New year, new design discoveries

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JANUARY 11, 2022 • ISSUE 54

Reliance Building


This new year, make sure to explore new sights! Even with winter temperatures, you can continue to discover Chicago architecture with the highly anticipated return of building tours. These tours take you on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes journey inside buildings such as the Rookery, the Monadnock, Trump Tower, the Reliance Building and 875 N. Michigan. Building tours will begin in February with limited departures, so book your tickets now to step inside and explore somewhere new in 2022.


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

Chicago Architecture Center


Chicago Public Library


The Chicago Public Library Through An Architectural Lens
Wednesday, January 12 at 12:00pm

Join us as we explore the buildings of the Chicago Public Library, from its beginning in the 19th century in an unused water tower, to its dazzling 21st century neighborhood branches.

The Year That Was/The Year to Come in Chicago Design & Development

The Year That Was/The Year To Come In Chicago Design & Development
Thursday, January 20 at 12:00pm

Join us for a special program with CAC President and CEO Lynn Osmond. Hear about 2021’s design, development and preservation as Chicago gradually recovers and recalibrates from the pandemic. Then, consider what awaits us in 2022 and beyond.

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.


Newhouse Competition


Senator Richard Newhouse came to Chicago to write for the Chicago Defender from Boston University, by way of Louisville, Kentucky. He was the first Black man to run for mayor of Chicago but lost to Richard Daley. Senator Newhouse didn’t let that loss stop him, and went on to win a seat in the Illinois State Senate. While in office, Newhouse set up programs around Chicago, with a central focus on housing. 40 years ago he used that passion to create the Newhouse Competition to expand the field of architecture. Today, we continue that tradition with the CAC's annual Newhouse Competition. To be the first to know what’s happening for this year's competition, sign up for notifications here.


Krause Music Store

Left photo by Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing Photographers


Ever thought about owning a piece of Chicago’s rich architectural history? In 2005, two CAC members purchased Louis Sullivan’s iconic Krause Music Store building in Lincoln Square, modernized the interior with a Driehaus award-winning renovation and ran their marketing design agency there for 15 years. Now they’ve retired, and after years of participating in CAC’s Open House Chicago, the building is for sale with contemporary, light-filled offices and a 7-room apartment upstairs. Sullivan’s stunning terra cotta façade helped earn it a national landmark designation.

For details, email or visit

One More Thing

Lawndale Refined Project


On the recent two-year anniversary of INVEST South/West, Mayor Lightfoot touted $525 million in public funding and $575 million in private and non-profit funding for the community development initiative—already eclipsing the original 3-year goal of $1 billion. The public expenditure is for traditional infrastructure like streetscape and park improvements, as well as affordable housing and support for small businesses and the arts. The private dollars, meanwhile, are split between general philanthropic contributions and dedicated funds for new mixed-use development.

Shaped through neighborhood roundtables, Requests-for-Proposals (RFPs) have been issued for key development sites anchoring corridors in nine priority community areas, with one still to come for Roseland/Pullman. These RFPs generated more than 35 responses, and 10 projects valued at $300 million combined have been selected.

The projects share many similarities. Each includes affordable housing, retail, community services of some nature (health clinics, job incubators, grow-ops, etc.), public art and new or improved open space. And the designs are consistently strong—a product of design excellence guidelines baked into the RFPs and a concerted effort to recruit local architects with knowledge of these neighborhoods as key members of the project teams.

Many of the INVEST South/West sites are city-owned and shovel-ready. We are excited to see projects break ground in 2022 so residents can begin to feel tangible gains.



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 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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