River North, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Chicago, has experienced unparalleled evolution over the past 200 years – and we take you on a trip through time to tell its amazing story.


Dull, inert cities...contain the seeds of their own destruction and little else. But lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration…
— Jane Jacobs

About This Tour Route...

On this tour, Learn about Things like:

  • The absolute destruction of the city by the infamous Great Fire of 1871, and the immediate creation of a second version of our city -- the "Second City";
  • The Water Tower that become a lasting symbol of Chicago’s determined drive to survive;
  • Opulent mansions that sprang up in the immediate rebuilding of the city after the Great Fire;
  • The amazing contrast between the fortress-like mansions of the 1800s, to the soaring glass skyscrapers that dazzle our eyes today -- buildings that are built with the ability to "perform" for their audience (you!);
  • Much, much more!

TOUR DETAILS:

  • Mondays at 11am
  • Tours last 2 hours
  • Tours cover 1.5 miles on foot
  • Ticket prices:
    • $25 general admission (ages 11 and up) 
    • $20 children (ages 6-10) and seniors (over 65)
    • Free for kids under 6
  • Runs rain or shine, unless otherwise noted.
  • Tour starts outside the main entrance to the Historic Water Tower, located at the NW corner of Chicago Ave. and Michigan Ave. The main entrance is on the west side of the building, facing a small plaza with a fountain and chairs.

River North, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Chicago, has experienced unparalleled evolution over the past 200 years – and Inside Chicago Walking Tours takes you on a trip through time to tell its amazing story.  It has grown from a desolate, pine-filled, swampy wasteland, to a bustling, dirty, industrial center, to the famous, upscale home of the “Mag Mile” that we know today.  If we could see a time-lapse video of this particular area from the late 1770s to now, we would witness so many necessary pieces of the Chicago puzzle falling into place, pieces that you'll learn about on this tour route.

On this tour route, you'll learn about the rebirth of Chicago after the Great Fire, and as you watch other tourists rushing from place to place in this busy neighborhood, you'll leisurely stroll along on your walking tour with a deeper appreciation for the history and evolution of this central area.  Lying just a couple blocks away from popular stores and restaurants is an area that takes you back to the earliest days of the "Second" version of Chicago.

River North, with its mansions, churches, and fascinating architecture – new and old – delights visitors year-round.  Inside Chicago Walking Tours is proud to have the privilege of showing you this historically rich neighborhood, and delighting you with some of its hidden stories.

 

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