Aural Neighborhoods
Logan Square Sound Trail

1.5 miles, about one hour

IMAGE: Illinois Centennial Monument and the Historic Logan Square Boulevard looking southeast
Image Credit: Copyright Moses8910, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

LISTEN to the complete Logan Square Sound Trail

Audio Credit: Allen Moore

Directions to Logan Square and Route Overview

Take the CTA (Blue Line from the Loop) to the Logan Square stop and proceed southeast to Logan Square Park. If you are driving take I-90/94—also known as the Kennedy Expressway—to Fullerton, and head north to Logan Blvd then west to Kedzie Ave. Street parking is usually available, particularly on Logan Boulevard, but check for permit-only parking on side streets.

The Logan Square Sound Trail takes the Centennial Monument in Logan Square Park as its starting point and proceeds south on Kedzie Blvd to Lula’s Cafe, and along the parkway to Palmer Square Park. From there walk east through the park, stop at the Old Holy Resurrection Serbia Orthodox Church, and head north on Sacremento. At Milwaukee head northwest on the north side of the street to Comfort Station then cross Logan Ave and Kedzie Blvd to the Mercadito Market.

Logan Square Sound Trail Map

Let’s Get Started – Breathing Exercise

When you get to the Centennial Monument in Logan Square Park, or to one of the other Sonic Points of Interest on the sound trail, take some time to slow down. Relax your body, feel your feet firmly on the ground and let your arms hang loosely at your sides. If you are comfortable, close your eyes. Breath in for five counts, hold for five counts, breath out for five counts, and hold for five counts. Repeat three to five times, until you feel yourself slowing down and relaxing. Continue breathing and listen to the sounds all around you. Listen to the sounds closest to you. Are they constant or sustained, or are they intermittent? Next listen for the sounds farther away from you. Again, ask yourself are they constant or intermittent? Finally, listen for the sounds farthest away, ones you can barely hear. Are any of the sounds you are hearing unusual? Are you hearing things you don’t expect?

Take a few more breaths as you have been doing. When you are ready, open your eyes and begin the Logan Square Sound Trail. As you proceed, it is best to walk in silence. A soundwalk is intended to be a personal listening experience. If you are walking with someone else, save your thoughts to the end of the walk before having a conversation. The sound of your footsteps becomes part of the walk, listen to the leaves, gravel, and pavement under your feet. Pause at each of the following sonic points of interest. Listen to the sound around you, read the description, and listen to the brief recording.

Sonic Points of Interest

Logan Square Park

2600 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60647

IMAGE: Centennial Monument, Logan Square Park
Image Credit: Paige Alice Naylor
LISTEN: Jazz at Logan Square

Audio Credit: Paige Alice Naylor

Centennial Monument, Logan Square ParkABOUT: Acting as the grand northwest terminus of the Chicago Boulevard System and the intersection of Kedzie and Logan Boulevards and Milwaukee Avenue is Logan Square Park. It is a public green space and a popular place to gather for those in the community, designed by architect William Le Baron Jenney, landscape architect Jens Jensen and others. A prominent feature at the center of the square is the Illinois Centennial Monument erected in 1918 as a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Illinois becoming a state. Along the base of the monument are depictions of Native Americans, Jesuit missionaries, farmers, laborers, and explorers to celebrate their contributions to the city.

LISTEN: One of the more popular times to visit and spend time in the park is on the weekends, when there are plenty of public performances, pop-up markets, and organized events. Often you can catch musicians playing under the Centennial monument. This specific recording is of Anthony Bruno (saxophonist, educator) and company playing jazz standards on a Sunday afternoon accompanying the farmers market, picnics, and avid listeners on benches nearby.

For more information visit:
Chicago Boulevard System – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_park_and_boulevard_system

William Le Baron Jenney – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Le_Baron_Jenney

Jens Jensen – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jens_Jensen_(landscape_architect)


Lula Café

2537 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago IL 60647

IMAGE: Street View of Lula Café
Image Credit: Paige Alice Naylor
LISTEN: Lula Café Sidewalk

Audio Credit: Paige Alice Naylor

Lula CaféABOUT: Founded in 1999, Lula Cafe started off with only a four-burner home stove and a small collection of thrifted pots and pans. Since then, there are lines out the door on the weekends to get a taste of their “simple yet sophisticated” brunch fare “with self-taught chefs and a willingness to cook against categorization. They have been featured on NPR’s “This American Life,” in The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and in Chicago press. This quaint cafe sits adjacent to the main square.

LISTEN: Lula Cafe truly captures a slice of the Logan Square community. Sitting inside or outside, you can catch snippets of conversation, exchanges between the Lula staff, passers-by, and commotion from the popular main square. It is worth closing your eyes for a few seconds, taking in brief moments of others’ lives while enjoying some of the most delicious French toast around.

