Road Scholar : Home
Spend Christmas in Chicago

Program Number: 21261RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/22/2013 - 12/27/2013; 12/21/2014 - 12/26/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Price starting at: $1,198.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 11; 5 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Vegetarian    

Join us for a special opportunity to experience the warm holiday cheer and long-time Christmas traditions of Chicago. We’ll ride our own private trolley through the city, making stops at Christkindle Market and Macy’s to view their spectacular holiday-themed windows. We’ll sip hot chocolate in the Walnut Room and see the Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute all decked out for the holidays. From a cozy horse-drawn carriage ride amid the twinkling lights of Chicago's Magnificent Mile to the annual Poinsettia show and train exposition at Lincoln Park Conservatory, you’ll see why one of our nation’s grandest cities is at her best during Christmas.




Highlights

• On Christmas Eve, enjoy a festive holiday dinner on Chicago's famed Gold Coast.
• Explore Chicago’s great cultural treasures: the Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, Lurie Garden in Millennium Park and much more.
• Learn about Chicago’s fascinating history from outstanding instructors and on explorations throughout the city, including the Old Town with homes dating to the Victorian era.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles on uneven terrain; some stairs.




Date Specific Information

12-22-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Jewish Community Center Chicago.




Chicago

From charming old neighborhoods to late-night music clubs and a bustling pier on Lake Michigan, Chicago has a tempo that lures visitors and permanent residents alike. Home to the northern blues and jazz scene, world-class art collections, a renowned symphony orchestra and fine cuisine, Chicago has a bit of everything for everyone.



Accommodations
The Palmer House in the heart of Chicago’s downtown Loop.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Zbigniew Banas

A Polish-born graduate of the University of Chicago and Brown University, Zbigniew Banas is a well-known local journalist and scholar. He maintains a dual interest in politics and cinema, providing radio commentary and teaching classes on both subjects. For more than 20 years, he's been active in various adult education programs of the Jewish Community Center of Chicago. At present, he is also a lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Loyola University, and a Master Teacher for the Princeton Review test preparation company.
 
Marshall Jacobson

Born and raised in Chicago, Marshall Jacobson knows the Windy City! He graduated from South Shore High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in American history from the University of Illinois-Urbana and a master’s degree in social service administration at the University of Chicago. He is a Chicago Greeter and was a volunteer for five years for the Chicago Architecture Foundation as an award-winning docent. Marshall served as the vice president for development at the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, and is an active supporter and visitor to the Chicago History Museum, the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Marshall actively participates in a variety of liberal arts classes, with favorites in art history and film, at Northwestern University. Besides being a bon vivant and Renaissance man, Marshall is an actor and has performed in several productions around Chicago.
 
David Lebowitz

David Lebowitz grew up in Bridgeport, Conn., graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and then served in the U.S. Air Force in Germany. After leaving the service, he embarked upon a business career that ultimately took him to Chicago with his wife, Anita. After a number of years in manufacturing, David and Anita acquired a small retail business in Chicago’s South suburbs. Shortly after they bought the business, he started another career as an independent manufacturer’s representative serving both large and small retailers in the Midwest. After retiring, David joined SCORE, a National volunteer organization that provides mentoring and support for small businesses. His idea of relaxation is reading a good book and he loves to travel – he and Anita have enjoyed participating in a number of Road Scholar programs. Becoming Group Leaders in Chicago allows them to share their love of this great city with folks who like travel and learning as much as they do.
 
