New online programs, Giving Tuesday and your passport to international architecture

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DECEMBER 1, 2020 • ISSUE 25

Giving Tuesday


Today is #GivingTuesday—a global movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform communities worldwide. Your tax-deductible contribution helps the CAC:

Destiny Brady

① Make dreams come true for CAC Teen Fellows like Destiny Brady, who became an intern at Studio Gang during her time in the program and is now a student of architecture at the University of Wisconsin−Milwaukee.

Newhouse competition

② Invest in equitable futures for Chicago’s South and West Sides, in partnership with the City of Chicago and through neighborhood representation in our exhibitions, during the Newhouse Architecture + Design Competition and more.

Girls Build!

③ Remove barriers and open pathways to success in architecture, construction, engineering and design, especially for young women, BIPOC youth and others systemically underrepresented in those professions.

Walking tours

④ Support you in exploring the city safely during the ongoing pandemic, with hundreds of hours of educational online programs and virtual tours offered continuously since March 2020, for audiences of all ages.

Open House Chicago

⑤ Continue to lead North America’s largest architecture festival, as we “make no small plans” for the 11th annual Open House Chicago in 2021.

We can’t wait to welcome you back. CAC docents, staff members and volunteers all miss greeting you at the Center and sharing stories of the city through our classes, exhibitions, programs and tours. Your gift today, of any amount, helps ensure we’ll still be here to see you on the other side of this pandemic.


Chicago’s Holiday Traditions
Wednesday, December 23 at noon

Chicago has a habit of going “all in” for the holiday season. Join CAC docents Barbara Breakstone and Leslie Clark Lewis to hear the history behind these traditions, and learn how city landmarks get into the spirit, from display windows at Macy’s on State Street to the lions standing guard at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Holiday program

Art Deco Gods and Goddesses
Wednesday, January 13 at noon

Art Deco epitomized the exuberance of the 1920s, using motifs from ancient times to hint at a building’s purpose. Get to know some gods and goddesses who helped the public identify a post office, an electrical substation, a musicians’ union and multiple banks. CAC docent Bill Coffin explains how the gravitas of these Classical figures complemented the gaiety and novelty of Art Deco.

Art Deco program

Tiffany in Chicago
Wednesday, January 27 at noon

CAC docent Susan Jacobson leads this examination of some of the most magnificent art-glass and mosaic installations in Chicago crafted by Louis Comfort Tiffany, beginning with an exhibit at the 1893 World’s Fair. Learn about the design, techniques and craftspeople involved in creating these works and gain a deeper appreciation for Tiffany’s artistry through his company’s renowned creations.

Tiffany program
AAO program


Save six consecutive Saturdays, January 23 through February 27, for an armchair adventure through Europe and North America curated by the Association of Architecture Organizations. Each virtual tour in this exclusive series is led by experts from AAO members in Boston, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, New York City, Prague and, of course, our “sweet home,” Chicago. Hold a spot on the waiting list for yourself, plus a few more for folks on your holiday shopping list.


Save 10% on holiday gifts when you shop online anytime this month and get FREE shipping on orders of $75 or more. Take an additional 10% off all purchases through December 31 by becoming a CAC member today and pass the savings along by giving a gift membership or CAC gift card.

Holidays at the CAC


Prefer to shop in person? Take advantage of the discounts above at 111 E. Wacker Dr. on Thursday, December 10 from 3−6pm and on Saturday, December 12 from noon−3pm. No paid admission is necessary and while the Center’s exhibits will be closed, safety policies will remain in place.


Newhouse Competition


The CAC’s Newhouse Architecture + Design Competition showcases the talents of Chicago-area school students who create projects that solve real-world problems. This spring’s 39th annual competition engages high school students and teachers from across academic subjects in conversation about the quality of life in Chicago neighborhoods in alignment with INVEST South/West. This community revitalization initiative, launched in October 2019, supports equitable development in 10 underinvested areas by bringing together the resources of municipal government, community organizations, and corporate and philanthropic partners.

Newhouse entries will address challenges related to housing, mobility, community building, open space and social impact in Auburn Gresham, Austin and Englewood. Registration opens today, December 1; final projects are due by 5pm on Friday, April 9; and we’ll celebrate the winners and their work with a showcase and awards ceremony on Saturday, May 1. Visit to learn more or send an email to


One more thing

Allison Arwady, left, and Ngozi Ezike. Photo by Marcus Smith for Chicago magazine.

Highest fives and congratulations to CAC docent Allison Arwady—perhaps better known as the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health—and Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. This “dream team” was recently, duly recognized among Chicago magazine’s 2020 Chicagoans of the Year. Get to know Arwady, Ezike and their fellow awardees by picking up December’s issue of Chicago magazine or visiting the publication’s website.


The Chicago Architecture Center continues to offer online and remotely accessible programs for audiences of all ages, initiated in April 2020 with participants joining from across Chicago, the United States and overseas. Located at 111 East Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago, the Center is temporarily closed to visitors until further notice, in accordance with Tier 3 COVID-19 mitigation guidelines for cultural institutions from the State of Illinois.

To further support recommendations from public health officials, all CAC walking tours and in-person activities are also suspended until further notice. Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady, concluded for 2020 as of Sunday, November 15, will resume in 2021 on a date to be announced.

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