|The Drive: Chicago, Illinois
Walk, then run: Hit a tour on Oct. 6, then wrap up your weekend with the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Sunday, Oct. 7. www.chicagomarathon.com
Any tour guide could point out the green-tinted Pennsylvania limestone that gave the Greenstone Church its name. Kathy Markham, lifelong resident of Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood, tells the rest of the story: how architect Solon Beman and train-car factory owner George Pullman built the Greenstone for Pullman’s workers to share. It was part of Pullman’s vision for his company town, a mix of idealism and paternalism.
At 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays almost year-round, Chicago Neighborhood Tours introduce tourists to the most attractive, historic parts of the city. More than two dozen bus and walking tours include visits to districts such as Hyde Park, Ukrainian Village and Wicker Park, and themed tours covering cemeteries, ethnic cultures, the Chicago Fire and the 1893 World’s Fair.
On this trip, Markham describes George Pullman’s luxury train cars, his town-sized experiment in better living for the working class and the 1894 employee strike that ended his plan. Across from the Greenstone, she points out brick rowhouses with olive-green and red window trim — common Victorian colors, Markham says.
The tour ends at the Hotel Florence, an 1881 landmark with a gorgeous jumble of chimneys and roof peaks above a marathon-length porch. The mazelike upper floors are closed, but the first floor is now a museum with furniture from the rooms above and giant photos of the ornate factory complex at its peak 110 years ago.