Anita Lebowitz

Anita Lebowitz is a retired “people person.” Born in Liberty, N.Y. — a small town in the Catskill Mountains — she attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., where she majored in elementary education. After meeting her husband David, who took her away to Germany for two years while he was in the U.S. Air Force, they later moved to Bridgeport, Conn., followed by Chicago’s South Side. While living in Chicago’s suburbs, Anita became the owner of a bath boutique and soon became involved in many community organizations. For more than 18 years, she served on the board of directors of a local bank — the first woman ever to do so. She was also the first woman to receive the Business Person of the Year award from the local Chamber of Commerce. Since retiring from business she continues to volunteer for many organizations. In her spare time, Anita loves to cook, bake, read, travel, garden and spend time with her family.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Palmer House Hilton Hotel
  Chicago, Illinois 5 nights
 Palmer House Hilton Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Your home away from home is Palmer House Hilton at 17 East Monroe Street, conveniently located downtown a block and a half from the Art Institute. The longest continuously operating hotel in North America, the Palmer House originally opened on September 26, 1871 as a wedding gift to Bertha Honore Palmer from her husband, Chicago merchant baron Potter Palmer. A formative early patron of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bertha Palmer personally collected and donated many of the Art Institute's masterpieces of French Impressionism, European, Asian, and American art. As the longest continuously operating hotel in North America, the Palmer House has been the destination of choice for every U.S. president since Ulysses S. Grant, world leaders and dignitaries, celebrities, and Chicago's movers-and-shakers. Catering to on-the-go visitors, who expect the finest in dining, entertainment, and services, the Palmer House is a luxury hotel in Chicago that transcends generations with a modern twist on its rich traditions. Defining the heart of Chicago's downtown Loop, the Palmer House forms an architectural nexus among the historic and modern skyscrapers of Burnham and Root, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe.
  Contact info: 17 East monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603 USA
phone: 877-865-5321
web: www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/CHIPHHH-The-Palmer-House-Hilton-Illinois/index.do
  Room amenities: The Palmer House offers spacious guest rooms featuring free Internet access in the lobby and Starbucks on lower level. In room wifi premium service $15.95/ 24 hours, in-room hairdryer, iron/ironing board, valet laundry service, adjustable thermostat, and clock radio with mp3 connection.
  Facility amenities: With its recent renovation of the public area and guest rooms, the Palmer House offers many contemporary luxuries in the grandeur of an historic setting, including complimentary Wireless Internet in the hotel lobby. Dine in Lockwood Restaurant, a critically acclaimed restaurant rooted in French and Italian traditions. Enjoy Potter's Lounge, for sophisticated, yet relaxed, conversation over drinks. The Lobby Bar features cocktails and light fare -- perfect for before dinner or the theater. Additionally, enjoy the complimentary Indoor Pool & Jacuzzi, Health Club & Fitness Center, On-site Valet Parking overnight, billed to room $72 (in/out privileges), self park - overnight, billed to room $47 (in/out privileges), and Valet Laundry Service. The Street Level offers convenient retail stores and cafes with indoor access.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Please see comments below If you would like to arrive before your program begins or stay after it ends, we have negotiated discounted rates with the Palmer House Hilton. To make those reservations, please call Elizabeth Hein, Director of Reservations, directly at 312-917-4967.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Please see comments below If you would like to arrive before your program begins or stay after it ends, we have negotiated discounted rates with the Palmer House Hilton. To make those reservations, please call Elizabeth Hein, Director of Reservations, directly at 312-917-4967.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3 pm You will be staying at Palmer House Hilton Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
1 pm You will be staying at Palmer House Hilton Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
55 E Monroe paring garage across the street from the hotel offers preferred parking discount to guests of the Palmer House. $42 overnight parking. Prices may be subject to change.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Chicago, Illinois
  Nearest city or town:  Chicago, IL
  Nearest highway: I-90.
  Nearest airport:  O'Hare International (ORD) or Midway (MDW)
  From End of Program
  Location: Chicago, Illinois
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Chicago

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Sureway Taxi
phone: 608-253-2129

 

From Midway Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Continental Airport Express
phone: 888-284-3826

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$20 one way, $36 round trip for one person;. $14 one way and $26 round trip for two people
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

one hour on average depending on traffic 

   

Prices subject to change. It is possible to call ahead for reservations but you the Airports have transportation desks and they will direct you where to get the shuttle. Shuttles run every 15 minutes. Cabs are available curb side.

 

O'Hare Aiport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Shuttles available at airport without advance reservation

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$25one-way, $46 round-trip for one person; $18 for two people one way and $34 round trip
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

35-45 minutes on average depending on traffic 

   

Very easy to get a shuttle at both Midway or O'Hare Airports. Airport has a Transportation Desk and they will direct you to where to get the shuttle. Ask for Continental Airport Express. Runs every 10-15 minutes. Prices su;bject to change

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration, Welcome Dinner and Orientation
(Sunday, December 22)

Note: Registration will be from 3 pm to 5 pm.



