You must be a registered RCMA Emerge 2017 attendee to participate in these tours. All tour itineraries subject to change and availability. Visit RCMA’s website to register. Visit Choose Chicago’s website to enjoy other tours in Chicago on your own.
Your city tour will cover iconic Chicago venues and locations starting on the Magnificent Mile - our high-end shopping district and home to some amazing cultural institutions and historical buildings. From here you will head north to see the Lincoln Park Zoo and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Turn back south to experience a portion of the 26 miles of uninterrupted lakefront that Chicago has to offer including Navy Pier.
The tour will continue through the Loop, Chicago’s downtown core, to see many of the architectural treasures the city is known for. From here drive past and learn about our city “front yard” including Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, Buckingham Fountain and Grant Park.
Leaving our extensive parks you will then travel onward to explore the Museum Campus where you will have a chance to experience and photograph Chicago’s scenic skyline from Lake Michigan on Northerly Island after hearing about the architecture and offerings of the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and Soldier Field.
From the Museum Campus you will make your way further south down Lake Shore Drive to explore the Hyde Park neighborhood. Here you will see the Museum of Science and Industry and learn a little bit about the 1893 Colombian World Fair. You will visit and see some of the University of Chicago campus, which is an architectural masterpiece. You will also see Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece Robie House, President Obama’s house, Muhammad Ali’s Chicago House, Louis Farrakhan’s house and the Julius Rosenwald House (founder of MSI and most likely one of the largest houses in Chicago).
Following your visit to Hyde Park you will return back to McCormick Square where you will be able to see several of the buildings on the McCormick Campus as well as the new Event Center and Marriott Marquis, currently under construction and scheduled to be done in mid to late 2017.
12:30 PM: Departure
3:30 PM: Return
Located in the heart of the Old Town and Lincoln Park neighborhoods of Chicago are two cultural gems... Moody Bible Church & The Chicago History Museum. Experience a tour that delves into Chicago’s past, present, and future.
Moody Bible Church Tour Highlights:
The Chicago History Museum has over 22 million artifacts.
Exhibition highlights include:
12:30 PM: Departure
3:30 PM: Return
To learn more about the history of Chicago, consider visiting a church. This first-hand experience will give you a unique perspective of both the people who founded the church and the people who worship there today. You will go from the underground to the sky and get an inside view of the rich and vibrant history of 5 of Chicago’s oldest and most iconic churches.
The Gothic Revival building that currently houses Second Presbyterian Church was designed by architect James Renwick and completed in 1874. Renwick is famous for his Gothic architecture and was the designer of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and the Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C. He had also designed the original building for Second Presbyterian Church, known as the Spotted Church that stood at the northeast corner of Washington and Wabash Streets in Chicago until it was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. After a fire destroyed the roof and much of the nave of the current church in 1900, it was rebuilt by architect and life-long church member Howard Van Doren Shaw. Shaw collaborated with his friend Frederic Clay Bartlett, a muralist, for the project. Influenced by the English and American Arts and Crafts movement, Shaw and Bartlett gave the church the beautiful design and decoration that it has today. Among the artistic works at Second Presbyterian Church are more than twenty stained glass windows by artists such as Louis C. Tiffany, Louis J. Millet, William Fair Kline, and Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Second is also fortunate to possess a hand-carved limestone baptismal font, fashioned in Florence, Italy (donated in the 1880s and made by Frederick Purdy; pictured above), and a bronze Celtic cross, made on the island of Iona, off the coast of Scotland (given in 1957). There are over 175 representations of angels in the church, 13 Pre-Raphaelite murals by Bartlett, and myriad other visual treasures that make Second Presbyterian Church a place of truly remarkable beauty.
The Sky Chapel was created in 1952 as a gift from the Walgreen family in memory of Charles Walgreen founder of the drugstore chain bearing his name. At 400 ft (120 m) above ground level, it is considered the world's highest worship space and contains 16 stained glass windows. Four depict scenes from the Old Testament, four from the life of Jesus, four represent the history of the Christian Church in the Old World, and the final four the church in the New World. The carved wood altar-front depicts Jesus looking over the city of Chicago (specifically a view from the top of the church building in 1952), mirroring the front of the sanctuary altar, which shows Jesus looking over Jerusalem. The Church was the tallest building in Chicago from 1924 until 1930, when it was surpassed by the Chicago Board of Trade Building. This claim included the height of the steeple to maintain the title over the 35 East Wacker Building which opened in 1927.
Holy Name Cathedral was built in the Gothic revival architectural style while at the same time integrating motifs symbolic of the message of the modern Church. The church building is 233 feet (71 m) long, 126 feet (38 m) wide and can seat 2,000 people. The ceiling is 150 feet (46 m) high and has a spire that reaches 210 feet (64 m) into the sky. Overall, the cathedral features motifs meant to instill an ambience of physically dwelling in the biblical Tree of Life. Inside the church, the most striking feature is the suspended Resurrection Crucifix sculpted by the artist Ivo Demetz. Adorning the walls of the nave are the Stations of the Cross by artist Goffredo Verginelli depicting the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. The stations are cast in bronze and framed in red Rocco Alicante marble. At the time of the founding of the Diocese of Chicago on September 30, 1843, Bishop William Quarter led his faithful from the Cathedral of Saint Mary at the southwest corner of Madison and Wabash Streets. A few years later in 1851, an immense brick church called the Church of the Holy Name was being constructed on State Street between Huron and Superior streets. Its cornerstone was set in 1852. In October 1871, however, both churches were destroyed as the Great Chicago Fire engulfed all of the city. Church of the Holy Name pastor John McMullen travelled the country to raise funds to rebuild the churches and to aid the homeless of Chicago. Meanwhile, Chicago's Catholics were forced to worship in what was called the shanty cathedral, a boarded-up burnt house on Cass Street. They worshiped there for over four years.
The Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago was formed in February 1871 by the merger of Westminster Presbyterian Church and North Presbyterian Church. The combined congregation dedicated a new church building on Sunday, October 8, 1871. The Great Chicago Fire began later that day and destroyed the young congregation's new sanctuary. The congregation subsequently built a second building, located at the corner of Rush Street and Superior Street, which it dedicated February 1874.] After nearly 40 years at that location, in 1912, the congregation decided to construct a new building on Pine Street (now North Michigan Avenue), which was then a fairly undeveloped part of the city. The congregation employed architect Ralph Adams Cram to create a Gothic Revival building. Cram, who also designed the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, worked on both churches simultaneously during 1912. Only Fourth Presbyterian was completed, however, and was dedicated in 1914. In contrast, St. John the Divine is still officially unfinished and is considered a work in progress. Cram designed and built the sanctuary however but the parish house, cloister, manse, and garth, which lie to the south along Michigan Avenue, were designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw. The church building is the oldest structure on Michigan Avenue, with the exception of the Chicago Water Tower, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Quinn Chapel is rich in history. Prior to the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation, Quinn played an important part in the abolition movement in Chicago and served as a station for the Underground Railroad. Quinn was also instrumental in founding Bethel A.M.E. Church, Chicago Provident hospital, and Elam House. Presidents William B. McKinley and William Howard Taft, educators George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington, poet and literary genius Paul Lawrence Dunbar and three of the most gifted preachers of this century: Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. are among the many nationally renowned individuals to address the congregation from Quinn’s pulpit. In recent years, Governor Rod Blagojevich, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Congressmen Danny K. Davis, Bobby Rush, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Barack Obama (now President Obama) have stood in Quinn Chapel’s pulpit. Milton Olive III, posthumous recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor and for whom Olive-Harvey College is named, was a regular attendee of services, as a child, at Quinn Chapel.