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Wander the West Loop

Come explore the West Loop with us on Saturday!

This is an area loaded with art galleries, antique stores, restaurants and wholesale food establishments, most of which are open to the public on Saturday.  Tom Besore will lead a three mile walk through this eclectic area.  We will duck into a gallery or three along the way. In fact, many of you may wish to just come along with the group, but take leave of us when you find that awesome gallery that you want to spend more time inside!  You can always catch up with us at the end for a drink!

We will gather at 11am just outside the el station here on Clinton & Lake.  Come earlier if you want to grab coffee ahead of time.   Look for the large Meetup Group.  If you cannot find us, text or call me at (312) 725-0223.  If you're running late, you can also check the comments using your smartphone for an update with a link to our current location.

If you stay with us for the whole walk, you're in for a huge treat.  There is a local artisan food festival happening at the end of our route!  The route link below is a general guide only .... we'll likely tighten it up toward the end due to time constraints.  Expect the walk to be 2.5 hours, but you're welcome to stay with us as long as you like, duck into a coffee shop or head back early if you get tired!  Public transportation and cabs are easy to come by in this area.


Here is our route map:


and a few of the places we'll be near

Chicago French Market

West Loop Art Galleries

Mars Gallery

Packer Schopf Gallery

Green Home Chicago

Jan's Antiques (check out the stained glass page)

The Beer Bistro

Chicago Game & Gourrmet

Isaacson & Stein Fish Co.

J.P. Graziano Grocery




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  • A former member
    A former member

    Tom - Thank you for a truly great walk. Your tour makes me feel fortunate to live in Chicago!

    April 15, 2014

  • Mary A.

    Tom…Outstanding job! really great to see parts of Chicago coming alive that I barely knew existed…your real estate comments were hilarious!

    April 14, 2014

  • Sylvia

    Fun and informative walk. Thank you, Tom!

    April 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I didn't know the Holden building had eight different window surround patterns, but if you look at the pictures from the walk, sure enough there they are.

    For more information on the Holden building history check these links, the first one is the city designation of
    landmark status -

    2 · April 13, 2014

  • Nicole

    This was my first time attending a WCE event and I really enjoyed myself. Tom is very personable and passionate about Chicago's architectural preservation and I really enjoyed learning about the history of the West Loop and various architectural highlights along our route. Bonus: I scored about 8500 steps towards my 10,000 daily target (using FitBit to track fitness).

    3 · April 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    We saw an amazing number of interesting buildings and areas. Tom had a great commentary going the whole way. The group was so much fun and full of insights. Super walk.

    April 12, 2014

  • Bonnie T.

    I've never walked around the West Loop. It was so refreshing to see an area of the city that has 19th century and early 20th century warehouses, factories and apartment buildings along side new development. Tom Besore discussed the reality of the mix of contemporary structures with the old. He loves Chicago neighborhoods, architecture and city planning -- he made the walk a breeze. Just walk around and enjoy the show. Thanks, Tom!

    April 12, 2014

  • Jasminka

    Nice. Good weather.

    April 12, 2014

  • Jim B.

    pleasant walk in an area of the city I am unfamiliar with and nice group of people

    April 12, 2014

  • Bruce

    The tour was outstanding. Very informative; the small group size, at fifty, made it easy to hear Tom, who gave especially good insights on architecture, history, and real estate. A very thoughtful and professional tour leader.

    2 · April 12, 2014

  • Ursula M.

    Where r u all?

    April 12, 2014

  • Tom B.

    Pre walk coffee at Starbucks. Current Location:,-87.64294721

    April 12, 2014

  • Virginia K.

    Is there any parking nearby?

    April 11, 2014

  • Fitz

    I am kind of new to this. I did put myself on the wait list and received an e-mail that a spot opened up. I have since made plans so I won't be able to go. I am not sure whether I should ignore the e-mail or select "rsvp." I am sure someone else will sign up. Advice on this?

    April 11, 2014

    • Tom B.

      You are notified about spots opening up; but you're not automatically signed up. To get any spot that opens, you have to be the first to grab it manually on the site. That's to prevent situations as you describe where people are added even after they've made alternate plans and can no longer attend.

      April 11, 2014

    • Fitz

      Thanks for the information. Much appreciated. Hope everyone has fun.

      April 11, 2014

  • Debbie

    Something came up and I have to miss this walk tomorrow. Just changed my RSVP so someone can come off the wait list.

    1 · April 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looks like there's a waiting list for this walk. :(

    April 11, 2014

  • Isabelle

    I really wanted to go and hit yes by mistake . I fractured my ankle and am on crutches for the next 6 weeks so the walks are out for now:(

    April 9, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I don't want to intrude on the agenda that someone has laid out for you, but if you get the chance to walk by the CTA headquarters building, on the corner of Lake and Jefferson, look up over the main entrance, inside the building, at the neon sculpture called "Transit," by John Bannon, 2005. It is a three-dimensional representation of the 8 CTA L lines and easily visible from outside. Also, a few blocks south, the Citigroup Center (1987, Helmut Jahn), from the south entrance, on Madison Street, the entrance is a postmodern take on the massive telescoping arched doors and windows that Louis Sullivan used on the Transportation Building at the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

    3 · April 9, 2014

  • Therie

    Bummer! I missed this walk last year too. I LOVE this neighborhood.

    April 8, 2014

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