Screening of the fine-cut on May 10, 2012 at Columbia College Chicago

"New" Under the Bridgefluence - From Chicago’s earliest beginnings, both bridges and beer have connected the city and its people – they are the links which have brought thirsty Chicagoans together.  From bridge tenders to bartenders, both have played pivotal roles in the development of our fine city.  Come lift your spirits on a unique walking bridge and bar tour led by tavern and beer historian, Liz Garibay and bridge historian, Patrick McBriarty.  The duo will share stories of Chicago beer and bridge history and relate the interplay between the two in the making of Chicago’s past. $25 Ticket price includes five bridges, four bars, three hours, two miles and a whole lot of of delicious history. Drinks on you. Purchase tickets HERE.

World Premier screening on January 29, 2013 at Union League Club of Chicago



"New" 1812 Chicago; a Scalping, a Murder, & a Massacre- by author and historian Patrick McBriarty presents an intimate look at the events and intrigue between April and August of 1812 surrounding the remote military, French and Indian trading post of Chicagou.  Focusing on John Kinzie, the area’s leading fur and Indian trader, who is embroiled in preserving his family and business amidst Indian Country, and caught between the Native Americans, British, and upstart land-hungry Americans on the cusp of The War of 1812.  (Adults; 45-60 minutes; $175-250 negotiable with permission to sell books and DVDs.)

Author Visits at Schools/Libraries - schedule a visit by children's author Patrick McBriarty for your classroom, school, or library.  His children's books are ideal for Pre-K through 3rd Graders to meet a real live working author; discuss bridges, airplanes, or subway trains; get a read aloud of a PTM Werks Series book about how things work; and get answers to all kinds of kid questions.  These visits are a great introduction to simple machines or launching pad for a variety of STEM and STEAM topics.   (Time: 25-30 minutes/session.  Honorarium: $150-600 negotiable depending on requirements.)

Patrick is also great at working with middleandhigh school students to talk about what it is like to be an author, writing tips & techniques, and the process of developing a story or publishing a book.  (Time: 40-50 minutes/session. Honorarium: $150-200/session negotiable.) 

Screening of Chicago Drawbridges - hold a private screening of the 56-minute documentary Chicago Drawbridges for you group or organization. Broadcast on Chicago and Milwaukee Public Television, you can share this informative and entertaining film See the film chronicling the importance of the bridges in the development of Windy City and enjoy a Q&A with the filmmakers.  Screened in Park City Utah during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival viewers of all ages enjoy this film even if they have no interest in bridges at all.  After seeing this you will not look at a bridge the same again.  (Adults; 70-80 minutes; A/V requirements: venue, screen, and LCD projector; Screening fee: $200-350 negotiable with permission to sell books and DVDs.)

Chicago River Bridges Tour - Catch author and Chicago bridge historian Patrick McBriarty on Wendella's Chicago River Bridges Tours to pass under or through 20+ bridges to learn their engineering and architectural significance and importance to Chicago and the development of modern drawbridge design.   Plus the human dramas surrounding the bridges.  For details and tickets visit the Wendella website. As a recent patron wrote, "“Patrick McBriarty gave an excellent narration for the Chicago River Bridges boat tour. He was interesting and the tour was educational. We enjoyed a very positive experience.” (Adults; 120 minutes; for details & tickets go to Wendella's website.) 

The 2016 schedule was (2017 schedule TBD):

  • Saturday, May 14 at 9:00 - 11:00 am - expected bridge lifts
  • Saturday, June 25 at 9:00 - 11:00 am
  • Saturday, July 16 at 9:00 - 11:00 am
  • Tuesday, August 23 at 5:45 - 7:45 pm
  • Saturday, September 17 at 9:00 - 11:00 am - expected bridge lifts
  • Saturday, October 1 at 9:00 - 11:00 am - expected bridge lifts

Bridge Tours- A walking (or boat) tour of Chicago's wonderful bridges can be customized for your group.  A stroll along Chicago's new Riverwalk provides an ideal venue to get up close and learn about the history, architecture, and engineering of the Drawbridge Capital of the World.  Walking tours of Chicago's bridges reveal the development of the Windy City through the lens of its bridges.  Longer tours may include visiting the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum, a Water Taxi ride, or touring bridges on the North or South Branches of Chicago River or Calumet River.  McBriarty has given tours for AIA - Chicago, The Society of Architectural Historians, the 5th International Congress of Construction Historians, and most frequently non-technical folks curious about great Chicago history.  (Time: 60-90 minutes.  Cost: $165 - 250 negotiable depending on duration & group size.) 

Children's author, writer, and bridge historian Patrick McBriarty offers a variety of presentations, school & library visits, and bridge tours...

All Programs...

provide great history, exploration, and fun information backed by strong research and experience.  McBriarty taps into the universal relationships we all have with our built environment and desire to learn by sharing his excitement and passion for relating the beauty, dynamics, and magic of how things work and their history through great storytelling.  Schedule one of these programs or tours for your group, school, library, gathering, or organizational meeting. 

CONTACT:  to schedule your event.

​​Chicago River Bridge Presentation (most popular) - by author and bridge historian Patrick McBriarty is a multimedia presentation on the importance of the bridges in the development of the Windy City from the first wood footbridge, built by a tavern owner in 1832, to the engineering and architectural marvels spanning the Chicago River today.  Based on the award-winning book of the same title learn how Chicago emerged as the Drawbridge Capital of the World with stories of floods, fire, politics, and bridge innovations with a Q&A afterward.  (Adults; 50-70 minutes; Honorarium: $175-250 negotiable with permission to sell books and DVDs.)

     Patrick McBriarty has provided this presentation for the likes of:
  • The Chicago History Museum
  • The Arts Club of Chicago
  • The Chicago Maritime Museum
  • American Institute of Architects
  • The Union League Club of Chicago
  • The Chicago Architectural Foundation
  • The Harold Washington, Niles, Schaumburg, and Evergreen Park Public Libraries
  • The University Club of Chicago
  • The Chicago Yacht Club and Burnham Yacht Club 
  • The Des Plaines History Museum
  • The Cigar Society of Chicago