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Tours

One of the best ways to get a feel for the people and communities in the Chicago area is to take advantage of one or more of this year’s Spotlight Tours. This year’s complement of tours is offered in cooperation with the Urban Life Center (ULC) in Chicago. The Urban Life Center (www.urbanlifecenter.org) links college students to urban communities and organizations through academic seminars and volunteer internships, for semesters, summer sessions, and LearnChicago! weekend and weeklong tours and workshops. ASA’s tour program also features some of the popular tours led by ASA members when the Association met in Chicago several years ago.

The schedule of tours is provided below, with descriptions and capacity limits. Reservations are required and may be made by completing the Tour Reservation portion of the meeting registration form. Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Confirmations will be mailed prior to the Annual Meeting. Tickets will accompany program packets, which may be picked up at ASA Preregistration counters in the Hilton Chicago upon your arrival at the Annual Meeting. Please see the ASA website for further details about reservations.

No matter which adventure you decide to embark upon, there is one common denominator: the way to experience and learn about a city is to meet with, talk to, and learn from the people who live there.

Tour 1: The TIFing of Chicago
Friday, August 16, 9 am – noon (Fee: $35.00, includes lunch)

Leader: Scott Chesebro, Urban Life Center
See how Tax Increment Financing and other development initiatives are replacing old industrial zones, creating trendy neighborhoods, and replacing public housing. Starting in the South Loop, the tour will also explore two important neighborhoods which shaped the economic character of Chicago: Pullman, and South Chicago. We’ll visit the sites of USS and Wisconsin Steel with a stop at the Union Hall and a meeting with Frank Lumpkin, union organizer, and then have lunch in the historic Pullman community. Urban Life Center Executive Director Scott Chesebro will lead the tour. (Bus/Walking Tour, limited to 13 people)

Tour 2: Pakistani Chicago: An Introduction
Friday, August 16, 9 am – noon (Fee: $35.00, includes lunch)

Leader: Mitch Covic, Urban Life Center
This Urban Life Center LearnChicago! tour takes you to Albany Park, a long-time port of entry neighborhood for generations of immigrants. We’ll visit with a Muslim religious leader associated with the Muslim Community Center to hear about the Center’s role in the community and how they are dealing with their newfound attention. We’ll also meet with a member of the Devon /Northtown Business Association to take a walking tour of Devon Street, immersing ourselves in the characteristic sights, sounds and smells of this large Pakistani and Indian enclave. You’ll have the opportunity to sample sari shops, Arabic bookstores, beauty salons, hallal markets, sweet shops, and other businesses in the neighborhood. Urban Life Center Instructor Mitch Covic leads the tour, which includes a superb Pakistani lunch buffet at the Sultan Palace Restaurant. (Walking/Bus Tour, 10-13 participants)

Tour 3: Discovering Pilsen: A Piece of Mexico in Chicago
Friday, August 16, 2:30 – 6:00 pm (Fee: $25.00)

Leader: Atanacio Gonzalez, University of Illinois, Chicago
The tour will visit a vibrant Mexican community and look at its surrounding environment, industrial area, commercial street, housing, community centers, churches, community development projects, and the Mexican Fine Arts Museum. The tour will include driving and walking through the area and culminate with supper in a local restaurant. Tour participants will receive a small packet of demographics and a description of the area. Participants are encouraged to bring a donation for the Mexican Fine Arts Museum. (Bus/Walking Tour, limited to 23 participants)

Tour 4: Chicago’s Palestinian Community
Friday, August 16, 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm (Fee: $40.00, includes dinner)

Leader: Scott Chesebro, Urban Life Center
The demand for this LearnChicago! Urban Life Center tour has increased dramatically since September 11. We’ll take you into the heart of one of Chicago’s Palestinian communities, where you’ll see how Islamic faith, cultural integrity and economic contributions have greatly benefited the city far beyond the neighborhood’s borders. We’ll start with a visit the Palestinian American Mosque on 63rd & Homan, a target of vandalism since the attacks, and meet members of the mosque, including the Imam and Mosque President for a discussion of Islam, the role of women, and other topics. Also in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood are two important institutions: the Arab Community Center and Southwest Youth Collaborative. We’ll meet with community leaders to discuss how the neighborhood is working to combat the feelings of fear and how youth from Arab, Latino, Lithuanian and Polish ancestry are coming together. Urban Life Center’s Executive Director Scott Chesebro will lead the tour, which includes a memorable Palestinian dinner. (Walking/Bus Tour, limited to 13 participants)

