See Logan Square from a new perspective with Brick of Chicago’s summer walking tours. Hosted and created by photographer and researcher Will Quam, Brick of Chicago tours highlight neighborhood architectural gems, with a focus on one foundational aspect: bricks.
Look for tours of Logan Square brick sights through July, with the next event planned for Sunday, June 12, at 3 p.m.
Chicago draws in many tourists every year because of its architectural history. From river boat tours highlighting skyscrapers to Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Hyde Park, Chicago is an architecture buff’s dream. However, you don’t need to venture downtown or to the South Side to experience rich and interesting architectural histories. There are many right here in Logan Square!
Focussing On Bricks
Quam created Brick of Chicago to highlight the buildings in Chicago neighborhoods, with an emphasis on bricks. He recognized that this niche interest represented so much more: history, storytelling and connection to the city. Brick of Chicago started as an Instagram account to feature Quam’s photography. With increasing interest from followers, the account led to Quam hosting tours in various neighborhoods, including Logan Square.
“What I think makes my tours unique is that they look at the brick, of course, but also all the other little ‘bricks’ that make up Chicago’s neighborhoods — stories, histories, policies and more,” Quam said.
The tours began as virtual events during the peak of pandemic lockdowns. They offered online sessions about architecture and masonry in various parts of the city. Quam recorded a handful of these tours, which are available for purchase on his website. As pandemic restrictions eased, Quam offered the tours in person.
Telling Chicago Buildings’ Stories
On his Logan Square tour, Quam will highlight some of the most iconic buildings in neighborhood, as well those you may not have noticed. Quam said that the Logan Square tour is unique because “we get to see several buildings designed by the same architects over different years and for different clients.”
The general public usually doesn’t know the backstories behind why certain buildings were made, so Quam has dedicated himself to not only researching these stories, but also sharing them with others. “I also incorporate a lot of information on the tour about the interesting people who lived in or built the buildings,” Quam said, “like a two-flat where three kids ran away to try to become salesmen in Evanston, or a former car dealership with ties to illegal gambling and [Al] Capone, or the home of a woman who set the world record for parachuting out of an airplane – all within a few blocks of each other!”
After a Brick of Chicago walking tour, the buildings of Logan Square may become more than just objects you pass by. They may come to represent stories and histories of the past and present. The Brick of Chicago tour is a great way to see a place you know from a new perspective.
Upcoming Logan Square Tours
Quam offers two price options, $12 and $19, to make his tours more financially accessible to all.
The tours meet at Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church (2614 N. Kedzie Ave.) right outside the Logan Square Blue Line station. Tours last for approximately 1.5 hours and cover 1.5 miles.
Be sure to visit the Brick of Chicago website to snag tickets in other Chicago neighborhoods, learn brick terminology and nab other items, such as stickers for $2. Follow @brickofchicago on Instagram for photo updates and opportunities to collaborate.
Photos: Kenny Moll