   
 Arrive To: Arrive at the legendary Palmer House Hilton, a four-star luxury hotel in the middle of Chicago's loop. After checking into your room, please stop at the Road Scholar Registration Table to meet your group leaders and pick up your information packet for the week.
 Afternoon: Meet your group leaders at the Road Scholar Registration Table and pick up your information packet for the week between 3 and 5 pm.
 Dinner: Dinner is at 6 pm at a long-standing popular downtown restaurant just steps away from the hotel. We will have an opportunity to begin to get to know one another and have a briefing on the plans for the week at our orientation immediately following dinner.
   
Accommodations: Palmer House Hilton Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: History of Chicago, Lurie Gardens, Holiday Trolley Ride and Ice Sculptures at the Lincoln Park Zoo
(Monday, December 23)
   
 Breakfast: Full Breakfast Buffet at the hotel beginning at 6:30 am
 Morning: Lecture on the History of Chicago with Zbigniew Banas – This morning we will explore the history of the city, with an emphasis on the waves of immigration that brought people from all over the world to the city. As each group settled in Chicago they brought along with them their own unique customs, all of which have had a profound effect on the rich culture of the city today. Following the lecture we will stroll down the street to explore the Lurie Gardens, in Chicago's Millenium Park – The motto for the City of Chicago is “Urbs In Horto,” or City in a Garden. The Lurie Garden in Millenium Park was designed to be beautiful year round. The winter garden provides a habitat for winter birds and if you look closely you may see Northern cardinals, American Goldfinches and downy woodpeckers.
 Lunch: No trip to Chicago is complete without an opportunity to experience pizza Chicago-Style! Lunch this afternoon is at a renown Chicago-style pizzeria in the Prudential Building – at one point this building was the tallest building in the City.
 Afternoon: We will climb aboard our own holiday trolley to experience all the best that the city has to offer at the holidays. Along the way we will make stops at the Christkindle Market, and to view Macy’s holiday windows, a longstanding Chicago tradition. Before we leave Macy’s we will stop inside to view the stunning Tiffany dome ceiling and to enjoy hot chocolate and a sweet treat in their renown Walnut Room, under the 45 foot Christmas tree, a tradition that Chicagoans’ have been enjoying for one hundred and six years. We will continue on to Lincoln Park Zoo where we will experience ZooLights a must-see seasonal event that includes ice sculptures and thousands of twinkling lights that bring the zoo alive after dark.
 Dinner: On your own, or join our group leaders for dinner at one of their favorite spots at your own cost. Chicago is a "restaurant town" offering you every kind of dining experience imaginable. Whatever you desire, ethnic food, steak, seafood, mom's homecooking diner style, gourmet or budget friendly, our group leaders will be happy to help you to choose a perfect place to enjoy dinner this evening.
 Evening: On your own, or join our group leaders for a jazz set at a popular downtown nightspot at your own cost.
   
Accommodations: Palmer House Hilton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Expert- led exploration of the world famous Art Institute of Chicago, Dinner on the Magnificent Mile and a charming carriage ride on Chicago's famous gold coast amid millions of twinkling holiday lights.
(Tuesday, December 24)
   
 Breakfast: Full Breakfast Buffet at the hotel beginning at 6:30 am
 Morning: Learn about the history of our hotel. The Palmer House Hilton has a long and exciting history in the City. Our docent, Joe Cuniff, will start the day with a short tour and talk about the hotel . We will stroll down the block from the hotel to the Art Institute of Chicago, internationally recognized as one of the leading fine arts institutions in the country.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own at the Art Institute. The museum offers several options for lunch ranging from a self-service cafe offering local, sustainable, seasonal ingredients in all of their dishes to a gourmet dining experience featuring authentic Italian cuisine. Whatever your choice, our group leader will be happy to point you in the right direction!
 Afternoon: Continue your exploration of the Art Institute. The permanent collection includes nearly 300,000 works of art housed in eight buildings. A highlight of any visit to the Art Institute is the Thorne Miniature Rooms. All decked out for the holidays, these built to scale representations of European and American interiors from as early as the 13th century through the 1930’s, are a not-to-be-missed highlight of our visit. Our group leaders will be returning to the hotel approximately 2:30 pm. You will have some free time this afternoon to explore Chicago. Perhaps, you will choose to spend time shopping on State Street, that great street, home to Macys (located in the original flagship store for Marshall Fields), Target (located in one of Chicago's landmark buildings designed by architect Louis Sullivan), and a number of retail establishments guaranteed to delight every avid shopper. Navy Pier is the most visited tourist destination in Chicago offering spectacular views of the lakefront. The museum campus is just blocks away from the hotel, featuring the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium.
 Dinner: This evening we will have a festive holiday dinner on Chicago's famed Gold Coast.
 Evening: Following dinner, we will climb aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a slow and cozy ride amid the millions of twinkling lights that line Chicago's Magnificent Mile.
   
