Despres lecture series returns

Staff Writer

The Leon Despres Lecture Series returns for its fourth season next week when Paul Durica and Bill Savage come to the Blackstone Library to discuss “Chicago By Day and Night.”

The book is a recently re-edited version of a pamphlet that was distributed to tourists visiting Chicago for the 1893 World’s Fair.

Series organizer Brenda Sawyer said the book is an entertaining look at Chicago values in the late 19th-century, when Victorians would eschew attending a bar or burlesque show, before saying where tourists could go looking to find one.

“Many chapters start off by talking about how decent people wouldn’t go to these places,” Sawyer said. “However if you decide you wanted to go to these places here’s the address and here’s where you would go and what you would expect to find there.”

Savage is a professor at Northwestern University and Durica is a historical re-enactor who frequently gives neighborhood tours. The event will take place at 6p.m., Oct. 23, at Blackstone Library, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave.

Sawyer is encouraging all attending to wear their finest Victorian dress. Those in modern attire will not be turned away.

The lecture series includes a January panel discussion on children in Chicago and the issues that they specifically face.

A May event will feature a discussion on Hyde Park architecture with author Susan O’Conner Davis, who recently published “Historic Hyde Park Homes.” The book includes detailed photographs and stories covering hundreds of the neighborhood’s notable buildings.