• adriennewfawcett

Lake Bluff Walking Tours App: Perfect Outing for a Pandemic

Updated: May 18, 2020

After so many weeks of staying home, we could all use something new to do safely outdoors. The Lake Bluff Walking Tours app is just the thing. This brand-new app for smart phones and tablets provides digital tours of the village’s most iconic and historically significant buildings, neighborhoods and stories.

And it’s free! The app is a gift to the community from the Lake Bluff History Museum and Lake Bluff 125 Committee with support from Abbott in honor of the village’s 125th anniversary. You can download the Lake Bluff Walking Tours app now from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

A screen shot of the Lake Bluff Walking Tours app home page.

Read an exclusive interview with Lake Bluff Walking Tours app producer, manager and overall idea man Steve Kraus on local blog Ann Marie on the Shore!

The first iteration of the app launching on May 15 includes two tours narrated by Lake Bluff voice-over talent Lise Dominique and Walt Sloan. One covers the Uptown Commercial District, the center of commercial activity in the Village from the 1880s to the 2020s. This tour starts at Village Hall. It takes you through the Scranton Avenue business community and nearby neighborhoods, including the area designated a National Register Historic District.

The other tour launching on May 15 guides users through the Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Grounds. From 1875 to 1900, the Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Association sponsored summer religious and social events on their grounds in east Lake Bluff. This tour takes you through the neighborhoods established during this era.

Eight more tours are planned for the Walking Tour app. The next two will be added this summer:

  • Dogs on the Bluff -- From mid-July through September 2020, a colorful and imaginative collection of fiberglass dogs, puppies and fire hydrants will be displayed around Lake Bluff. This tour identifies the locations of the statues, sponsors and talent contributing to this public art display, part of Lake Bluff’s 125th anniversary celebration

  • Camp Meeting Cottages -- This tour includes summer cottages and country homes that were built in east Lake Bluff beginning in the 1880s, with many ultimately converted for year-round use.

The Lake Bluff Walking Tours app offers a modern, digital extension of the Lake Bluff History Museum’s popular docent-led tours. The app includes many period photographs from the museum’s archives. The app was produced by museum board members Steve Kraus and Mark Dewart and local resident Dan Huston, using a highly regarded history tour software package.

Each tour includes a short history quiz that to check just how much you know about Lake Bluff. Look for the Lake Bluff Walking Tours app icon, created by Hillary Spencer, in the Apple App Store and Google Play … and get started!