Accommodations: Palmer House Hilton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Breakast and morning at leisure. Learn about Chicago's White City, enjoy a festive holiday dinner and movie of your choice.
(Wednesday, December 25)
   
 Breakfast: Full Breakfast Buffet at the hotel beginning at 6:30 am
 Morning: You will have the morning at your leisure.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own today.
 Afternoon: Learn about Chicago's White City, made famous by Erik Larsen's book, The Devil in the White City. Tomorrow we will visit in person one of the remaining buildings from this phenomenon of the World's Columbian Exhibition of 1893. This afternoon we will visit the Lincoln Park Conservatory for their annual Poinsettia show and the miniature village and train exposition. No matter what the weather outside, the Conservatory offers a warm and balmy respite where we will experience the winter flower and train show. The village feature famous Chicago buildings and homes in the Chicago-style of architecture and is entirely made of natural materials.
 Dinner: We will enjoy a festive holiday dinner downtown this evening.
 Evening: This evening you will have the opportunity to enjoy a movie of your choice at a downtown movie theatre following dinner.
   
Accommodations: Palmer House Hilton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Behind the Scenes at the Museum of Science and Industry/Exploration of Hyde Park, home of the University of Chicago and President Obama/ Improv at Second City
(Thursday, December 26)
   
 Breakfast: Full Breakfast Buffet at the hotel beginning at 6:30 am
 Morning: This morning we will board a coach bus for Hyde Park and the Museum of Science and Industry. The largest science museum in the western hemisphere, the Museum of Science and Industry contains more than 35,000 artifacts and 14 acres of hands-on experiences for all ages. The mission of the museum is to inspire inventive genius in everyone and they achieve this goal through a variety of exhibitions including the U 505 Submarine, a German sub captured in WWII and the only one in the United States and their renown exhibition on Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light, which will mark its sixty-first year this December. We will go behind the scenes for a special look at this amazing institution.
 Lunch: We will have lunch at the Museum of Science and Industry today.
 Afternoon: Following lunch we will have an opportunity to contnue to explore the museum on your own, before we board the bus for a brief tour of Hyde Park. You will have the opportunity to learn more about this unique neighborhood, home to the University of Chicago. We will have a short time to rest back at the hotel prior to departing for dinner and theatre.
 Dinner: This evening we will enjoy dinner in the historic Old Town neighborhood. This community is home to many buildings that date back to the Victorian Era and a number of the streets pre-date the Chicago Fire. Once home to Indian tribes, this neighborhood has a rich and interesting history of ethnic and socio-economic diversity. More recently, like many of the city's neighborhoods, it has undergone renovation and gentrification and it is home to The Second City and numerous popular specialty shops, boutiques and restaurants.
 Evening: This evening we will enjoy a performance of The Second City, a world renown improv comedy club whose roots are in Chicago and has continued to provide the best experiences in comedy.
   
