Hyde Park: The Beginning, Pinnacle, and End of Human Civilization - Atlas Obscura
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Chicago, Illinois

Hyde Park: The Beginning, Pinnacle, and End of Human Civilization

Discover the beginning and end of civilization, all conveniently located in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.

Where can mysterious wonders of the Ancient Near East and the birth place of the atomic age all be found in a few short blocks? Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood has it all! This south side enclave is home to the University of Chicago and is among the most beautiful, influential, and complicated places in the world. During this tour, we'll marvel at its treasures, walk its streets, and be immersed in this complex and ever changing place.

This tour will take us from the Oriental Institute with its unparalleled treasure trove of ancient wonders, past the awe inspiring beauty of Rockefeller chapel, to the site of the first atomic chain reaction, and will end in the darkness of a fallout shelter.  There, we'll  feast on the finest freeze dried and canned treats to be found outside of the most discerning End Times Prepper store rooms. Come with us as we walk through the length of human history, conveniently located all in one Chicago neighborhood.


  • Meet Field Agent Matt Holmes in front of the Luthern School of Theology.
  • Please arrive 10 minutes early to check in with Matt before the tour starts.
  • Wear your walking shoes and weather appropriate clothing; the tour is rain, shine, or snow.
  • The tour covers about 2 miles walking, with many rest stops.
  • This ticket is non-refundable, but you can transfer it by following this handy Eventbrite tutorial.


Email Matt Holmes holmesmjh@yahoo.com


About Field Agent Matt Holmes

Former commercial fisherman, showman and child star (well child actor, anyway) Matt Holmes is a lifelong Chicagoland resident with a passion for the strange and unique. From his studies of ancient history and archeology that lead him from darkened libraries to dusty deserts, Matt developed a keen interest for exploring the world around him. In years of wandering the streets of the city, Matt has turned this love of discovery toward Chicagoland, uncovering what is hidden and exploring what dwells just below the surface. Through thoughtful tours and events Matt attempts to point out all the amazing things we so often miss and the deep (often hilarious) meanings obscured by what only appears to be the mundane.

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.