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Old Chicago Inn Bed and Breakfast
3222 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60657
Chicago History 101: Speakeasy Series is an informal, pay-what-you-can lecture and discussion series about all things Chicago, held in Lakeview's Room 13 Speakeasy.
Join Chicago for Chicagoans founder Patti Swanson (and several guest speakers) for a new winter lecture series on Chicago history and architecture, held in Lakeview's hidden history hideaway, Room 13 at the Old Chicago Inn Bed and Breakfast!
Lectures begin with a 45 minute history lesson on a rotating topic, and end with 15 minutes of group discussion. All interest and experience levels welcome — just come prepared to learn & chat about all things Chicago!
As always, this series is pay-what-you-can with a suggested donation of $10-20. Room 13's bar is available for attendees, accepting cash & credit card. Eventbrite RSVPs are required for each session, for every guest, and capacity is strictly limited to 35 people. Those unable to secure a spot in advance are welcome to arrive at the door, where any available spaces day-of will be allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Come learn about your place in space!
(Please note, topics & guest speakers are subject to change. You will be notified by email about any changes.)
Session #1 (11/16/17): THE TAVERN: Discover a boozy side of the city's history at our kick-off event. From the Lager Beer Riots to the Working Man's Exchange & Prohibition, Chicagoans have always loved a nice cold beer. Featuring guest speaker Bill Savage!
Session #2 (11/30/17): THE RIVER & RURAL CHICAGO: Trace the history of indiginous folks, early Europeans, & the waterway that led to the creation of our city.
Session #3 (12/14/17): THE SKYSCRAPER: Learn how & why Chicago invented the skyscraper, and how we continue to revolutionize the field of architecture.
Session #4 (1/11/18): RAILROADS & HIGHWAYS: From Pullman cars to slaughterhouses, find out how Chicago revolutionized the railroad in America — and how the automobile led to its demise. Featuring guest speaker Erica Adriana!
Session #5 (1/25/17): THE GREAT CENTRAL MARKET: Unearth the merchandising history of Chicago, including mail-order catalogs, Marshall Fields, and Michigan Avenue — featuring guest speaker Wendy Bright
Session #6 (2/8/18): THE PARKS: Fieldhouses, forest preserves, cemeteries, boulevards, & more! Discover how Chicago's parks have shaped the city.
Session #7 (2/22/18): IMMIGRATION & SEGREGATION: Explore Chicago's infamous reputation as a place for ethnic enclaves, and learn more about the city's history of racially discriminatory legislation. Featuring guest speaker Vitaliy Vladimirov!
Session #8 (3/8/18): QUEER HISTORY: Bathhouses, Boystown, and Howard Brown-- discover LGBTQ+ history in Chicago with guest speaker Andie Mckenzie Meadows.
Session #9 (3/22/18): THEATRES & ENTERTAINMENT: Trace the history of Chicago's legendary film industry, movie palaces, and live stage shows, featuring guest speaker Leyla I. Royale.
Session #10 (4/5/18): DEBATE! Hear from a panel of preservationists, architects, and historians as they battle over contested questions of Chicago history and architecture (and don't forget to join in yourself)!
Please note: Presentations and discussions are meant to be inclusive, covering diverse histories and occasionally controversial subject matter. Respectfulness, empathy, and a willingness to listen and engage are key. Inflamatory speech will not be tolerated, and those who cannot engage compassionately will be asked to leave.
Details, Dress Code, & Access:
--Because this lecture series takes place in a place where alcohol is served, attendees must be at least 21 years old to attend.
--As a period-appropriate speakeasy, Room 13 requires proper dress, following a business casual model. Gentlemen are asked to wear some sort of collar (jacket, sweater, button-up, etc); nice denim is acceptable (no wear and tear); no athletic wear.
--The club, and this lecture series, is password protected. Please check your email the week of the event to recieve the session's password; note that the password will change for each session.
About Room 13: Room 13 is the Old Chicago Inn's very own private Prohibition-era inspired speakeasy. Located in the garden level, Room 13 currently opens at 5pm on Thursday — Saturday nights to current & prospective members as well as guests of the inn. Prospective members can apply for a membership by filling out an application and turning it in to the evening's bartender during their second preview. If selected to be a member at Room 13, members gain access to the speakeasy on a weekly basis. Interested in membership? Talk to the evening's bartender for the full scoop.