Logistics

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Accommodations

The Great Connections Leap Year does not provide living quarters, but there are many good options available for you and we can help you attain the place you need.

Chicago has a large network of trains and buses to get where you want to go, plus ample roadways if you wish to drive.

Our class facility with Seminar Room, Study Room, and socializing facilities is in the beautiful Beverly Hills/Morgan Park neighborhood of Chicago, easily accessible by the Rock Island Metra train, bus, or car.

If you wish to stay in downtown Chicago, please plan to be near the Rock Island Metra station at LaSalle and VanBuren streets, because that’s where you’ll get the scheduled train to our facility. Previous seminar participants have stayed at and recommend the HI Chicago Hostel. Rates are $25-$60/night.

You can also choose to stay at one of the many hotels or 100+ AirBNBs near the downtown Rock Island Metra station priced from $36-200/night.  There are also some AirBNB’s available close to our facility in the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park neighborhood of Chicago.

Please contact us for information if you wish to stay close by with a host family or if you would like to be put in touch with other students who are looking to find lodging together.

The seminar ends with our farewell party on Saturday, January 11th. If you are traveling, plan to check-out of your lodging on Sunday, January 12th.

TGC 2012 Amy, Brendan, Liz on Train .jpg

Transportation

Students need to study transportation information for Chicago. As part of their seminar work, students will be determining and mapping the best routes to events and meetings that are taking place outside of the Great Connections facility. There is also some research work which each student must do before the architecture tour.

Students should pick up maps and other information at the welcome desks at the airport and in the train stations. There is also a Chicago Information Center at the Cultural Center, at the intersection of Michigan and Washington Avenues, which has maps, discount entrance coupons, and other information.


Commuter Trains

We will be using public transportation for several outings. It is advisable to buy and load a CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) Ventra card with fares for at least 3 roundtrips. This card will get you on the subways, elevated trains and buses – but not on the Metra Commuter line trains. You can buy an unlimited 7-day CTA pass for visitors for $28 and this will allow you to do other sightseeing while you visit. Please be sure to bring your student ID to get the student rates. 

and this one for the CTA. The CTA site has a trip-planner feature, so students can get exact information as to how to go to and from the airport, etc.  

Likewise, students can access information about local commuter trains at Metra’s website (this is a different system of trains from the CTA elevated and subway trains). The Rock Island Metra commuter train is the one which stops right across the street from our facility. You can purchase Metra tickets on your phone if you have the Ventra app. We do NOT advise taking the CTA Red Line to get close to our facility no matter what Google maps says!!

THE TRAIN ACROSS FROM OUR FACILITY IS THE ROCK ISLAND METRA TRAIN SUBURBAN LINE, 111TH AND MORGAN PARK STOP. YOU WILL BE BUYING TICKETS FOR THIS TRAIN. DO NOT GET ON ANY ROCK ISLAND MAIN LINE TRAINS AS YOU CANNOT GET OFF NEAR OUR FACILITY.


airports

Chicago has two major airports, O’Hare and Midway. Midway is quite a bit closer to our facility, but both are about an hour via public transit.

From O’Hare:

Via Uber, O’Hare is a ~45 minute ride

Via public transit:

Take the L Blue Line train in the airport to the LaSalle Street stop

Exit up to street level and enter the Metra station at LaSalle Street and Ida B. Wells Drive

Take any Rock Island Metra train that named “Beverly Hills Suburban Line” to the 111th Street/Morgan Park stop.

Our facility is in the yellow brick building located across from the train station on the corner of 111th and Longwood Dr.

Enter either the parking lot door or the door at 11107 S. Longwood Drive.

From Midway:

Via Uber, Midway is a ~20 minute ride

Via public transit:

Take the L Orange line train in the airport to the LaSalle/Van Buren stop

Exit down to street level and enter the Metra station at Lasalle Street and Ida B. Wells Drive.

Take any Rock Island Metra train named “Beverly Hills Suburban Line” to the 111th Street/Morgan Park stop.

Our facility is in the yellow brick building located across from the train station on the corner of 111th and Longwood Dr.

Enter either the parking lot door or the door at 11107 S. Longwood Drive.

 

Recreational Information

See this link for more transportation and great tourist information about Chicago,

Improv comedy originated in Chicago and the town is still a giant hub of improv creativity, producing many of the top comics in the U.S. “Saturday Night Live” originated and still draws from the comics who learn their craft at the Second City Comedy Club. We highly recommend indulging in an evening at this venue.