River cruise updates, women in architecture and Logan Square charm

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JULY 2, 2020 • ISSUE 14

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Our home at 111 East Wacker Drive—where the stories of the city begin—has been closed for 111 consecutive days. That ends tomorrow, July 3, as we reopen to visitors beginning five days per week. We can’t thank you enough for remaining with us through this challenging time.

As your safety is our priority, you’ll notice some changes around the Center, designed to best support the recommendations of public health officials. We realize present circumstances bring with them a degree of uncertainty, so we’re happy to answer any questions you might have. Please contact us via email at tickets@architecture.org or call us at 312.922.3432.


Safety measures aren’t the only changes we’ve made since March. Both our Chicago Gallery and Drake Family Skyscraper Gallery have received numerous updates including more than 30 new models on display—and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Exhibit changes
River cruise


The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady is the city’s only “official” architecture cruise, rated #1 by Trip Advisor users. Hear the stories behind more than 50 riverfront buildings, engagingly told by expertly trained CAC docents. New safety policies are in place for all river cruise passengers and advance reservations are required. This opening weekend, cruises depart Friday at 12:30pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm and 7pm; July 4 and 5, cruises depart at 10am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm and 7pm. Choose your departure today and get ready to cruise with us!


July 3 also brings the reinstatement of additional CAC walking tours departing from the Center—at 10:30am, 1pm and 3pm Thursdays through Mondays. Browse the full schedule. Prefer to enjoy a walking tour with friends and family you know? We’re delighted to offer both My Social Circle private tours, discounted for CAC members, and Architecture Conversations custom tours. Book your private tour today!

Private tours

Please note that our safety policies apply to all CAC walking tours, both public and private.

Explore the wonders of Chicago as a CAC member! You’ll see our fascinating city in a whole new way with great perks like FREE CAC Live virtual tours led by expert docents—and a host of amazing benefits including FREE walking tours that are second to none. Memberships start at just $80.


Women in Architecture Tour
Sunday, July 5 at 1pm

While women in architecture and design professions were historically limited by glass ceilings, they’ve secured bigger and more visible roles in the 21st century, opening and running their own offices and designing buildings that have changed cities and skylines the world over.

Women in architecture

Women of Influence Graceland Cemetery Tour
Tuesday, July 7 at 1pm
Sunday, July 12 at 1pm

Discover women who made lasting impacts on Chicago with a visit to their final resting places. CAC docent Mary Jo Hoag leads this live, virtual tour of Graceland Cemetery highlighting several women who changed the city—some even before they were allowed to vote, hold public office, work outside the home or attend college.

Women of Graceland


CAC summer camps


The deadline to join us for CAC Summer Camps for the week of July 20 is next Wednesday, July 8 at 5pm. Don’t wait to secure your spot for Design Your Neighborhood 1.0, for campers ages 8 to 10, and Design Your Neighborhood 2.0, for campers ages 11 to 14. Younger campers are encouraged to hone their observational skills through introductions to sketching and model-building, while older campers attend virtual tours and talk with design experts about their planning decisions. Advance registration includes all necessary supplies!


A new and FREE opportunity for Chicago-area youth ages 13 to 18, the CAC Teen Design Challenge invites both individual students and teams of up to five to respond to the City of Chicago’s INVEST South/West initiative, by designing community amenities such as bike lanes, parks or public spaces. A guest jury of 10 professionals in architecture, construction, design and engineering (ACED) careers will review all submissions—due by 5pm on Friday, July 31—and select five finalists who will proceed to compete for cash prizes, ranging from $100 for honorable mentions to $500 for the top awardee.


Read along with CAC Education Facilitator Paige Tobin as we flip through “Katy and the Big Snow” by Virginia Lee Burton—then try the at-home activity linked below!

Logan Square


Logan Square’s verdant boulevard is lined with nearly as many architectural highlights as trees. However you decide to cruise through it—by bike, car or any other vehicle—CAC docent Jill Dahlke has the shortlist of historic structures you won’t want to miss.


CAC Recommends

Inspired by the leaders we’re highlighting next week on CAC Live—see Women in Architecture and Women of Influence above—CAC staff this week are thinking and learning more about women who’ve recently reshaped and redefined the fields of architecture and design.



Thursday, July 23 at 6pm Central Time, you’re all cordially invited to a FREE and entertaining virtual event highlighting people, programs and public spaces—as well as a few surprises. Proceeds support the CAC and 10 years of our free festival, Open House Chicago.

in memoriam

The CAC mourns the recent death of esteemed educator, mentor and architect David Sharpe, former associate partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and an alumnus of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture, to which he returned in 1962 as a drawing instructor and where he became the first Black professor in its architecture program. Read more about Sharpe’s inspiring career and accomplishments.

David Sharpe, left, with Mahjoub M. Elnimeiri. Photo courtesy of the College of Architecture at IIT.

In Memoriam


Following this issue, CAC@Home will arrive in your inbox biweekly on Tuesdays beginning July 14 and continuing on July 28. Our thanks to everyone who’s participated in our reader challenges, sent us their thoughts on our docents’ articles and passed our 13 past issues on to colleagues, family and friends. We’re excited to keep bringing these mini magazines to you as we continue transitioning toward more in-person events and offerings and remember: You can still access the entire CAC@Home archive on our website.

The CAC remains committed to providing the safest possible experience for its entire community of members, staff, visitors, volunteers and tour attendees. All Center visitors and CAC tour attendees are prompted to acknowledge and accept the CAC’s COVID-19 safety policies supporting recommendations from public health officials from the CDC, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago.

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