Sneak peek at a new exhibit, celebrating Earth Week and updates about the CAC's galleries

Chicago Architecture Center logo

APRIL 20, 2021 • ISSUE 35

Housing exhibit



Americans are changing—and so are our housing needs. Opening this spring at the CAC, Housing for a Changing Nation explores how developments in American society and experience, including shifts in demographics, the economy and the environment, are forcing us to reexamine the concept of house and home.

Learn how local architects are reimagining the notions of home and community at a moment when much of our existing late 19th- and 20th-century housing stock has become outdated.

Everyone needs a home. Join us in exploring how new housing forms and reuse concepts can accommodate the many different ways Chicagoans—and Americans—are adapting and evolving over the course of their lives. Stay tuned for more updates!

This exhibit is made possible by AARP Illinois and the AARP Foundation.

CAFC River Cruise


All aboard! The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady is back on the river. Don't miss out on the #1 tour in Chicago according to TripAdvisor users.

"If you've only got 90 minutes in Chicago, or 90 minutes to live...this is where you want to spend them."
Chicago Reader


The CAC Box Office and Design Store are now open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am–4pm. Guests can also explore our new exhibit—Hyper Green High-Rises: Towards a Zero-Energy Skyscraper—in the John and Kathleen Buck Atrium. The rest of the Center remains closed. The CAC's galleries will open on May 22. Stay tuned for more updates!



The Evolution Of School Design In Chicago
Wednesday, April 28 at noon

From historic buildings that escaped the Chicago Fire of 1871 to stunning contemporary designs, explore how Chicago's schools have been adapted for today's needs.

School design program

This program is supported by a gift of the Gary family in memory of Myra Gary and in honor of the Docents’ 50th Anniversary.


Vincent Scully Masterclass Series: See Like an Architect 
Tuesday, May 4 at 6pm

It's not too late to register for the last session in our Vincent Scully Masterclass Series. Learn to break down and analyze designs like a seasoned architect in this final class focused on proportion and scale.

Scully program

The 2021 Vincent Scully Masterclass Series: See Like an Architect is generously sponsored by Ann and Richard Carr.

Film Screening & Discussion: “The Shame Of Chicago”
Thursday, May 13 at 5:30pm

Join us for an exclusive screening of Episode 3 of Bruce Orenstein’s new documentary series, The Shame of Chicago, exploring predatory contract home sales in Chicago after World War II. Moderated discussion to follow.

Film screening program

This film screening is part of the CAC’s Housing for a Changing America exhibit that is made possible by AARP Illinois and the AARP Foundation.


River cruise docent


We're celebrating the incredible 50th anniversary of the CAC’s docent program, launched in 1971.

Our talented docents educate and entertain Chicagoans, students and visitors from around the world. They teach people not only about Chicago and its amazing architecture, but how to see their own city differently.

We hope you will join us in thanking our world-class docents for 50 years of service with a gift to support the CAC!

Know a docent who deserves a shout-out? Honor them with a gift to the CAC’s annual fund, and we will let them know you did!


Teen Fellows


The CAC’s Teen Fellows program invites high school-age youth to explore the past, experience the present and design the future. This 15-month program—offered at no cost to selected participants—gives incoming sophomores and juniors enrolled in Chicago high schools the chance to explore architecture and design careers, earn college credit through City Colleges of Chicago and work alongside industry professionals in paid internships. We're currently recruiting the next cohort of fellows. Apply today!


This week, we're celebrating Earth Day! Inspired by the environmental activism of the 1960s, Earth Day began more than 50 years ago on April 22 as a national teach-in on the environment and a way to raise public awareness about pollution. Here are a couple of green projects and initiatives from around the city that focus on making the world more sustainable for everyone.

Garfield Green


The C40 Reinventing Cities Competition, now in its second year, is an initiative giving support to one project annually that regenerates underdeveloped land while pursuing zero-carbon design. 2019’s winning proposal, Garfield Green, is a two-phase sustainable housing project in the Garfield Park neighborhood that aims to spur growth while maintaining affordable housing stock. Read more →

BIG Green Homestead

BIG Green Homestead

Chicago community development nonprofit Blacks in Green is working on BIG Green Homestead, a development that will bring community-owned housing and commercial spaces to the city's South Side. The project seeks to instill a “sustainable-square-mile” infilled urban model for the West Woodlawn neighborhood, focusing on community ownership, locally-produced energy, sustainable housing, and neighborhood organizations.
Read more →


At its annual meeting on March 25, CAC welcomed a new slate of trustees to its Board. We would like to introduce Kelly Powers Baria (Powers & Sons Construction), Andreason Brown (Spencer Foundation), Robert Forest (Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture), Steve Hamman (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois), Kapil Khanna (Lamar Johnson Collaborative), Juan Gabriel Moreno (JGMA), David Nelson (DRW Holdings LLC), Brandi Pitts (Facebook) and Katie Spring (Edelman).

Heartfelt thanks to Shay Bahramirad, Catherine Baker, Thomas Brean, Joan Gand, Gordon Gill, Carrie Hightman, Kurt Karnatz, Catherine Odelbo, Lee Pollock and Marcy Twete who rotated off the Board.

Select CAC walking tour departures are now available for purchase. Please note that advance reservations and face coverings are required for all CAC walking tours. Those who attend CAC walking tours departing through April may request vouchers for complimentary Center admission once exhibits reopen in May. The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady is now running. All CAC tour attendees are prompted to acknowledge and accept the CAC’s safety policies supporting recommendations from public health officials from the CDC, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago. Located at 111 East Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago, the Center's galleries remain temporarily closed to visitors.

Twitter Facebook Facebook

The Chicago Architecture Center inspires people to discover why design matters.

CAC footer