In the region South of Chicago, everything seems bigger than life – the heroes and villains, the bridges, boats and buildings, and even people’s dreams. In this Chicagoland tour program, host and writer Geoffrey Baer takes you on a tour along the waterways, highways and railways of Chicago’s South Suburbs and Northwest Indiana.
This TV tour starts in Gary, with a look inside the largest steel mill in the western hemisphere. You’ll also see amazing architectural landmarks, and learn about the city’s struggle to recover from industrial downsizing. Then you’ll travel north and west along the Lake Michigan shoreline to Chicago’s Calumet Harbor. You’ll see thriving wetlands and other natural wonders, sandwiched in between huge industrial developments. At Calumet Harbor, you’ll board a tugboat and cruise the Calumet River to Blue Island. You’ll get a rare view of the enormous Chicago skyway from 12 stories below, and learn how waterways have been reversed and rearranged again and again over a century of industrial expansion.
In Blue Island you’ll see beautifully preserved historic homes. Next you’ll visit Robbins, the first town in the North founded and run by African Americans. Then you’ll hop in a Model A Ford and head south on the historic Dixie Highway through the beautiful communities of Homewood, Flossmoor and Olympia Fields and many more.
You’ll take a side trip to Thornton Quarry, where you’ll descend 40 stories into a manmade canyon, and you’ll visit Henry Ford’s airport in Lansing and see it’s landmark hangar. You’ll also learn about the devout Dutch farmers who made South Holland the onion capital of the world.
You’ll continue South through the “crossroads of the nation” in Chicago Heights where the Lincoln Highway, America’s first coast to coast auto route, intersected the Dixie Highway. You’ll continue south through Steger to the historic town of Crete, and then double back, ending your tour in America’s prototype post WWII planned community, Park Forest.
These is just a small sample of the many big things you’ll see, and big surprises you’ll find in this grand tour, South of Chicago.