Walking tour news, historic homes and virtual camps

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JUNE 12, 2020 • ISSUE 11

CAC walking tours


CAC staff and docents are excited to resume select walking tours June 20, including longtime favorites highlighting Chicago neighborhoods and downtown areas. To purchase tickets, visit our calendar and select a date to see what tours are available. For those who prefer to attend virtually, CAC Live programs continue through Labor Day weekend at the earliest—all of which are accessible from the comfort of your home and feature acclaimed authors, architectural historians, industry leaders and CAC docents.

How about taking as many CAC walking tours as you want—for FREE? Join us as a CAC member today to enjoy unlimited FREE walking tours. Individual memberships start at $80 and provide benefits for one person. Dual memberships—our most popular—are $110 and include benefits for two adults and up to four children. Friends and Family memberships—our best value—provide benefits for four adults and four children. Explore Chicago with us!


CAC members who join with gifts of $300 or more get special invitations to exhibition openings, extra perks during Open House Chicago and other exclusive opportunities. Join at the Deco level or higher today and be entered to win a FREE private walking tour for you and up to five guests.



Chicago’s Downtown Theatre District
Saturday, June 13 at 1pm
Tuesday, June 16 at 7pm

Concentrated along Randolph Street and home to landmark venues including the Chicago Theatre and the James M. Nederlander Theatre, this bustling strip reflected trends and preferences in live performance throughout numerous eras. CAC docent Robin Simon outlines the district’s history, sharing interesting facts about ways it evolved—and continues to change.

Theater program

What House Museums Tell Us
Monday, June 15 at 2pm

House museums play an important, if overlooked, role in our interpretation of history and architectural eras. This one-time-only program looks at a broad array of examples across the United States including the Glass House, Hearst Castle and Pabst Mansion, along with Chicago’s Glessner House and The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

House Museum program


Summer camps


CAC Education staff and special guests lead five-day Summer Camps combining real-time engagement with toolkits for self-guided work on a flexible schedule. Choose from seven options running June 29 through August 7—three designed for kids ages 8 to 10, and four designed for kids ages 11 to 14. To ensure a quality experience, each camp is limited to 30 participants. Registration remains open until 12 days prior to the first day of camp.

Neighborhood Strollers


For this week’s episode of Neighborhood Strollers, let’s join CAC Manager of School and Family Programs Rebecca Boland to learn about Chicago’s 2,000-mile network of roadways important for circulation, parking, sanitation—and maybe the occasional basketball game.

No Small Plans


In 1911, the Chicago Plan Commission invited writer Walter D. Moody to pen “Wacker’s Manual,” a textbook on civic planning for eighth-grade students that remained in school curricula for more than two decades. In partnership with Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Public Library, we created “No Small Plans” as a contemporary analogue to “Wacker’s Manual.” We’re thrilled that “No Small Plans” is available once again—order a copy today and let’s take this moment to reimagine our city for future generations.


Previously on “Storytime with the CAC,” Interim Education Coordinator Mizael Robledo read “Maybe Something Beautiful” by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell in English and in Spanish. This Friday, June 12 at 12:30pm Central Time, tune into the CAC’s Facebook page to read “Katy and the Big Snow” by 1943 Caldecott Medalist Virginia Lee Burton.

Harriet F. Rees house


In 1888, at the age of 71, Chicago widow Harriet F. Rees commissioned architects Henry Ives Cobb and Charles Sumner Frost to design a new home for her and her daughter. More than 125 years later, the Romanesque mansion was moved across and up South Prairie Avenue.


CAC Recommends


Now is not the first time that leaders in architecture and related industries have heard calls to advance equity and foster inclusion. In 1968, National Urban League Executive Director Whitney M. Young, Jr. delivered an historic address to the American Institute of Architects’ National Convention in Portland, Oregon. Today we reflect on what has—and hasn’t—changed since then.


Chicago skyline

In the May 28 issue of CAC@Home, we challenged readers to test their familiarity with Chicago’s skyline by naming eight skyscrapers shown only in silhouette—without searching online. From left to right, they are: Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), 1973, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; The Franklin, 1989, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Federal Center, 1974, Schmidt, Garden and Erikson, C. F. Murphy Associates and A. Epstein and Sons after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; The Grant, 2010, Pappageorge Haymes Partners; 333 South Wabash (formerly CNA Center), 1973, Graham, Anderson, Probst & White; 150 North Michigan (formerly the Smurfit-Stone Building and Crain Communications Building), 1984, A. Epstein and Sons; Two Prudential Plaza (commonly known as “Pru Two”), 1990, Loebl Schlossman Dart & Hackl; and Aon Center (formerly the Standard Oil Building and Amoco Building), 1973, Edward Durell Stone and Perkins and Will.


The CAC has recently updated projected dates for the limited reinstatement of certain tours. The CAC remains committed to providing a safe experience for its entire community of members, staff, visitors, volunteers and tour attendees. Visit our COVID-19 information page for the latest updates.

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