Historic Preservation at 50: Chicago and the Future of the Movement

50 Years of Preservation Passion: Symposium Honors Past and Future Historic Preservation in Chicago

Chicago, IL – Glessner House Museum, Landmarks Illinois and AIA Chicago will hold a day-long symposium, Historic Preservation at 50: Chicago and the Future of the Movement, Saturday, Oct. 8, focused on the future of historic preservation in Chicago and honoring the preservation efforts of our past. Symposium sessions will take place 9 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. at the Glessner House Museum, 1800 S. Prairie Ave., and Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood.

The event will pay tribute to half a century of historic preservation success in Chicago, beginning in 1966 when the Chicago School of Architecture Foundation saved the H.H. Richardson’s epochal Glessner House from demolition. 2016 also marks the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, which created the National Register of Historic Places in the U.S. Topics presented during the symposium will explore why we continue to save special buildings today and generate input on the future of historic preservation and its role in society.

“Glessner House has been at the forefront of historic preservation in Chicago,” said William Tyre, Executive Director and Curator at the Glessner House Museum. “We are excited to host this event that brings together people who are passionate about preservation and committed to shaping the future of our field.”

Tyre and Landmarks Illinois President and CEO Bonnie McDonald are among the speakers at the symposium.

“Preservation has been associated with saving buildings – the bricks and mortar. Yet our field is evolving to focus on the people served by those places and the greater community impact,” said McDonald. “Honoring layers of history and heritage, promoting social and environmental justice, urbanism, crowdsourcing and rightsizing will define preservation in the future. This is a day to begin the potentially difficult, but necessary, changes to remain relevant.”

To register for the event and view a full schedule of symposium sessions, visit http://www.glessnerhouse.org/events/historic-preservation-at-50. Ticket prices range from $10 to $30. Members of Glessner House Museum, Landmarks Illinois, AIA Chicago, and Friends of Historic Second Church receive reduced admission. Pre-paid reservations required.

A full list of symposium speakers:

  • Nootan Bharani, AIA, Lead Design Manager, Place Lab, University of Chicago
  • Katherine Darnstadt, AIA, Founder and Principal, Latent Design
  • Eleanor Gorski, Deputy Commissioner of Planning, Design and Historic Preservation, City of Chicago
  • Jamie Kalven (Keynote), Founder of the Invisible Institute at The Experimental Station
  • Bonnie McDonald, President and CEO, Landmarks Illinois
  • Vince Michael, Trustee, National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • William Tyre, Executive Director and Curator, Glessner House Museum

The symposium is being underwritten by a generous donation from Paul Lurie. Following the event, attendees can take a tour of the sanctuary of Second Presbyterian Church, the only individually listed National Historic Landmark church in the city of Chicago. For more information on Historic Preservation at 50: Chicago and the Future of the Movement, visit: http://www.glessnerhouse.org/events/historic-preservation-at-50.

About Landmarks Illinois

Landmarks Illinois is a nonprofit, membership-based organization serving the people of Illinois. We inspire and empower stakeholders to save places that matter to them by providing free guidance, practical and financial resources and access to strategic partnerships. Each year, we answer thousands of calls and emails from advocates, property owners and local and state agencies.

About Glessner House Museum

A National Historic Landmark, Glessner House was designed by noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson and completed in 1887. It remains an internationally-known architectural treasure in Chicago. A radical departure from traditional Victorian architecture, the structure served as an inspiration to architects such as Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe and the young Frank Lloyd Wright and helped redefine domestic architecture.

About AIA Chicago

The American Institute of Architects Chicago (AIA Chicago) is the largest chapter of licensed architects, architectural interns, and allied professionals within AIA Illinois, and the second largest AIA chapter in the country. As a resource for its members in service to society, AIA Chicago promotes positive change through the power of design.


Media Contact:
Kaitlyn McAvoy
Communications Manager, Landmarks Illinois
(312) 922-1742

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