Field Trip: Treasures of Northerly Island

In conjunction with Atlas Obscura, we’re taking a tour of Northerly Island and the 12th Street Beach!

  • OCTOBER 24, 2015
    POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING 2016
  • 10:00 AM TO 12:00 PM (CDT)
  • $15.00
  • 1300 S LAKE SHORE DR, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60605, UNITED STATES

Part of Daniel Burnham’s “Plan of Chicago,” Northerly Island is the only one of five islands he planned that was actually created. Constructed of the previous century’s demolished architecture, the artificial island was completed in 1925 and was home to the Century of Progress in 1933 and Meigs Field from 1946 until 2003.

Today, the island is mostly a nature preserve and home to the intriguing 12th Street Beach, where much of that buried architecture is eroding. This sandy beach (also called Sunshine Beach) is covered with bits of sea glass, tiles, and other artifacts from Chicago’s past. (Yes, you can collect some.) As we stroll the beach and grounds, you’ll learn about the area’s fascinating history, some of it recent, as well as spend time in one of Chicago’s many “natural” areas.

We’ll start our adventure at the Adler Planetarium, take in one of the best views of Chicago, and then wend our way to the beach and onto the island’s many nature paths. We’ll pass the remaining buildings of the (in)famous Meigs Field and end back at the Adler, which you’ll be free to explore on your own (admission not included in this tour). Shedd Aquarium and The Field Museum are a short walk away (don’t miss the Tsavo Man Eaters!).

This tour will be led by Jeff Wagg, Curator of the College of Curiosity. A veteran of Atlas Obscura field trips, his eclectic knowledge base ensures that there will be something for all interests.

Notes for this adventure:

  • All ages welcome
  • Meet on the steps of the Adler Planetarium. Look for Jeff with a pith helmet and sign.
  • This trip is rain or shine (unless there is a dangerous weather advisory).
  • Sturdy shoes are strongly recommended. There is uneven terrain.
  • There are no bathroom facilities at this time of year.
  • Public transportation.
  • Parking information.

Questions? Contact Jeff Wagg.

Tickets are available at Atlas Obscura.

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