The Garrick Theater looms large in Chicago history – both as a masterpiece of Adler & Sullivan and as one of the earliest organized efforts to preserve an important part of our architectural heritage. This exclusive event will provide attendees with an intimate view of the building as experienced by architect John Vinci, who was on the front line to fight for its preservation, which then shifted to a salvage operation when demolition became imminent. Co-sponsored by Bldg. 51 Museum. A partner program of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Image courtesy of the Richard Nickel Archive, Art Institute of Chicago
The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition lasted for only six months before its structures “vanished.” But the Fair’s permanent impact on American consumer culture, city planning, and questions around citizenry and foreignness was deeply tied to and reinforced by its ephemerality. Professor Rebecca Graff will discuss her archaeological and archival research focused on the Fair’s ephemeral “White City” and Midway Plaisance. The results of the excavation in Jackson Park revealed a robust archaeological signature of the extensive sanitary infrastructure of the Fair and, surprisingly, delicate plaster remains of the Fair’s Ohio State Building. Graff’s work links the Fair, as a catalyst for structural change and its material record, to the larger social structures of late nineteenth century America. A partner program of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
When Queen Victoria’s beloved husband Prince Albert died in 1861, she swathed herself in black and mourned his loss for the rest of her life. On the night before Halloween, come explore Victorian-style mourning in a light-hearted look at the rituals and relics - from graveyard gatherings and seances to posthumous portraits, hair jewelry, and spirit photography - that gave the dead a vital role in daily life. The presentation will be given by Debra Mancoff, a popular lecturer, Scholar in residence at the Newberry Library, and the author of numerous books on Britain in the 19th century.
Frances Glessner was known for her hospitality, and regularly welcomed friends to share a meal in the elegant dining room of her home. Guests included Prairie Avenue neighbors, business and social leaders, musicians, artists, authors, and university presidents and professors. In this illustrated lecture, curator William Tyre will explore what a guest would have experienced from the time they entered the front door until they left for the evening. Topics include drawing up the guest list and seating chart, selecting the menu, creating the table setting, themed dinners, after dinner entertainment, and highlights from Frances Glessner’s collection of more than 100 cookbooks which still reside on the shelves in the library. This event will also serve as the opening reception for the symposium “Nineteenth Century Kitchens and Dining,” taking place on Saturday November 9th, co-sponsored by the Victorian Society of America. Reception begins at 6:30pm; lecture at 7:15pm.
This lecture and tour will focus on a significant collection of memorial windows at Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago, the only church in the city to be individually listed as a National Historic Landmark. The factors resulting in the increased use of leaded glass during the 19th century will be examined, as will the innovations that led to this growth by national figures such as Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge, and local practitioners including Louis Millet and Giannini & Hilgart, all of whom are represented at the church. Specific examples of the myriad types of glass developed during the period will be examined, including drapery glass, confetti glass, faceted jewels, and the all-important opalescent glass perfected by Tiffany. Finally, the donors themselves, and those for whom the memorial windows were given, will be discussed, including such prominent names as Marshall Field, George Pullman, Silas Cobb, Timothy Blackstone, and John Crerar. Co-sponsored by Friends of Historic Second Church. A partner program of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Image by Mark F. Heffron.
A $22 million project completed in early 2019 returned the Great Hall of Chicago’s Union Station to its 1920s glory as envisioned by architects Graham, Anderson, Probst & White. Major work included the restoration of the 219-foot-long skylight, plaster repair, restored ornamentation, restoration of 24 ceiling chandeliers and two sculptures by artist Henry Hering, and a paint analysis which revealed the original color scheme. The presentation will be given by Leonard Koroski, FAIA, a principal with Goettsch Partners, who led the team in this three year project.
In 1882, Henry Hobson Richardson embarked on an extended trip to Europe. His itinerary through France, Italy, and Spain, and his impressions of what he saw, were preserved in a series of letters he sent home to his wife Julia in Brookline, Massachusetts. Upon his return to the United States, Richardson set to work on a series of commissions that were deeply influenced by his European travels, and resulted in the emergence of his trademark style, that eventually became known as Richardsonian Romanesque. These included such seminal works as the Marshall Field Wholesale Store in Chicago, the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh, his unbuilt project for the All Saints Episcopal Cathedral in Albany, New York, and Glessner House. This program by Kay Young, a lecturer in medieval material culture, will retrace Richardson's steps through Europe and will show how the memory of what he saw directly influenced the projects he designed during the remaining four years of his life. A partner program of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.