The website Atlas Obscura has made a name for itself by highlighting quirky spots and hidden histories that are typically located well off the beaten path of most tourist and many locals. On Saturday, April 16 the organization will host an official "Obscura Day" that will see 160 oddball excursions take place at sites across the globe — including several tours right here in the Windy City.
One such local tour explores the great indoors of Chicago’s 40-block-long subterranean pedway system in collaboration with Chicago Elevated. Another Loop excursion highlights past disasters like the Iroquois Theatre fire and the Eastland catastrophe and the important roles such tragedies played in shaping the city.
Following a similar ghoulish vein, a tour will take visitors into the world of 19th century grave robbing in the former cemetery that went on to become Lincoln Park. Morning and afternoon guided outings in Graceland Cemetery will explore the stories behind the headstones of Chicago’s historical figures both famous and otherwise unknown. A full listing of Chicago Obscura Day sites can be found here.
Though space is limited and the tours charge admission, the mission of Atlas Obscura has always been to share unique locations, perspectives, and histories with a wider audience. As an added treat, individuals participating in Chicago’s Obscura Day may also be invited to attend a special "wrap party" taking place at a secretive, undisclosed location on Saturday evening.
- Chicago Obscura Day 2016 [website]