History, Architecture and a Walking Game of Telephone

CHICAGO, IL — On Friday, April 5, Chicago Detours inaugurates their new quarterly, one-off “Detours” with a “Nonsensical Walk of Indoor Spaces.” This walk, which weaves through downtown lobbies, Pedways, short-cuts and corridors, will expand a person’s understanding of the geographical space downtown. Participants will get to experience architectural “eye candy” while playing a moving game of telephone that will share historic and contemporary background on the buildings as they walk through them.

These Detours are a new approach to a tour, so that beyond a tour guide sharing stories, guests will have experiences designed around a particular theme and often taking place at exclusive locations. In addition to Chicago Detours tour guides leading the Detours, other experts in cultural fields will share their passion and knowledge for niches of Chicago happenings and history.

Chicago Detours Executive Director Amanda Scotese will lead the first Detour. “Nonsensical Walk of Indoor Spaces” will be a fun, spatial experience of downtown. Unlike a regular walking tour, in which groups stop at each location for guide commentary, on this one-time-only walk, a continuous line of participants will zigzag through more than 25 different buildings while playing a sort of walking game of telephone with quick (and perhaps surprising) cultural and architectural facts about buildings and their tenants. Leading the line of participants, Scotese will verbally share a short message to the person behind her, and that person will tell the phrase to the person behind him.

For this “Nonsensical Walk of Indoor Spaces,” Chicago Detours has arranged for permission to bring the groups through a number of buildings with diverse architectural styles and functions, from wide open modernist corridors of condo buildings to ornate historic bank lobbies. The seemingly random walking route will expand one’s concept of geographical space in downtown Chicago by taking people off their standard pedestrian paths. It’s inspired by the urban theorist’s concept of flaneur as a walker who becomes aware of the psychological and social effects of the cityscape by venturing out of standard spaces and routes.

Ultimately, the route of the walk and the information shared in the game of telephone will expose participants to a story of the city as told through its interior spaces and their relation to each other in the cityscape.

The two-hour-long walk will be held Friday, April 5, 4pm-6pm. Group meets in the Pedway atrium of Block 37 at 108 North State Street and ends near the intersection of LaSalle and Jackson. Tickets are $20 and guests receive special gifts. Reservations are required through www.chicagodetours.com and group size is limited.

The second Detour, scheduled for Saturday, June 1st, will explore meat around the Fulton Market area. This Detour, led by Saveur Magazine editor David McAninch, will include visits to an old school butcher shop and a new-school artisan meats restaurant. The fall Detour will be during Chicago Artists Month (October) so an artist will curate an exclusive opportunity of engaging with visual artists that specifically interpret the city of Chicago. This Detour will also involve an artistic culinary experience created exclusively for the experience.

Chicago Detours is a team of educators, historians, artists and storytellers, founded by Amanda Scotese, who honed her skills as a tour professional during the several years she has worked as a tour guide and guidebook researcher with the travel company of Rick Steves. Scotese studied architecture, urbanism, and art history through her interdisciplinary M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. The creative tour company blogs about Chicago architecture and history at blog.chicagodetours.com.

For additional information:
Amanda Scotese