Discovering Chinatown (Self Guided), Chicago

Located in the Armour Square, the Chinatown in Chicago was first established in 1912. It is considered the best example of American Chinatown. Here, you will find a wide range of unique boutiques, specialty shops, amazing religious buildings, Chinese medicine stores and Chinese restaurants. Take this walking tour to discover Chicago's Chinatown.
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Discovering Chinatown Map

Guide Name: Discovering Chinatown
Guide Location: USA » Chicago (See other walking tours in Chicago)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 km
Author: doris
Chinatown Gate

1) Chinatown Gate

Chinatown Gate is one the most proeminet landmarks to be seen in Chicago's Chinatown. Designed by architect Peter Fung, it was based on a wall in Beijing and installed in 1975. The hand painted charachters on the ornamental tiles at the top of the Gate translate as: “The world belongs to the commonwealth”, a saying that dates back to the early part of the last century and reflects the determination and the spirit of the Chinese people.
Pui Tak Building

2) Pui Tak Building

The Pui Tak Center formerly known as the On Leong Merchants Association Building, is a building located in Chicago's Chinatown. Designed by architects Christian S. Michaelsen and Sigurd A. Rognstad, the building was built for the On Leong Merchants Association and opened in 1928. The Association used it as an immigrant assistance center, and the building was informally referred to as Chinatown's "city hall." In 1988, the FBI and Chicago Police raided the building as part of a racketeering investigation. The US federal government seized the building that same year. The building was purchased by the Chinese Christian Union Church (CCUC) for $1.4 million and renamed the Pui Tak Center in 1993. The CCUC spent $1 million raised from community donations to renovate and update the building's neglected interior. The newly-named Pai Tak Center now hosts various religious, community and educational programs, such as English-as-a-Second-Language courses.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Therese Church

3) St. Therese Church

St. Therese Church was founded in 1963. It is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Chicago’s Archdiocese. The building features amazing architecture and interior design. Unique statues and stained glass windows symbolize the church's Italian roots. Chinese influences are prominently featured as well. The parish’s main statement, located on the keystone above the altar, is written in Chinese.
Chinese-American Museum of Chicago

4) Chinese-American Museum of Chicago

Chinese-American Museum of Chicago opened in 2005, yet it is housed by a building that dates from 1896. The museum is a non-profit corporation, that has the purpose of promoting exhibitions, education, and research relating to Chinese-American culture and history in the Midwestern United States.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 9:30 am - 1:30 pm; Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Chinese Christian Union Church

5) Chinese Christian Union Church

Chinese Christian Union Church was founded 1903. The current building was constructed in 1950. It has been for years Chinatown's most important religious and social building. The church features an Asian style and a beautiful brick exterior. Services are held in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.
Nine Dragon Wall

6) Nine Dragon Wall

The Nine Dragon Wall was built in 2004 and soon became one of the characteristic features and landmarks of Chicago Chinatown. This Wall is one of the four replicas in the world of the Beijing original. It is made of glazed tiles from China, and it features one large dragon and over 500 smaller dragons painted in red, gold and blue signifying the Chinese focus on good fortune.
Chinatown Square Plaza

7) Chinatown Square Plaza

Chinatown Square is a two-story outdoor mall located in Chinatown, Chicago, a mile (1.6km) from the center of Chicago just north of the main Wentworth Avenue District. Chinatown Square, on 45 acres (180,000 m2) of reclaimed land from a former railroad yard, houses mostly restaurants, retail space, boutiques, banks, clinics, beauty shops, and a handful of offices. This outdoor mall is the largest Chinese mall in the US east of San Francisco and west of New York City. In the middle of the mall, there are statues of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac from Xiamen, China. Other landmarks in the mall include twin pagodas. The mall opened in 1993 as a result of the efforts of Chinese activists who wanted more land from the city of Chicago. Statues representing the twelve Chinese zodiac animals grace three sides of the square. These work of art were commissioned to the Xiamen University Art Department in Xiamen, Fujian, People's Republic of China.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ping Tom Memorial Park

8) Ping Tom Memorial Park

Ping Tom Memorial Park is a 17.24-acre (6.98 ha) public urban park in Chicago's Chinatown owned and operated by the Chicago Park District (CPD). Located on the south bank of the Chicago River, the park is divided into three sections by Santa Fe rail track and 18th Street. It was designed by Ernest C. Wong of Site Design Group and features a pagoda-style pavilion, bamboo gardens and a playground. The park is named in honor of prominent Chinatown businessman and civic leader Ping Tom; a bronze bust of Tom is installed near the park's pavilion. The park's original design called for walled plazas inspired by traditional Chinese gardens in Suzhou, China. A pagoda-style pavilion based on a structure that Wong had seen in Suzhou is located near the park's eastern boundary—the Chicago River. The park's entrance is marked by four 20-feet-tall columns, each etched with Chinese dragons and is modeled after a traditional Chinese courtyard.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Chicago, Illinois

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

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Creating your own self-guided walk in Chicago is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Best Jazz and Blues Clubs Tour

Best Jazz and Blues Clubs Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Art Galleries Tour

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The art world in Chicago is considered vast. There is a large number of art galleries in this city and each gallery has its own unique setup and outstanding exhibitions on display. The beautiful galleries feature works in a wide range of fields, from up-and-coming artists to famous artists like Pablo Picasso. Take this walking tour to explore some of the most famous galleries in Chicago.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Chicago without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Chicago, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Nightlife Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
City Orientation Walk

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Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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