- $20 for one admission to a one-hour downtown bridge tour with retired civil engineer Jim Phillips
- When: select dates, July 3–September 7. Daytime tours begin at 9:45 a.m.
- Where: Groups meet at the SE corner of W. Wacker Dr. and N. Wells St. intersection. (205 W. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606).
What You’ll Do
Built when Chicago was one of America’s burgeoning metropolises, the bridges that span the Chicago River do more than connect the Loop with all points north; they contain some of the city’s most fascinating history. Follow these impressive structures on a walk that begins at the Wells St. bridge and heads eastward. As you soak up summer in the heart of the city, Jim will talk about the history and varying architectural styles of these stunning functional sculptures and explain why they are essential to Chicago as a whole.
At walk’s end, you’ll head into the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, where you’ll explore the gear room of the famed DuSable Bridge and ascend to the bridge operator’s office for a postcard-worthy peek at the river and the city that it serves.
Tour Chicago’s Downtown Bridges
As you stroll through the Loop, you’ll learn the history and significance of the city’s bridges and their stately bridgehouses.
Visit the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
Explore the bridgehouse of downtown’s most iconic bridge, glance out at Michigan Avenue like bridge operators or yesterday, and learn about the river and its city in the museum.
Retired Civil Engineer
With an extensive background as a civil engineer, Jim Phillips became so fascinated by the history and functional artistry of the movable bridges in downtown Chicago that he just had to write an e-book about them. More than just a rundown of statistical facts and figures, Two Miles – Eighteen Bridges delves deep into the historical and cultural impact of the structures. As an active volunteer at the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, Jim leads presentations about these fascinating marvels of engineering for local schools and civic groups.