Speakeasy on the River with the Chicago Architecture Foundation

Let’s go back in time to an era where dazzling dresses were made of fringe and booze galore was being smuggled. Mobsters ran the city and flappers were the belles of the party scene. We are going to the era of exuberance and glamour; The Roaring 20’s.

For one night only, aboard the Chicago Leading Lady we ventured back in time to the glamorous era for a night of debauchery for the Chicago Architecture Foundation  Auxiliary Board’s Speakeasy Soirée.

CAF Speakeasy Soirée

For the mark of a great night ahead, there was not a rain cloud in sight and the sun was shining ever so brightly. This was the perfect day for a Speakeasy Soirée along The Chicago River.

In true Speakeasy fashion, our soirée was an exclusive affair where only the secret password would grant you access to the riverside shindig. As we approached the boat, 2 men in dapper suits stood guard blocking our entrance to the soirée on the top deck. They barked “No entry without the password” We gently whispered “Taliesin” and we were soon given access to what was sure going to be an evening to remember.

CAF Speakeasy Soirée

When we descended upon the top deck, the Speakeasy was certainly  already roaring with over 100 guests in attendance. Everyone donned their finest 1920’s attire with gentlemen in pinstripe suits and women in sparkling flapper dresses. Ladies were adorned with long strands of pearls as an official welcome to the era of glamour.

CAF Speakeasy Soirée

A quick glance across the boat, one could see stripes and fringe swaying and tapping to the tunes of the Chicago Jazz’s Eric Schneider Trio. Our boat was certainly the liveliest of all the boats on the river. The contagious energy and the melodic sounds made us the envy of everyone who dared to cruise along the Chicago River that evening.

Party goers mixed and mingled with one another while delighting in decadent bites and cool glasses of champagne. Conversations erupted in particular about the glorious sights that await the attendees.

CAF Speakeasy Soirée

With each and every turn guests became properly acquainted with the beauty that is Chicago architecture. From the Art Deco of the Civic Opera to the Spanish Colonial Revival of the Wrigley Building, this cruise was a highlight reel of the best that Chicago architecture has to offer.

The dancing, delicious bites, and the flow of libations certainly made this a not so ordinary Tuesday evening. However, the reason for this fete was to raise funds for the CAF’s Taliesin Scholars. Proceeds from our roaring night were going to send select talented scholars to study alongside current Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin Fellows. After placing their bets and hoping for the best, the night brought in a whopping $37, 510.

CAF Speakeasy Soirée

The sun began to set and it was time for us to return back to 2015 and leave behind our pearls and fringe of the 20’s. As we docked we were given a parting gift including a sweet treat from Vosges Chocolate.

Party goers returned back home, and not a trace was left of our secret Speakeasy party. While the night had to end, we can always find solace in that we’ll always have fond memories of the Speakeasy aboard the Chicago Leading Lady.