The 150-Year Battle Over Chicago’s Front Yard

Grant Park is more than 300 acres of prime real estate along Lake Michigan. And every inch of it belongs to the people. That’s why it’s called Chicago’s Front Yard. But it’s been a 150-year battle to keep it free from structures.

I co-wrote and produced this hour-long GPS-based walking tour with Rachel Dickson about the fight to keep the lakefront “forever open, clear, and free. The tour is narrated by Richard Steele, and was edited by Marianne McCune.

On the tour, you visit one of the oldest private clubs in the city for wheelers and dealers, walk through gardens meant to echo Versailles, and see one of the biggest fountains in the world. You even travel back in time to the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots and hear about Obama’s 2008 election night party in the park. And along the way you get a pretty good picture of how Chicago grew up.

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