPed. 1) @DerbyChicagoIL (Lisa Sands)
    2) @jdsommer (Jason Sommer)
    3) @LocalFolksFoods (Rachel Veltman)
    4) Rachel Veltman's Guest
    5) @caitlingath
    6) Caitlin Gaith's Guest
    7) @MerciD32 (Merci Santana)
    8) Andrew Willoughby
    9) Carol Scheidelman
    10) John Scheidelman
    11) Ben Scheidelman
    12) @sjlanus (Steve Lanus)
    13) @tombesore (Tom Besore)
    14) @SnarkySerif Katelyn, TWITTER CAPTAIN
    15) @SnarkySerif GUEST
    16) @SnarkySerif 2nd GUEST
    17) David Fox
    18) Jacklyn Crawford, @jac31
    19) @degrassihigh (Paul Degrassi)
    20) Suzanne Grissom
    21) @MGDelivr
    22) @SGDelivr
    23) Rosalind Cummings-Yeates, @farsightedgirl
    24) Merove Heifeitz, @merove
    25) Jaclyn Crawford, @jac31
    26) Keith, @keithcycles

    1 · April 5, 2014

  • aly

    Hi, all! Looking forward to the walk. We have space for two more people to check out the doughnuts from Glazed and Infused and Stan's Donuts in front of the fountain at 12:30 p.m. Email [masked] with name and Twitter handle to Rsvp. free http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140401/wicker-park/irl-sunday-doughnut-district-sampling-free-wicker-park-historic-walk

    1 · April 5, 2014

    • Eilene

      Sent an email, have no twitter handle (?), hope that works.

      April 5, 2014

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