Preservation Snapshots Spring 2016 Series: Living Modern


Architecture of I.W. Colburn
Thursday, March 24 – 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Admission: Free
Place: Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka

Jay Pridmore’s new book, I. W. Colburn: Emotion in Modern Architecture, chronicles the career of one of Chicago’s most influential mid-century modernists. Colburn’s houses, institutional buildings, and religious structures feature a highly refined blend of structural expression and deeply embedded elements of traditional architecture. Colburn was an independent architect whose sculptural buildings were controversial in his time, but whose mastery of proportion, materials, and space have gained wide recognition 50 years later. Books will be available for sale and signing.

Speaker: Jay Pridmore is the author of more than 20 books, many of them about Chicago architecture. His Chicago Architecture and Design (Abrams, 2005) remains a bestseller in its class. Pridmore’s Building Ideas (University of Chicago Press, 2013) examines the rich and unparalleled architectural history of the University of Chicago. He lives near Chicago.

Cosponsor: Winnetka Landmark Preservation Commission


Glencoe Open House Preview
Sunday, April 17 – 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Admission: Free
Place: Address will be made available with RSVP

Preview tour of a 1955-one time owner, custom-built home soon to go on the market. Designed by the architectural firm of Whalley and Gould and interiors by Marion Heuer, a noted interior decorator of the time, this quad-level home is completely intact.

Cosponsors: Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond and DOCOMOMO Chicago.

RSVP via email to Lisa DiChiera.


Mid-Century Modern in Chatham
Thursday, April 21 – 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Admission: Free
Place: The Auditorium Building, Roosevelt University’s Murray-Green Library, 430 S. Michigan Avenue, 10th floor, Chicago

An exploration of Chatham’s architecturally significant mid-century modern homes and the stories they tell of Chicago’s twentieth-century African American middle class. At mid-century, Chatham was home to at least three black-owned financial institutions including Independence Bank, a branch of Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan, and Seaway Bank and Trust. These banks provided traditional mortgages with fair terms to African Americans who had been previously denied access to home loans. These banks helped built Chatham.

Speaker: Krisann Rehbein is a design advocate, writer and educator. She is founder of Building City Lab, a consulting practice focused on design education and writing, in Milwaukee. Rehbein is also a regular contributor to New City, an arts and culture bi-weekly published in Chicago.

Most Endangered Historic Places: To highlight the staggering number of mid-century modern houses up for sale and vulnerable as tear-downs in the Chicago area and statewide, Landmark homes listed this building type to its “Most Endangered.” Our hope is that local landmark commissions prioritize the identification and protection of these gems, as well as promote available incentives for rehabilitation. To learn more…

Photo credit: Eric Allix Rogers


Bruce Goff’s Ford House: Living in Joyful Order
Thursday, May 19 – 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Admission: Free
Place: The Auditorium Building, Roosevelt University’s Murray-Green Library, 430 S. Michigan Avenue, 10th floor, Chicago

An in-depth look at the history and importance of Bruce Goff's iconic 1949 Ruth and Sam Ford House in Aurora. Working on the theory that the circle is “an informal, gathering-around, friendly form,” Goff designed the home with a center circle 50 feet in diameter and two circular bedroom wings. It is constructed of anthracite coal, steel, glass, cedar, and hemp, and has remained relatively unchanged since its construction. The house is the focus of a new journal published by Friends of Kebyar featuring essays by speakers John H. Waters and Sidney K. Robinson as well as never-before-published drawings, photos, and more.

Speakers: John H. Waters, preservation programs manager for the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, is an architect whose work focuses on the research and documentation of historic buildings and sites. Sidney K. Robinson is an architectural historian and owner of the Ford House.


General Information

Experts in preservation - but also skilled in wit, humor and easy understanding - will present talks on a specific subject each month. Before each lecture there will be a Preservation Update, with announcements about upcoming meetings, other lectures and upcoming events related to preservation. Join us in our new location in The Auditorium Building, Roosevelt University’s Murray-Green Library, 430 S. Michigan Avenue, 10th floor, Chicago.

Past Lectures

Photo: Laurent House, Rockford (credit: Nels Akerlund) Frank Lloyd Wright’s thoughtful and accessible design of the house predates the Americans with Disabilities Act by more than three decades. The Friends of the Laurent House are Landmarks Illinois’ 2015 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award winners for Advocacy.