Every building has a past. Ellen Shubart talks with author and fellow CAC docent Joni Hirsch Blackman about Blackman’s book, This Used to be Chicago, and the stories it reveals about nearly 90 local buildings including a liquor store that was a speakeasy during Prohibition, condominiums in a former piano factory and school for circus arts that used to be a church.
Author Joni Hirsch Blackman, in addition to being a CAC docent since 2013, has been a copy editor, columnist, newspaper reporter, and writer for magazines and wire services. She is the author of four books including “This Used to be Chicago,” published in 2017 by Reedy Press.
Host Ellen Shubart has been a CAC docent since 2006, leading many tours on land, on the Chicago River and from the top of an open-air bus. Prior to becoming a docent, Shubart worked in journalism for 20 years, followed by land planning and public policy advocacy.