Tour 6: Schools as Urban History: Exploring Chicago's Educational Landscape

Sunday, January 6, 2019: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
8th Street Registration Desk (Hilton Chicago)

Tour leader: Ruby Oram, Loyola University Chicago; Nick Kryczka, University of Chicago; and Ann Durkin-Keating, North Central College

Chicago’s public high schools are monuments to evolving ideas about the proper form and function of urban education. This tour of three public high schools on Chicago’s west side will explore what the history of urban education and school architecture tell us about Chicago’s changing neighborhoods, exploring how urban, social, and educational history can be read in the built environment.

The tour begins at the former Lucy Flower Technical High School for Girls (now Al Raby High School), a vocational school for girls that taught traditional female trades and home economics to an increasingly African American student body during the 20th century. Lucy Flower’s history and architectural features, including WPA murals, recently earned it a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The tour then moves to the 100-year-old Carter Harrison Technical High School (now Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy), which was the city’s only coed technical school and offered classes led by both public school teachers and trade unionists. In the 1960s, Harrison’s location on the color line made it a stage for youth revolt, including a mass walkout by black and Chicano students in 1968. The tour concludes at the city’s first integrated magnet high school, Whitney Young Magnet High School, a modernist campus and academic flagship constructed in 1974 during an era of intensive urban renewal on Chicago’s Near West Side.

Please note: Participants will travel by bus; all of the schools are ADA compliant.

Limit 40 people. $20 members, $30 nonmembers

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