Accommodations: Palmer House Hilton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Learn about the legendary story of the Palmer House in Chicago with Bertha Palmer, The Chicago History Museum
(Friday, December 27)
   
 Breakfast: Full Breakfast Buffet at the hotel beginning at 6:30 am
 Morning: History will come alive when Bertha Palmer (aka historian, Leslie Goddard) visits with us and shares the legendary story of her life with Potter Palmer, renown entrepreneur, businessman and original owner of the Palmer House. This morning we will have an expert-led exploration of the Chicago History Museum. The oldest cultural institution in the city, the museum explores the rich history of the city and its people.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Chicago, Illinois General Overview
Museums and galleries, sporting events, e.g., Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium, Musuem of Contemporary Art, Stained Glass Museum, Adler Planetarium, Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Lincon Park Zoo, Navy Pier. For additional information, visit www.choosechicago.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Season of Joy: Chicago Celebrates the Holidays


Author: Jim Benes


Description: For the last five years, the book "Chicago Christmas: One hundred years of Christmas Memories" has connected many Chicagoans, natives and transplants, with memories of the faces and places of their youth. In that time author Jim Benes has personally connected with his readers through book signings large and small. The question that has often come up is: Why isn't the year I was born in the book? What happened that year? With his new book , Jim brings not just the answers to these questions, but the opportunity to belong to the Season in new and meaningful ways. Jim offers both a window into the past and a doorway into the ongoing tradition that is the Chicago Holiday experience.



Christmas on State Street: 1940s and Beyond


Author: Robert P. Ledermann


Description: State Street, that Great Street. The name itself stands the test of time, remembered by anyone who lived in or visited Chicago. It is the main artery of the heart of the city. It is where memories were made and kept. This book vividly recreates, for the first time, a Christmas holiday trip down State Street. You will visit many of the major shops and stores that existed during the 1940s and beyond, viewing old display windows and getting reacquainted with famous Christmas characters such as Weiboldts's Cinnamon Bear, Montgomery Wards's Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and the crown jewel of State Street, Marshall Fields's Uncle Mistletoe. Through these historic photographs, many never before published, you will relive the excitement of State Street's Christmas parade, the charm of holiday dining in State Street's fine restaurants, and the magical wonder of a child's first holiday trip to State Street, complete with a visit to Santa.



The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival


Author: Ellen S. Farrar


Description: Chicago's North Michigan Avenue, known as The Magnificent Mile, has a long and rich tradition of celebrating the holiday season in grand style. Today the illumination of this world-famous avenue with more than one million white lights is considered by many the official start of the holiday season. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival draws some one million visitors each November. Millions more watch the televised broadcast. The development of North Michigan Avenue, known in its humble early days as Pine Street, and the creation of its holiday and tree-lighting traditions are largely attributed to a dedicated group of entrepreneurs and business leaders, known as the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association. Over the years, this line of visionary Chicagoans recognized the avenue's potential and committed to making North Michigan Avenue a world-class street with world-class holiday traditions. The North Michigan Avenue district now features 56 hotels, 275 restaurants, 460 retail locations, and numerous educational, cultural, and health care institutions and more than 18 million visitors annually. It is one of the great avenues of the world, offering one of the most iconic holiday images when it is aglow.



A Farewell to Arms


Author: Ernest Hemingway


Description: Written when Ernest Hemingway was thirty years old and lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Set against the looming horrors of the battlefieldweary, demoralized men marching in the rain during the German attack on Caporetto; the profound struggle between loyalty and desertionthis gripping, semi autobiographical work captures the harsh realities of war and the pain of lovers caught in its inexorable sweep. Ernest Hemingway famously said that he rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms thirty-nine times to get the words right. This edition collects all of the alternative endings together for the first time, along with early drafts of other essential passages, offering new insight into Hemingways craft and creative process and the evolution of one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. Featuring Hemingways own 1948 introduction to an illustrated reissue of the novel, a personal foreword by the authors son Patrick Hemingway, and a new introduction by the authors grandson Sen Hemingway, this edition of A Farewell to Arms is truly a celebration.



Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago


Author: Mike Royko


Description: This is the story of the late Richard J. Daley, politician and self-promoter extraordinaire, from his inauspicious youth on Chicago’s South Side through his rapid climb to the seat of power as mayor and boss of the Democratic Party machine. A bare-all account of Daley’s cardinal sins as well as his milestone achievements, this scathing work by Chicago journalist Mike Royko brings to life the most powerful political figure of his time: his laissez-faire policy toward corruption, his unique brand of public relations, and the widespread influence that earned him the epithet of “king maker.” The politician, the machine, the city—Royko reveals all with witty insight and unwavering honesty, in this incredible portrait of the last of the backroom Caesars. This new edition includes an Introduction in which the author reflects on Daley’s death and the future of Chicago.