For more information visit:
https://www.lulacafe.com/


Palmer Square Park

2200 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago IL 60647

IMAGE: Palmer Square Park
Image Credit: Paige Alice Naylor
LISTEN: Cicadas in Palmer Square Park

Audio Credit: Allen Moore

Palmer Square ParkABOUT: Sitting right in the middle of the neighborhood lies Palmer Square Park spanning 7.69 acres between Kedzie Boulevard and Sacramento Avenue. It was developed as part of Chicago’s historic boulevard system in the early 1870s. It is named after John McAuley Palmer (1817-1900) who was the 15th Governor of Illinois and served as a United States Senator. Early on, Palmer Square became a popular spot for “wheelmen,” local clubs, and even national biking organizations” because of the ovular path winding along the perimeter of the park. Today it is commonly used by runners and walkers alike, including a specially designed playground for children inspired by the book The Velveteen Rabbit.

LISTEN: Especially during the late summer months, one cannot miss the persistent chorus of cicadas sounding from the trees in the park. Before they disappear, we suggest picking a spot in the middle of the park to sit or lay down and take in the crossing, weaving rhythms of these truly sonorous creatures.

For more information visit:
https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks-facilities/palmer-john-mcauley-square-park


Old Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church

3062 W Palmer Square, Chicago IL 60647
(across from Palmer Square Park)

IMAGE: photo
Image Credit: Paige Alice Naylor
LISTEN: Bells of Old Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church

Audio Credit: Page Alice Naylor

Old Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox ChurchABOUT: Just across from Palmer Square Park rests one of the only Serbian Orthodox churches in Chicago. Old Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church has been a gathering center for the Serbian community in Chicago since 1905. This particular property was bought and refurbished in 1968. “In the Old Holy Resurrection congregation today we have a Church School, a choir named Stevan Mokranjac, and the Circle of Serbian Sisters womens’ group. The parishioners and the new priest Fr. Luka Lukić strive to improve the spiritual and cultural life of this community.” (https://www.serbianohr.org/)

LISTEN: On a Sunday morning right before 10am and on the hour, one can catch the church bells ringing, calling those in the community to gather and to signify the start of the church service. They ring a significant number of times for several minutes, the ringing bouncing off the nearby buildings and spreading out into Palmer Square Park. We suggest taking a Sunday walk in the park along the pedestrian path to hear them for yourself.

For more information visit:
https://www.serbianohr.org/


Comfort Station

2579 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60647
(across from Logan Square Park)

IMAGE: Comfort Station
Image Credit: Paige Alice Naylor
LISTEN: Inside Comfort Station

Audio Credit: Paige Alice Naylor

Comfort StationABOUT: Comfort Station is a multidisciplinary art space and non-profit located at the junction of Logan Boulevard and Milwaukee Avenue as part of Logan Square Park. Comfort Station is one of two remaining Tudor-style comfort stations built through the West Chicago Parks Commission whose purpose was to provide shelter and restrooms located along transit lines in the area. This space is now host to a wide array of programming including art exhibitions, live music concerts, film screenings and pop-up book sales.

LISTEN: Depending on what’s happening at the Station determines what your listening experience will be like. What you hear in the recording is the reverberation of the space inside, the echo of footsteps and a short conversation about the exhibition taking place from September 4 – October 3: Snake, The Hunter, and Bell from contributing artists Jasper Goodrich, Justin Nalley and Salim Moore. The sonic character of the space is modular, but always surrounded by the hum of the center of the Square and artists and art appreciators alike.


Mercadito Market (Mercaditos)

Paseo Prairie Community Garden, 2600 N. Kedzie Ave, Chicago IL 60647

IMAGE: Mercaditos
Image Credit: Paige Alice Naylor
LISTEN: Sunday Morning at Mercaditos

Audio Credit: Paige Alice Naylor

The Logan Square Farmers market is a well-known place for the community to congregate on Sunday mornings/afternoons but what about the bustling Latino market outside the Logan Square Station across the street? The Mercadito Market, occurring from 10am-3pm on Sundays, showcases handmade crafts made by Mexican, Guatemalan, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan and Chileno vendors in Logan Square. A range of crafts are sold including soaps, clothing, jewelry and more.

Mercaditos is vibrant with sound on a Sunday morning. There is often music playing, multi-lingual exchange, and if you’re lucky, a musical and/or dance performance. This is exactly what we happened upon on Sunday, September 12th, just days before Mexican Independence Day. In particular, you can hear percussion driving the supplementary rhythmic sounds of the dancers’ bodies making contact with the stage. The surrounding audience is complimentary with their sounds of excitement and encouragement, wishing to support the growth of our multicultural neighbors.


• • •

At the end of the Logan Square Sound Trail, take a few moments to relax before getting back in your car and driving away. Take a few deep breaths as you did before the soundwalk and think about what you heard and witnessed. Think about the sounds and sights of the neighborhood. What is unique about the sound of the Logan Square neighborhood and how does sound reflect or give the neighborhood its character? If you have walked or if you will walk the Back of the Yards Sound Trail, does it or would you expect it to sound different? How is it different and why? How does economic investment or de-investment affect the sound of a neighborhood?

We welcome your thoughts and reflections on these questions and on your soundwalk experience. If you would like to share them with us and with others, you may comment below or on the Aural Neighborhoods blog page. If you would like to share audio, video, or still images from your soundwalk, please contact us.

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