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Events & Programs

Throughout the year, the Evanston History Center hosts a variety of high-quality programming on a variety of themes and topics.

Lectures like the Under the Buffalo series and our special pop-up events, reach a broad audience interested in history, art, and culture. Docent-led walking tours of Evanston provide fun and fascinating insights. Special events and fundraisers celebrate Evanston’s history and the Dawes House.

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Join us for an upcoming event >

Under the Buffalo Lecture Series

The Under the Buffalo Lecture Series—named because the series takes place in the Great Hall of the Dawes House*, where a buffalo head hangs on the wall high overhead—provides unique, high-quality programming for a broad audience interested in history, art, and culture. Speakers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise. Past topics have included green architecture, the underground railroad in Illinois, and industrial design. There are two seasons of presentations, September-November and January-March.

* We now offer online programming for some events. Please check the calendar of events for details. If there are no events listed, check back again soon for new event announcements.

Join us for an upcoming lecture >

A Few of Our Past Under the Buffalo Lectures

Kate Masur

Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction

Brian McCammack

Landscapes of Hope: Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago

Scott Mehaffey

A Look at the Edith Farnsworth House National Historic Site

Richard Lanyon

Evanston Stormwater Management 101

Jeanine Michna Bales

Standing Together: Inez Milholland’s Final Campaign for Women’s Suffrage

Daniel S. Holt

Dawes’ Crusade Against the Filibuster

Evanston Architecture and History Walking Tours

The Evanston History Center offers lively docent-led walking tours of Evanston neighborhoods, downtown, and the lakefront. The tours provide fun and fascinating insights into the history of Evanston, its architecture, and the cultural landscape.

  • Most tours meet at the Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood Street, Evanston. Please be sure to confirm the location of the start of the tour.
  • Tours begin at 11:00 AM and last for 90 minutes.
  • Free street parking is available on Greenwood Street.
  • There is a limit of 20 guests per tour.
  • We reserve the right to cancel due to weather or unforeseen circumstances.
  • Reservations and payments must be made in advance.
  • Group walking tours can be scheduled by appointment. To get more information on group walking tour options, please contact us at (847) 475-3410 or e-mail Kris Hartzell.

Join us for a walking tour (July-October)>

Examples of Past Architecture and History Tours

Prairie School Gems

Evanston is a treasure trove of Prairie School architecture, where many of the best-known architects lived.

Evanston’s Activist Women in History

Frances Willard called Evanston “a paradise for women.” Trace the history of these remarkable women and discover how their achievements still have impact today.

Downtown Evanston and the African American Community

Follow the evolution of Evanston, including the role of the African American community in shaping the current cultural landscape.

Architectural Evanston: Styles and Eras

Learn how residential architectural styles in The Lakeshore Historic District reflect changing lifestyles and technologies.

Daniel Burnham: Home in Evanston

Daniel Burnham lived in Evanston, calling it “the most beautiful city in the world.” Explore his neighborhood and his work in Evanston.

Brick by Brick

Unpack the beautiful colors, textures, and patterns that compose Evanston’s remarkable architecture.

“Wonderful tour—loved it!”

“We are relatively new members of EHC and look forward to the opportunity to learn more about our neighborhood.”

“We will definitely recommend your wonderful walking and house tours to others who might be visiting the area.”

“The Under the Buffalo speakers are top-notch.
The topics are always interesting.”

“I learn about things I never knew before, or more about something I only knew a little.”

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