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The Life and Work of Architect Ben Weese

  • Glessner House 1800 South Prairie Avenue Chicago, IL, 60616 (map)

Architect Ben Weese, celebrating his 90th birthday on June 4th, initially followed his older brothers into the world of architecture, but soon emerged with an independent identity as both architect and urban planner that focused on his commitment to social responsibility. His works, found throughout the Midwest, include a wide variety of projects for non-profit and educational clients that reflect his sensitivity to the vernacular environment. In the mid-1960s, Ben and his brother Harry worked tirelessly to rescue and successfully save one of Chicago’s most important buildings - Glessner House. A decade later, he rose to prominence as a member of the “Chicago Seven,” a group of young architects that challenged the prominence of the Miesians by reclaiming the legacy of lesser-appreciated architects through writings and exhibitions.

The lecture will be given by author and architectural historian Robert Bruegmann, who is currently writing a book on the architectural careers of Ben and his wife Cynthia. Architect Peter Landon, who worked in the Weeses’ office for ten years, will provide the introduction.

A 90th birthday reception, hosted by the Weese family, will take place from 5:30 to 6:30pm, during which time the house will also be open for complimentary tours.

This lecture is the second offering of the Wilbert R. Hasbrouck Historic Preservation Lecture Series funded through a generous gift from Paul and Margaret Lurie.  Hasbrouck, who passed away in 2018, was a distinguished preservation architect and one of a small group of individuals, including Ben Weese, who came together to successfully save Glessner House in the 1960s.  The Hasbrouck Lecture will be given each year during Historic Preservation Month.

$10 per person / $8 for members

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 Image: Westminster Presbyterian Church, Peoria, IL (Balthazar Korab)

 

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