I am proud to partner with the BBC (British Bicycles of Chicago) to bring you an architectural and historical bike tour of the Village of Oak Park, our first venture into the 'burbs, to be followed by one new suburb a year and the beginning of their rotation in the overall tour schedule.
With a population of over 50,000, it is one of the largest municipalities in the state. It is the perfect suburb for architecture fans. It boasts the largest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings anywhere in the world, as well as a stunning array of Prairie School buildings and wonderful Victorians from other architecture luminaries such as E. E. Roberts, Charles White Jr., John Van Bergen, Tallmadge and Watson, and George Maher. The village boasts one of the most densely packed tours we have ever offered. None of it would have been possible without the help of Garth Katner of the BBC and without our inspiration from Philander Barclay, a bike repair shop owner who cycled the city taking photographs of the buildings and people of Oak Park and River Forest. First he began collecting photos in the 1880s and by 1902 started taking his own pictures, many of which are now in the collection of the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. He is the perfect muse for this venture.