Back the Bid Chicago Architecture Foundation Tour Review – Brought Back by Popular Demand

Back the Bid for Chicago 2016 Olympics and Paralympics

If you missed the original September 13 Back the Bid Bus Tour, you've got another chance--on Sunday, September 27! The CAF has taken one of its most encyclopedic tours, the Chicago Highlights Tour (a $40 value) and merged it with a tour of some of the proposed venues for the 2016 Olympics.  The Highlights Tour is so comprehensive, so utterly fascinating it's would be a bargain at twice the price.  But instead of raising the price, on Back the Bid Day, you can also visualize the 2016 events and venues for about HALF PRICE, $20.16.  Not only will you be able to see the proposed sites in their neighborhoods, you'll have a chance to see for yourself the magnificent Chicago we will be presenting to the world.

The Rookery

You will discover the exciting diversity of Chicago architecture on this 30-mile odyssey. Travel through the Loop, Hyde Park, the Gold Coast, several historic districts, two university campuses ( IIT and U of C), parks and residential neighborhoods including the South Loop and Bronzeville.

Crown Hall, IIT

Stops include Mies van der Rohe’s IIT campus and an interior tour of Glessner House by Boston architect H.H. Richardson. Glessner House provides a glimpse of Richardson's ground-breaking design philosophy and a beautiful Arts and Craft interior lovingly restored back to its 19th century condition.

Glessner Arch

The tour will highlight the neighborhoods surrounding these venues and showcase the significant architecture and landscaping found in these diverse communities, including the Kenwood, Hyde Park and University of Chicago neighborhoods where President Obama lived, worked and played.

Somewhat visible part of President Obama's home

The Back the Bid Tour includes the proposed site for the Olympic Village (currently Michael Reese Hospital), potential event spaces in Grant Park, several parts of the lakefront that are targeted for water sport events, training, residence and the site of the Olympic Stadium in Washington Park.

The Proposed Plans for the Olympics

Since the 2016 committee has not made a lot of final decisions about the design or look for most of the venues, most of the commentary will be about "proposals" and "plans."  But the docent for the tour will also use the renderings of the proposed venues that are included in the Chicago Model City exhibition currently on display in their atrium gallery.

Exhibits in the Atrium Gallery

3 1/2 hours long, the bus will return to the CAF at 224 S. Michigan around 1:00pm. Guests are invited to bring a bag lunch and beverage and there is also a restroom on board.

The Back the Bid Tour Bus Photo: Vincent Chung

Take this opportunity to view all the exhibits in the Atrium Gallery:

Chicago Model City
A highlight of the citywide Burnham celebration, Chicago Model City draws tourists and locals alike and consists of a large, highly detailed scale model of Chicago, photographs, maps, videos, and computer animations. The scale of the model is 1 inch to 50 feet, making the Sears Tower nearly three feet tall!

Chicago Model City in the atrium gallery

Chicago Model City Gallery Talks
Fridays and Saturdays at 12:30pm
Twenty-minute gallery talks introduce visitors to the ideas and themes behind the new exhibition, Chicago Model City.

B Like Burnham
This exhibition helps CAF visitors; especially families with children understand the man, the Plan, and the legacy of Daniel H. Burnham.

Chicago: You Are Here
An engaging permanent exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Foundation provides images, models, artifacts and video presentations, encouraging visitors to explore the architecture, infrastructure and environment of Chicago.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation Shop and Tour Center

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public interest and education in architecture and design. CAF presents a comprehensive program of 85 tours, exhibitions, lectures, special events, and adult and youth education activities, all designed to enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Chicago’s outstanding architectural legacy.

Because no art other than architecture so vividly expresses what Chicago is and where it is going, CAF will educate the public to expect the highest standards from Chicago's built environment.

Chicago Architecture Foundation
Kim Alexander for Chicago Splash


When:   Sunday, September 27, 2009 9:30 AM
 At 9:10 am, 20 minutes before departure
Where: CAF Shop & Tour Center in the Santa Fe Building,  224 S. Michigan Avenue. Across from the Art Institute, next to Symphony Center
Cost: Per person $ 20.16 
Buy tickets online:
Cost Notes: All tickets are priced at $20.16. No discounts for seniors, students or CAF members.
Duration: 3.5 hours
Reservation: Recommended
Reservation Notes: 
Ticketmaster fees will apply to on-line and phone purchases.
Phone reservations for non-members: 1.800.982.2787.
CAF members can reserve by calling: 312.922.3432 x230.
Maximum Capacity: 50

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