Chicago: Crossroads of America
Second City Audio Tour
Members of Chicago’s legendary comedy theater Second City worked with the Museum to develop this lively audio tour for the Chicago: Crossroads of America exhibition.
Join narrator Antoine McKay for a journey through the exhibition galleries and meet a range of characters—some famous, some fictional.
- Father Jacques Marquette, missionary, explorer, and cartographer, explains the smelly origins of the city’s name
- William Washington, Pullman porter and proud member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, shares the importance of his union
- Julia Lemos, survivor of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, creates a vivid image of the scene in paint and words
- Joey Messina, gangster and occasional philosopher, questions the glamour of the mob lifestyle
- Marvin Glass, eccentric toy maker, reveals the inspiration for his famous Talking Teeth
- Dora Rezinsky Goodman, mother of Benny Goodman, cheers on her son at a Hull-House concert
- Louis Sullivan, influential architect, insists that form follows function—not commerce
- Clara Barck Welles, independent business woman, artist, and champion of women’s suffrage, invites you in for tea and conversation
The 45-minute tour is available in both English and Spanish. Ask for the tour at our visitor desk, or download it here and play it on your own MP3 device.
Chicago public high school students provide their own interpretation of Crossroads in the audio tour In Our Own Words.
Seven seniors from Lake View High School created In Our Own Words. They worked with Museum staff and Lake View High School history teachers to research topics from the Crossroads exhibition.
In Our Own Words was inspired by the Museum’s Studs Terkel collection and includes original interviews, as well as interviews from the Museum’s Teen Chicago collection. Each topic is given a dynamic, unique interpretation. Highlights include: a description of how the ‘L’ car got into the Museum, first-hand accounts of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, a personal story about the great migration and the 1919 race riots, a news report from 1968, and an editorial piece about the atomic bomb.
This 37-minute audio tour is available to all museum visitors. Ask for the audio tour at our visitor desk, or download it here and play it on your own MP3 device.