South Shore's Historic 71st Street

April 26th, 1-2 pm


Preservation Chicago, together with Reclaiming South Shore For All and the South Shore Docent Council, will be leading a free walking tour of South Shore's 71st Street, one of the South Side’s most exceptional and intact historic commercial districts. This hidden gem faces numerous threats, and this tour is one part of residents’ efforts to restore its vitality.  The free one-hour tour, open to neighbors and visitors alike, will begin at Give Me Some Sugah bakery and head west approximately three quarters of a mile.

Meet at Give Me Some Sugah Bakery, 2234 E. 71st Street

Starting in the 1910s, South Shore experienced a stunning real estate boom centered around the train line that still runs down 71st Street. The area became a small city unto itself, with restaurants, retail stores, movie palaces, banks, and more, all built in a variety of the day’s most popular architectural styles. This tour will step into South Shore’s past, visiting many of the landmark buildings from that period which still stand today. The tour will also explore 71st Street’s more recent history of community and political activism, including a stop at a storefront which was home to Barack Obama’s first campaign office.

Highlights of the tour will include:

• Chicago’s only remaining street-median rail line

• Barack Obama's first campaign office

• Historic Jeffery Theater

• Jeffery-Cyril National Register Historic District

• Headquarters of the Black United Fund of Illinois

• ABJ Community Services headquarters, with its colorful mosaics

In the event of inclement weather, the tour will take place at the same time the following day, Sunday, April 27th, meeting on the sidewalk outside Give Me Some Sugah.