Cemetery Walking Tours In Chicago
Chicago's cemeteries, many with park-like grounds and monuments designed by famous architects such as Louis Sullivan, are an archive of the city's history. Cemetery walking tours are increasingly popular ways to experience these open-air museums and visitors to Chicago have several options.
Self-Guided Tour of Graceland Cemetery
Established in 1860, Graceland is a historic Victorian cemetery in Chicago's Uptown area. Many authors, politicians and industrialists including Louis Sullivan, George Pullman and Mary Hastings Bradley are buried in Graceland. There are also tombs of architectural and artistic interest including the Schoenhofen Pyramid Mausoleum, the Getty Tomb and Lorado Taft's bronze sculpture "Eternal Silence." Visitors are welcome to take a self-guided tour of the cemetery. Historical maps and Barbara Lanctot's guide "A Walk Through Graceland Cemetery" are available at the cemetery office.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers two-hour walking tours during the summer and fall that focus on the architectural merits of the tombstones, mausoleums and monuments of several Chicago cemeteries. Participants can tour Graceland Cemetery and admire the monuments designed by Louis Sullivan and Daniel Chester French. There is also a tour of the Victorian cemetery Rosehill with major buildings designed by W. W. Boyington. The tour of Lake Forest Cemetery in the affluent Lake Forest suburb features details about the lives of influential residents such as politician William Proxmire and filmmaker John Hughes. You can also tour Oak Woods, Chicago's oldest private cemetery and the final resting place of notable African Americans including Ida B. Wells, Jesse Owens and Harold Washington. Oak Woods visitors can also view the Confederate Mound. Tours are complimentary for foundation members.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Ghost researcher and author Dale Kaczmarek has been leading visitors on haunted tours of Chicago's churches, graveyards and infamous neighborhoods since 1982. The haunted-graveyards evening tour leaves from Westfield Mall. Participants are transported between cemeteries on a motor coach. Kaczmarek brings his guests to the abandoned Bachelor's Grove Cemetery in Midlothian, a Catholic cemetery known as St. James at Sag Bridge where ghostly monks have been seen, Hillside's Mt. Carmel Catholic Cemetery where Al Capone is buried, and Resurrection Cemetery on Archer Road, home of the infamous specter called Resurrection Mary.
Haunted Chicagoland Tours