Tour 5: Chicago Blues Tour
Friday, August 16, 8:00 pm, (Fee: $40.00, includes cover charges at all clubs, but not the beverage minimums)

Leader: Valerie Wallace, Urban Life Center
Urban Life Center has been introducing visitors to authentic blues venues for over 30 years. We’ll take you to our pick of tonight’s performers, and promise to get your mojo workin’ in style. We’ll be accompanied by University of Illinois Professor Emeritus and blues poet Sterling Plumpp, writer of Blues: the Story Always Untold, and winner of the Carl Sandburg Award. Urban Life Center’s Administrative Director, Valerie Wallace, will serve as tour facilitator. There is a one beverage minimum at each club (approx. $5). (Bus/Walking Tour, limited to 13 participants)

Tour 6: Discovering the Chicago School: From the Gold Coast to the Taxi Dance Hall
Saturday, August 17, 8:30 – 11:00 am (Fee: $15.00)

Leader: Ray Hutchison, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
The Chicago School of Urban Sociology produced some of the most memorable studies of urban life in the 1920s. While many of the neighborhoods have been lost to the aggressive urban renewal programs of the 1960s as well as the 1990s, there still is much to be seen. The tour will travel to the locations where Harvey Zorbough’s The Gold Coast and the Slum, Louis Wirth’s The Ghetto, Paul Cressey’s The Taxi Dance Hall, Nels Anderson’s The Hobo, and St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton’s Black Metropolis were written, and conclude with a visit to the University of Chicago campus. (Bus/Walking tour, limited to 34 participants)

Tour 7: Chicago History: Hyde Park and Bronzeville
Saturday, August 17, 9:00 am – noon (Fee: $30.00, does not include lunch)

Leader: Scott Chesebro, Urban Life Center
This Urban Life Center LearnChicago! Tour will give you an insider’s perspective, as our tour guide is noted historian Timuel Black. You’ll get acquainted with two of Chicago’s most historic communities, one the birthplace of urban sociology and the other the focus of one of sociology’s most famous studies, the Black Metropolis. The tour will include sites such as the birthplace of Gospel, the Kenwood Mansion District and home of Minister Louis Farrakahn. (Bus/Walking Tour, limited to 13 participants)

Tour 8: Loop District via the Elevated Train
Saturday, August 17, 10:30 am-12:30 pm (Fee: $6.00)

Leader: Rick Schaefer, DePaul University
Participants will take a special elevated train around the Loop that will provide a brief history of the 100-year-old downtown area and the elevated system. We will ride in a uniquely routed “L” train that is not a part of the usual mass transit system. This tour train will slowly circle the business district three times. Participants are guided by narration provided by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. We will have a unique vantage point from the train on the elevated structure for viewing the heart of Chicago’s business district with its international renowned architecture. Some of the thirty-six building considered will include those designed by D.H. Burnham, Louis H. Sullivan, Helmut Jahn, and others. Architectural firms represented include Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill, Holabird & Roche. Printed materials and maps are provided for use on the tour train and for later use as a pedestrian on your own. Participants should be prepared to walk eight blocks to where we board the special train. (Walking/Public Transportation tour, limited to 125 participants)

Tour 9: An Insider’s Guide to Jazz
Saturday, August 17, 8:00 pm (Fee: $40.00, includes cover charges at all clubs, but not the beverage minimums)

Leader: Valerie Wallace, Urban Life Center
Jazz clubs proliferate in the city, but where do musicians go to play for each other? Join Urban Life Center Administrative Director Valerie Wallace and our south-side Jazz DJ guest for an intimate and fun ride into Chicago’s jazz scene. We’ll visit at least two clubs to get a sampling of the latest in the Chicago and world music scene. There is a one beverage minimum purchase requirement (approx. $5) at each club. (Bus/Walking Tour, limited to 13 participants)

