CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–November 21, 2016. As President Obama and his family prepare to return to private life in January 2017, Forgotten Chicago and Pullman-area native Tom Shepherd are proud to present an exclusive tour of sites crucial to the rise of Barack Obama in Chicago in the years before his first election to the White House in 2008.
Join us on Sunday, December 4 for what promises to be a unique and enlightening bus tour highlighting many Chicago sites that helped shape Obama and his historic rise to the presidency between 1985 and 2008, including his early role as a community organizer out of a semi-private office in a Pullman church, seen above right. This exclusive tour is a rare opportunity to visit sites related to Obama’s years in Chicago and to hear from those who worked with Obama during his early career in Chicago.
When Obama moved to Chicago from New York City, his political career notably did not begin in Hyde Park; he would start his work as a community activist on the Far South Side, including organizing in Altgeld Gardens, a Chicago Housing Authority community near the Calumet River built just after World War II. Besides discussing Obama’s work helping Altgeld Gardens residents in their effort for asbestos removal in this vast housing project, we’ll take a look at what remains of one of noted Chicago modernist architects George Fred and William Keck’s least-known works, an “essential services building” that included a supermarket, beauty parlor, tailor and a tavern when completed in 1946 above left. Keck & Keck were two of Chicago’s most innovative architects and designed hundreds of projects in the Midwest, including buildings for the 1933-34 Century of Progress World’s Fair, and were early pioneers in passive solar home design.
Obama notably also worked as a community organizer in the Pullman community, a portion of which was named a National Monument in February 2015. Pullman was established beginning in 1879 and would be known around the world as a “model” industrial town; its notorious labor troubles would become equally well known. Our tour will visit and discuss Pullman’s unique built environment, labor and industrial history spanning three centuries, and the role Obama played as a community organizer in this fascinating community.
No tour of Barack Obama’s history and career in Chicago would be complete without a visit to Hyde Park, where Obama taught at the University of Chicago from 1992 to 2004 and from where he won his first election in 1996. Utilizing a 52-passenger motor coach, this tour will drive past some of the sites critical to Obama’s later Chicago career; many other notable Hyde Park landmarks will also be seen and discussed. Our tour includes a cafeteria lunch at Valois, one of the President’s favorite restaurants.
Also offering insights to Obama’s early career will be Cheryl Johnson, Director of People for Community Recovery; Cheryl recalls the many times Obama spent at the Johnson home with Cheryl’s mother, the late Hazel Johnson to discuss environmental issues, jobs, poverty, housing, and other issues in Altgeld Gardens. Besides driving through the long-time neighborhood of First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marion Robinson, we will also discuss some of the largely forgotten stories other recent First Ladies born and/or raised in Chicago, including Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, and Hillary Clinton.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to discover the Chicago-related history of Barack Obama, as he and his family transition to private life. Purchase today!
When? Sunday December 4 at 10 AM. Rain or shine. Check-in by 10 AM; bus leaves at 10:30 sharp.
Where? The tour will begin and end in front of the Chicago Cultural Center, Randolph at Michigan (77 E. Randolph). Check-in will take place in the inner Randolph Street Lobby.
How Long? The bus tour will last approximately 5 1/2 hours (including a couple blocks of walking in Hyde Park), returning to the Cultural Center by 4 PM.
How much? $65 per person. Includes cafeteria lunch at Valois. Advance purchase is required. To purchase tickets click here. No walk-ups. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. If severe weather cancels the tour, credit will be issued for use on a tour of equal value.
Forgotten Chicago is one of our city’s premier Facebook sites, boasting over 60,000 members and site contributors. They also conduct unique tours throughout Chicago, capturing the essence of neighborhoods, people, and famous local events and landmarks
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