June 25, 2022, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

August 6, 2022, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Olmsted in Chicago: Midway Plaisance Walking Tour

Rockefeller Chapel, Midway Plaisance
5850 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

The Midway Plaisance is a grand boulevard that stretches through the University of Chicago campus. Photo by Eric Allix Rogers.

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April 26, 2022, marks the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, author, conservationist, social reformer, and America’s seminal landscape architect. Olmsted and his successors designed some of Chicago’s most beloved and important greenspaces. The city joins more than 120 organizations across the United States that have come together to celebrate the bicentennial in a campaign called Olmsted 200: Parks for All People.

In partnership with the Hyde Park Historical Society, Chicago park historian Julia Bachrach leads free walking tours of Frederick Law Olmsted’s iconic Chicago landscapes: Jackson Park, Washington Park, and the Midway Plaisance.

This tour illuminates Olmsted’s plan for the Midway Plaisance as a grand boulevard between Jackson and Washington Park, the site’s transformation into a carnival area for the World’s Columbian Exposition, and Olmsted’s vision for a canal as its centerpiece after the exposition. Highlights include the site of the original Ferris Wheel, a major attraction of the 1893 fair.

Meet in front of Rockefeller Chapel (E. 59th Street and S. Woodlawn Avenue).