The Chainlink

Tour of Bridgeport and Armour Square


Tour of Bridgeport and Armour Square

Time: July 6, 2013 from 11am to 4pm
Location: McGuane Park
Street: 29th and Halsted
City/Town: Chicago, IL
Website or Map:
Phone: 773-255-6347
Event Type: architectural, social, historical
Organized By: Lee Diamond
Latest Activity: Jul 9, 2013

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The history of the Bridgeport and Armour Square area is as old as Chicago itself. Native Americans used the area as a portage, particularly when the Chicago River was at its deepest, and most spread out. Later, Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored the region in 1673, proposing the addition of a canal to aid in the region’s natural use as a transportation center and trading route. Some 175 years later, the Illinois and Michigan Canal created jobs and enabled industries and fueled the growth of the Bridgeport area and the city of Chicago. Freight and passenger rail followed by commuter rail expansion divided the areas of Armour Square and Bridgeport, and fenced in the areas by hard boundaries like the South Branch of the Chicago River and the rail lines. The expansion of the Federal Highway System and the construction of the Dan Ryan and Adlai E. Stevenson Expressways and various merging ramps and exits further served to cut off the two areas from one-another, and in many ways, the areas from the rest of the city, despite its past as a transportation hub.

The built history of the region is fascinating in both its plethora of early examples of architecture that still survives, and a long history of styles, marking the expansion of different immigrant communities into the area, and the changing of architectural norms. There are more than 200 notable buildings and locations along the way of the ride, with over a dozen stops and detailed explanations of the buildings, their history, the background of the area, and the story of two of Chicago’s most fascinating communities.

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Comment by We all have an inner Beast... on July 9, 2013 at 12:48pm

This was my first bike tour ever.

A friend of mine suggested that we do this, and we did.


It was in my neighborhood, and I (and my friend) learned quite a few things that we didn't know about our neighborhood. And we both grew up in that area !

It wasn't a fast paced tour, which also made it a pleasant experience.

The tour group was friendly, and Lee (the group leader, moderator, narrator extraordinaire) was great ! They even had loaner helmets, tire pump, and I am sure some patch kits and tools.

Like I said, I had an awesome time !

Maybe I will get out to more of thse in the near future.





Comment by Lee Diamond on July 5, 2013 at 1:55pm

Somehow no monsoon is planned.

I want to point out that the awesome Blue City Cycles is treating us to a little rest/break midway or so on our tour of Bridgeport and Armour Square.  Thanks Owen and Clare!

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