Capone: The Life and World of Al Capone


Author: John Kobler


Description: The public called him Scarface; the FBI called him Public Enemy Number One; his associates called him Snorky. But Capone is the name most remember. And John Kobler’s Capone is the definitive biography of this most brutal and flamboyant of the underground kings—an intimate and dramatic book that presents a complete view of Al Capone and his gaudy era. Here is Capone’s story: his violent childhood in Brooklyn, his lieutenancy to Johnny Torrio, his rise in the ranks of the underworld, the notorious St. Valentine Massacre, his eventual control of the entire city of Chicago, and his decline during his imprisonment in Alcatraz. Capone was the ultimate gangster, and Capone is the ultimate in gangster biographies—a classic in the literature of crime.



Chicago Blues: The City & the Music


Author: Mike Rowe


Description: Chicago has always had a reputation as a ”wide open town” with a high tolerance for gangsters, illegal liquor, and crooked politicians. It has also been the home for countless black musicians and the birthplace of a distinctly urban blues—more sophisticated, cynical, and street-smart than the anguished songs of the Mississippi delta—a music called the Chicago blues. This is the history of that music and the dozens of black artists who congregated on the South and Near West Sides. Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Tampa Red, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Otis Rush, Sonny Boy Williamson, Junior Wells, Eddie Taylor—all of these giants played throughout the city and created a musical style that had imitators and influence all over the world.



Chicago Days: 150 Defining Moments in the Life of a Great City


Author: Chicago Tribune


Description: Journey back through time to relive events that shaped the Chicago metropolitan area and contributed to its world-class reputation. Chicago Days is a collection of 150 essays and 500 dramatic photographs compiled from the voluminous files of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Historical Society, and other important collections.



Chicago Then and Now


Author: Elizabeth McNulty


Description: The latest installment in the popular Then and Now series showcases the capital of the Heartland and one of the premier cities in the nation and the world: Chicago. Chicago's change and growth over the last century is captured in this photographic history. Modern color photos sit side by side with black and white archival photographs. Every important building, avenue, neighborhood, and point of interest is documented. It covers all of Chicago's landmarks from Navy Pier to the Stockyards and from the Southside all the way up the Magnificent Mile. Take in a game at Wrigley Field, then take it all in from the top of the Sear's Tower. The Water Tower and all the other architectural features that make Chicago great are also included.



Chicago: A Brief History


Author: Vook


Description: "Chicago: A Brief History" presents a comprehensive look at the city’s transformation from a fur trade outpost to America’s Second City. This compact digital compendium helps you track the diverse forces that shaped the city as we know it. You’ll explore the exciting history behind the city’s cultural, economic, and architectural mainstays. You’ll also gain valuable insight into groundbreaking Chicago events and major figures down through history, including: The Birth of a Major Trade City The Great Fire of 1871 Construction of the Sears Tower Chicago’s “Public Enemies” The University of Chicago ...and more.



Death at the Fair


Author: Frances McNamara


Description: The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition provides a vibrant backdrop for this exciting new mystery. Emily Cabot is one of the first women graduate students at the University of Chicago, eager to prove herself in the new field of sociology. While she is busy exploring the Exposition with her family and friends, her colleague, Dr. Stephen Chapman, is accused of murder. Emily sets out to search for the truth behind the crime, but is thwarted by the thieves, corrupt politicians, and gamblers who are ever-present in Chicago. A lynching that occurred in the dead man's past leads Emily to seek the assistance of the black activist Ida B. Wells. Rich with historical details that bring turn-of-the-century Chicago to life, this novel will appeal equally to history buffs and mystery fans.



