#Make New History: Join us on a Special Biennial Dearborn Street Walk

photo credit: Martha Frish

Second Franklin Building, 720 S. Dearborn Street

The act of looking to the past to inform the present has always been central to architecture.

At a time when there is too much information and not enough attention, understanding the channels through which history moves and is shaped by architecture is more important than ever.  The relationship between art and architecture is a historical narrative unto itself.

Both practices have evolved around the changing nature of public space, in the function of specific sites, and in the expanding definitions of national and civic identities. These are the themes of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Jane’s Walk Chicago and Friends of Downtown are delighted to offer a Dearborn Street Walk as a Biennial program.  From Jenney, Burnham, Calder and Mies, Picasso to Chagall and Roche-Dinkeloo, Dearborn Street between Congress Parkway and Wacker Drive offers more important architectural diversity and major public sculpture than any other street in the United States. This walk encompasses all of these architectural and artistic ideas.

photo credit: Martha Frish

Alexander Calder’s Flamingo

During this Walk, participants will not only see the development of tall buildings in Chicago’s Loop, they will understand how they came to be in this seemingly unsuitable place. They will also see an array of public sculpture from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s on specifically designed open spaces in a tight urban setting like nowhere else in the United States. Participants will see the finest mosaic from the 1890s in a lobby in the US. All of this set in a context of urban cultural history.

photo credit: Martha Frish

Rolf Achilles

The Walk will be led by Rolf Achilles, an independent Art Historian who has devoted his life to documenting, writing, talking, teaching, and preserving interiors and their decorative arts in the US and abroad. He serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Historic Preservation Program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the Founding Curator of the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, 1999-2014. Concurrently, he is a consultant to the cities of Prague, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, London; to Glessner House, Richard H. Driehaus Museum, the Hegeler Carus Mansion, and to Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

We’ve scheduled the Walk for Saturday, November 18 from 10 to noon.  It will start at the Manhattan Building, 431 South Dearborn.  To optimize the experience, we’re limiting the number of participants to 15 … but we may add another Walk if there’s enough interest. You can register here. Please join us  for a unique experience!

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