We’re nominated for Best Tour in Chicago!

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JANUARY 25, 2022 • ISSUE 55

Jahn designs


Last December, it was announced that Helmut Jahn's Thompson Center will be saved. Credit for this huge preservation win goes in part to a united pressure campaign and the serious reuse concepts generated by the design community. Had the competing bid won out, the result would have been the clearing of Jahn’s local masterpiece for high-rises.

Developer Michael Reschke, working with the office of JAHN, stresses this is not a restoration project. The redesign appears to improve street level access and adds terraces and greenery within a re-glazed facade. There is some concern, though, about how the reconfigured, whitewashed atrium—done to improve energy performance and deliver modern hotel and office space—may deaden this famously electric space. Is there a more pleasing middle ground that honors the original postmodern design? We’ll soon find out—the $280 million renovation is expected to begin later this year.

Learn more about Helmut Jahn's impact in Chicago and beyond before the exhibit closes in March. Helmut Jahn: Life + Architecture explores the late Chicago architect's provocative and prodigious career through photography, models and sketches of over 20 buildings Jahn designed. Plus, Newcity listed the exhibit in their Design Top 5 for 2021!


Newhouse competition


Registration for the 40th Newhouse Architecture and Design Competition is now open! Sign up to participate in this year's competition, which centers teens’ efforts on projects to create a more youth-friendly Chicago. Learn more about submissions here.


Sears Home Kit


Homes Delivered: The Story of Sears Home Kits
Thursday, January 27 at 12:00pm

Shoppers flocked to mail-order retailers during the 20th century, even going so far as to order their homes through the mail. Between 1908 and 1940, the Chicago-based retailer Sears sold over 70,000 customizable home kits, making it the largest & most famous retailer in the business. Join us for a talk about Sears Home Kits, which you can still find across the country.

Inviting Chicago's Architecture to Your Wedding

Robyn Rachel Photography

Inviting Chicago's Architecture to Your Wedding
Thursday, February 10 at 6:00pm

Grab your honey and get ready to snuggle as we kick off the Valentine’s Day weekend! We will be talking with experts in Chicago's wedding industry about how to incorporate the city's architecture on your special day.

Art Nouveau and Chicago Architects

Art Nouveau and Chicago Architects
Wednesday, February 23 at 12:00pm

Before Art Deco, another design style was favored by Chicago's great architects as a way to add character to their buildings. Explore the city's connections to Art Nouveau through various buildings that can still be seen today.


Retail Image


Bring the fun of the CAC Design Store to your home this winter with exciting puzzles and activities perfect for design lovers! From Frank Lloyd Wright to Charley Harper to LEGO, we have the entertainment you need for your cozy night in this winter. Now available online at shop.architecture.org or visit us in-store Fridays - Mondays from 10:00am – 4:00pm.

One More Thing

CAFC River Cruise Aboard Chicago's First Lady


The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises is up for 2021 Best Tour in Chicago by The Reader! We're honored to be nominated, and we need your votes to win. You can vote for Best Tour under the City Life category. One vote per person and voting ends at noon on February 2. Help us hold onto our Best Tour title by voting this year!



As a nonprofit, CAC relies on charitable donations to make the world of architecture and design within reach – for everyone. Your tax-deductible donation provides critical resources so that the CAC can educate, inspire and engage young people about the importance of good design in building the sustainable and livable communities we want, need and deserve.

Interested in making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) through your IRA? Would you like to make a gift of stock or make an ACH transfer? Contact Emily Dreke, Vice President of Development at edreke@architecture.org or (312) 561-2119.


Updated Mask Policy

Effective Friday, August 20, the Chicago Department of Public Health requires that everyone 2+ wear masks in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. This includes in our Center, anytime a walking tour goes indoors and aboard any enclosed transportation including the enclosed salon area onboard the vessels of Chicago’s First Lady Cruises.

Updated Center Hours

Please note that in January-February, the Center will be open Friday-Monday from 10:00am-4:00pm.

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