Lost Chicago


Author: David Garrard Lowe


Description: The City of Big Shoulders has always been our most quintessentially American—and world-class—architectural metropolis. In the wake of the Great Fire of 1871, a great building boom—still the largest in the history of the nation—introduced the first modern skyscrapers to the Chicago skyline and began what would become a legacy of diverse, influential, and iconoclastic contributions to the city’s built environment. Though this trend continued well into the twentieth century, sour city finances and unnecessary acts of demolishment left many previous cultural attractions abandoned and then destroyed. Lost Chicago explores the architectural and cultural history of this great American city, a city whose architectural heritage was recklessly squandered during the second half of the twentieth century. David Garrard Lowe’s crisp, lively prose and over 270 rare photographs and prints, illuminate the decades when Gustavus Swift and Philip D. Armour ruled the greatest stockyards in the world; when industrialists and entrepreneurs such as Cyrus McCormick, Potter Palmer, George Pullman, and Marshall Field made Prairie Avenue and State Street the rivals of New York City’s Fifth Avenue; and when Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, and Frank Lloyd Wright were designing buildings of incomparable excellence. Here are the mansions and grand hotels, the office buildings that met technical perfection (including the first skyscraper), and the stores, trains, movie palaces, parks, and racetracks that thrilled residents and tourists alike before falling victim to the wrecking ball of progress.



Loving Frank


Author: Nancy Horan


Description: I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current. So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives. In this ambitious debut novel, fact and fiction blend together brilliantly. While scholars have largely relegated Mamah to a footnote in the life of America’s greatest architect, author Nancy Horan gives full weight to their dramatic love story and illuminates Cheney’s profound influence on Wright. Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual. Horan’s Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world. Mamah’s is an unforgettable journey marked by choices that reshape her notions of love and responsibility, leading inexorably ultimately lead to this novel’s stunning conclusion.



Presumed Innocent


Author: Scott Turow


Description: Hailed as the most suspenseful and compelling novel in decades, PRESUMED INNOCENT brings to life our worst nightmare: that of an ordinary citizen facing conviction for the most terrible of all crimes. It's the stunning portrayal of one man's all-too-human, all-consuming fatal attraction for a passionate woman who is not his wife, and the story of how his obsession puts everything he loves and values on trial--including his own life. It's a book that lays bare a shocking world of betrayal and murder, as well as the hidden depths of the human heart. And it will hold you and haunt you...long after you have reached its shattering conclusion. Biography Scott Turow was born in Chicago in 1949. He graduated with high honors from Amherst College in 1970, receiving a fellowship to Stanford University Creative Writing Center which he attended from 1970 to 1972. From 1972 to 1975 Turow taught creative writing at Stanford. In 1975, he entered Harvard Law School, graduating with honors in 1978. From 1978 to 1986, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, serving as lead prosecutor in several high-visibility federal trials investigating corruption in the Illinois judiciary. In 1995, in a major pro bono legal effort he won a reversal in the murder conviction of a man who had spent 11 years in prison, many of them on death row, for a crime another man confessed to. Today, Scott Turow is a partner in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal an international law firm, where his practice centers on white-collar criminal litigation and involves representation of individuals and companies in all phases of criminal matters. Turow lives outside Chicago



Return to the Scene of the Crime: A Guide to Infamous Places in Chicago


Author: Richard Lindberg


Description: This is an uncensored neighborhood-by-neighborhood map to the back alleys and boulevards of Chicago where some of the most infamous events of the city's criminal past occurred. Capone, Dillinger, and other organized crime figures have left an indelible imprint on the Windy City.



The Chicago River: A Natural and Unnatural History


Author: Libby Hill


Description: An Intimate Biography of the Heroic Creek that Chicago Made When French explorers Jolliet and Marquette used the Chicago portage to access the Mississippi River system, the Chicago River was but a humble, even sluggish, stream in the right place at the right time. That's the story of the making of Chicago. This is the other story--the story of the making and perpetual re-making of a river by everything from pre-glacial forces to the interventions of an emerging and mighty city.



The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America


Author: Erik Larson


Description: Erik Larson intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.



The Old Man & The Sea


Author: Ernest Hemingway


Description: It is the story of an epic struggle between an old, seasoned fisherman and the greatest catch of his life. For eighty-four days, Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed. So conspicuously unlucky is he that the parents of his young devoted apprentice and friend, manolin, have forced the boy to leave the old man in order to fish in a more prosperous boat. nevertheless, the boy continues to care for the old man upon his return each night. He helps the old man tote his gear to his ramshackle hut, secures food for him, and discusses the latest developments in American baseball, especially the trials of the old man's hero, Joe Dimaggio. Santiago is confident that his unproductive streak will soon come to an end, and he resolves to sail out farther than usual the following day.





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