SCANDAL! A Pearl-Clutching Tour of Chicago’s Gilded Age Drama - Atlas Obscura
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Chicago, Illinois

SCANDAL! A Pearl-Clutching Tour of Chicago’s Gilded Age Drama

Discover the shocking history of late 19th-century Chicago on this decidedly fabulous walking tour.

Field Agent Patti Swanson and vintage gossip enthusiast Vitaliy Vladimirov will lead a tour around some of the city’s glitziest addresses while airing the details of their Victorian occupants’ dirty laundry.

Join Atlas Obscura for an gasp-worthy exploration of perversion, passion, and corruption in the Second City—from the drama of high-profile luminaries like the Potters, to the tales of the nobodies once found haunting the city’s bawdiest corners. It might seem like exposed ankles were the peak of scandal in late 19th-century Chicago, but the true misadventures and misfortunes of the city’s seediest characters are delightfully salacious still today.

This tour might just cause a fainting spell—but fear not, vapors will be provided for those who brave this dive into Chicago’s degenerate past.

Meeting Place

Meet your host Patti at The Chicago Water Tower's west entrance. The best way to get there is via the Chicago Red Line. There is parking nearby at Water Tower Place, though we discourage driving.


Act fast! "Early Bird" tickets will be available for $30 before June 16th. Afterwards, tickets will be $35.

Additional Details

  • The event is suited for adults 18+ only.
  • Rain or shine.
  • ADA Access limited by the quality of Chicago’s sidewalks.
  • Attendees are encouraged to wear their best high-society looks, along with comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. 


Email Patti Swanson at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.