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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Being new to the city, I'm pretty excited about this festival. So many choices....

City of Chicago informaiton site

Anyone want to comment on past experiences?

FYI ... At least one of the members here is leading a tour.
 

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Jack-Of-All-Trades
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While these tours seem incredibly awesomely cool, I can't help but feel that some of them are redundant, and thus wastes of the city's money...

Anyways, the "Railway Structures of Industrial Chicago" tour seems good. I've always been a fan of our warehouses and factories.

The Santa Fe building tour also would be nice - for various reasons, I've always wanted to see more of that building than the lobby. Also the CTA Station tour, and the Green Roof tour, if they go to the top of City Hall, would be amazing for photos. Lastly, Downtown Deco sounds cool, if they go inside the buildings, but it's given year-round...

Do some of these tours get only small numbers of people? I'd feel quite awkward going on a tour by myself, although I would probably learn a lot more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some are redundant to what the CFA already offers, but there are definately some that you can't do any other way.

It is a good question about how they are funded.....
 

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ardecila said:
While these tours seem incredibly awesomely cool, I can't help but feel that some of them are redundant, and thus wastes of the city's money...

Do some of these tours get only small numbers of people? I'd feel quite awkward going on a tour by myself, although I would probably learn a lot more.
Ardecila:

I am familiar with the city wasting money on everything from patronage workers to no-bid contracts. However, I do not think that these "Great Places and Spaces" tours are a waste of city money.

This event brings in people from the suburbs to spend money in the city and to learn information about the city that they bringing back to their suburb. Word of mouth tends to get people to visit places, whether the place is a tourist trap or our great downtown. I guess the bottom line is that spending money for some things results in more visitors and more money coming into the city. The city does provide trolley-type buses and drivers for the trolley tours, but that expense seems to be worth it.

Thus, I suspect that the "Great Places and Spaces" tours, considered as one big event, is a actually an efficient promotional event for the city. The tours are run by non-profits and volunteers, and that means a lot of FREE labor. In other words, the participating organizations are making no money from the tours and they are donating all tour guides and support staff for FREE.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will confess that I am a volunteer on one of the tours.

I'll tell you what. I will keep an eye open for waste in this event and I will let you know if I see any. Until then, all aboard!!
 

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Jack-Of-All-Trades
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Nonono, you all misunderstood me. I saw several sets of tours which all covered the same ground. Since they were given at different times, the guides gave them different names for some reason. I read this without looking at the docents, and so I thought they had hired multiple people to give the same tour at the same time using different methods of movement, which seemed redundant and wasteful to me. Apparently I was wrong, and the "redundant" tours were simply the same tour given several times in order to be convenient.

I only wish there was a tour of the Wrigley Building.. I've always wanted to go in there.
 
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