“We like to focus on the overlooked history that doesn’t get covered so much,” said Jacob Kaplan, the editor of the Forgotten Chicago website who will lead the tour, which takes place noon-3 p.m. Saturday.
Among the stops on the three-hour walking tour will be St. Therese Chinese-Catholic Mission, 218 W. Alexander St., which was founded in 1899 as Santa Maria Incoronata in what was then a predominantly Italian-American neighborhood.
“You wouldn’t expect an Italian church in the middle of Chinatown, but there was one,” Kaplan said, adding that the church was “one of the many” Chicago parishes rumored to be patronized by Al Capone.
The tour will also make its way along Wentworth Avenue to explore the neighborhood main drag’s architectural history, as well as some of the industrial buildings on Cermak Road along the Chicago River’s South Branch.
Kaplan said he'll also explain the origins of the city's original Chinatown at Clark and Van Buren streets and the area’s cultural changes resulting from the creation of the Dan Ryan Expressway in 1962.
“For a $15 tour, I think it’s pretty great,” said Sharyne Moy Tu, the chamber’s new associate director.
It all wraps up with tastings of fried rice, spring rolls, entrees and desserts during an optional lunch at Phoenix Restaurant, 2131 S. Archer Ave.
Tickets for the Forgotten Chinatown tour must be bought in advance. Tickets are $15 for the tour and $27 for the tour plus lunch. They’re available by visiting this website.
Anyone with questions is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.