Mansions, Merchants & Mystery: Hunting for the History of Wicker Park - Atlas Obscura
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Mansions, Merchants & Mystery: Hunting for the History of Wicker Park

Our newest “Google-proof” scavenger hunt, set in Chicago’s Wicker Park.

Wicker Park is one of Chicago’s most iconic neighborhoods, but lately, its history seems to be getting lost beneath a party-girl reputation.

For better or for worse, the ghost of dearly departed alderman Charles Wicker appears to have taken up haunting Atlas Obscura’s headquarters until this travesty is resolved. It’s up to you—our dedicated team of mischief-makers—to rediscover the history of Wicker Park and put Charles Wicker’s ghost to rest.

Grab a friend and take on this history-steeped mission as a 2-person team or test your mettle solo: either way, this epic hunt promises to send you scavenging all throughout Chicago’s 1st Ward. And don’t forget to charge your phone; although these clues can’t be solved with a simple Google search, you’re likely to need some internet assistance to find the answers you seek. The final stop will land you in a super swanky and top secret location, where you can expect to join Field Agent Patti Swanson (and your competitors) for a drink. Our winner receives a special prize—and for the losers, we’ll still buy your first drink.


  • Ticket includes hunt and one drink ticket.
  • You must be 18+ to be part of the hunt.
  • This event goes on rain, shine, or snow!
  • Shrewd scavengers should meet Field Agent Patti on the corner of Wicker park Avenue & Honore Street to receive their instructions.
  • Be ready to walk 2.3 miles
  • Wear weather appropriate clothing & comfortable walking shoes.
  • Limited ADA access.
  • The ticket is non-refundable, but you can transfer your purchase by following this handy Eventbrite tutorial.

About Patti Swanson

Patti Swanson is an architectural historian, educator, preservation enthusiast, and bookbinder living in Chicago. Raised near Austin, Texas, Patti came to Chicago in 2011 to pursue a degree in art history at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and stayed for the city's rich history, friendly people, and balmy winters. She worked as a tour guide for four years in various capacities before starting her own walking tour company, Chicago for Chicagoans, in 2016. Patti factors lots of local collaboration into her tours and strongly believes in making history accessible to everyone. She is best described as "Shazam for buildings," and can be found on her website Chicago for Chicagoans.



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