Tour 10: The Puerto Rican Community
Sunday, August 18, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon (Fee: $25.00, includes lunch)

Leaders: Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, University of Illinois, Chicago; and Jose Lopez, Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Encased by the world’s largest monuments to the flag, “Paseo Boricua” has become the cultural and economic heartbeat of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. The steel-structured Puerto Rican flags, which weigh 45 tons apiece and measure 59 feet vertically and 59 feet into the ground, are truly an engineering and architectural feat. “Paseo Boricua” stretches along seven blocks on Division Street in the Humboldt Park community and presents a microcosm of the Puerto Rican historical and cultural experience. The 50 light poles adorned with laser-etched wrought iron banners, representing images of the three cultural experiences that define the Puerto Rican people (the Taino, Spanish, and West African), the 16 placitas along the walkway, the variety of businesses with a Puerto Rican accent, all testify to this reality. Several times a year, “Paseo Boricua” is dressed in gala, celebrating some of the most important days of the Puerto Rican calendar, such as the Three Kings Day, the People’s Parade, the Fiestas Patronales, and Feista Boricua. “Paseo Boricua” is indeed a vibrant and dynamic example of the possibilities and the promise of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. This walking tour of “Paseo Boricua” is designed to provide participants with an understanding of the history and the social, political, and economic development of the Puerto Rican community in Chicago. Participants will enjoy a typical Puerto Rican meal at a local restaurant. (Bus/Walking Tour, limited to 22 participants)

Tour 11: Chicago’s South Side
Sunday, August 18, 9:00 am – noon (Fee: $35.00, includes lunch)

Leader: Arvis Averette, Urban Life Center
This Urban Life Center LearnChicago! tour is one of our most popular. You’ll see for yourself the economic and social diversity that exists in the city south of the Loop, and learn about the ethnic, political, and business interests centered here. The South Side is home to many communities, including the largest contiguous African American population in the nation. We’ll visit Bronzeville, the “Harlem of the Midwest,” Hyde Park, the city’s most integrated neighborhood, middle- and upper-class African American communities, as well as the largest public housing track in the country, Chinatown, and the white ethnic enclave of Bridgeport (home to most of Chicago’s mayors). See first-hand how the now illegal practices of red-lining and block-busting helped shape these communities, and discover centers of American culture and rich history. Urban Life Center Social Work Instructor Arvis Averette leads the tour, which includes a Soul food lunch, approximately $10. (Bus/Walking Tour, limited to 13 participants)

Tour 12: Hull-House Museum
Sunday, August 18, 2:30-5:30 pm (Fee: $20.00)

Leader: Gene Burd, University of Texas
ASA delegates will visit the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, popular pilgrimage spot for tourists and historians and site of that famous landmark with historic roots in sociology at the western edge of downtown Chicago on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, whose 200-acre urban renewal project erased and replaced the famous old immigrant neighborhood of 10,000 residents surrounding the House in the early 1960s. Museum guides and curators will review the legacy of Addams and the House, displaying memorabilia, mementoes, photographs, and rooms in the restored 1856 Victorian-style Hull mansion, which survived the campus demolition of 13 other linked structures composing the complex called Hull-House, which was founded in 1889, and was to become the birthplace of much of the American Progressive and women’s movements early in the 20th Century and was home or haven for both caring residents and a refuge for free-thinkers and social critics. They included Jane Addams’ social work colleagues Grace Abbott, Edith and Alice Hamilton, Florence Kelley and Jessie Binford; and public figures like John Dewey, George Herbert Mead, Frank Lloyd Wright, Eugene Debs, Clarence Darrow and Theodore Roosevelt; and resident Albion Small—the first department chairman of a new field called Sociology at the new University of Chicago, founded in 1891. After the formal House tour, Gene Burd (University of Texas, Austin), one of the last Hull-House residents in the early 1960s, will discuss the House’s relation to sociology as he recalls his “Living at Hull-House in Its Last Days 41 Years Ago,” when he was a graduate student doing ethnographic field research while working with remaining Addams associates and House neighbors trying to save the community from federal bulldozers. (Bus/ Walking Tour, limited to 25 participants)