CHICAGO — Krista August loves every month in Lincoln Park.
For the first time this year, her tours are being offered weekly, though for some of the summer they will be offered twice a week. Through the end of May, the tours, which last up to two hours, will begin at 10 a.m., and days/times change throughout the rest of the summer. Private tours also are available.
"For those of us who love history and Chicago, Lincoln Park monuments suggest large topics of exploration that can never be fully mastered," said August, who got her bachelor's degree from Northwestern and master's degree from DePaul.
"Behind a single statue there is of course the opportunity to learn about the hero in bronze, but there is also the artist, the benefactor, the unveiling ceremony and all the tangential topics that are suggested."
August for the better part of 25 years has been exploring Lincoln Park, which stretches from Ohio Street Beach in Streeterville to Ardmore Avenue in Edgewater.
Lincoln Park began as a small public cemetery "on the northernmost boundary of Chicago where victims of cholera and smallpox were buried in shallow lakeside graves," according to the Chicago Park District. In the 1850s, the cemetery was converted to parkland, and the park was named after Abraham Lincoln shortly after his 1865 assassination.
The park features statues of Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and several other prominent figures.
"My goal is to highlight significant history behind each monument, add context when possible by tying in relevant Chicago history, while also allowing the beauty and tranquility of the park to work its charms," August said.
The tours are technically free but participants are expected to pay what they feel the tour was worth at the end.
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