Three Lectures Upcoming in the Prairie Avenue District

Got this e-mail today from the people down at the Glessner House (1800 South Prairie Avenue).  It’s a list of their upcoming lectures.  Looks like good stuff.

Winter and Spring Lectures


The Autobiography of Irving K. Pond

Lecture by David Swan

Wednesday February 24, 2010 at 7:00pm

Irving K. Pond was a distinguished Chicago architect, author, gifted storyteller, and national president of the American Institute of Architects. His richly anecdotal autobiography, published for the first time in 2009, gives us an irreverent account of Chicago architecture and its architects at the turn of the last century. It should be read alongside the autobiographies of Sullivan and Wright to remind us that seminal developments in architecture, like those of the Italian Renaissance, emerge from a collaborative environment, and are not the product of an individual genius working alone. The lecture is presented by Chicago architect David Swan, who along with Terry Tatum (Supervising Historian and Director of Research for the Landmarks Division, City of Chicago) edited the text of the autobiography and gathered several hundred photos and line drawings that accompany it. Copies of the book will be available for sale following the lecture.


Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home

Lecture by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams

Wednesday March 24, 2010 at 7:00pm

Edgar Miller was a Chicago artist who used recycled material to turn old homes into works of art. He called it a “social adventure.” His four apartment complexes in the Gold Coast have changed over the decades, but much of Miller’s work and the spirit he brought to each home remains. They offer lessons about beauty, creativity and honesty. Now, for the first time, Miller’s life and the homes that he built are documented in a 400-page book by architectural historians Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, with stunning photography by Alexander Vertikoff. The book carefully details the forces that shaped an artist who was called “the blond boy Michaelangelo” in the 1920s, “a new luminary” in the 1930s, and “one of the most versatile artists in America” in the 1940s. The illustrated lecture will shed light on “Chicago’s forgotten Renaissance man” who is a legend in the Chicago architectural community. Copies of the book will be available for sale following the lecture.


White House Interiors, 1865 – 1902

Lecture by Robert Furhoff

Tuesday May 11, 2010 at 7:00pm

Robert Furhoff, a nationally recognized expert on historic interiors will guide us through the constantly changing interior of the White House during the last half of the nineteenth century. Using his extensive personal collection of stereoview images, Furhoff will discuss how the interior continued to evolve through various administrations, and how these changes reflected and influenced popular taste at the time. The lecture begins with the post-Lincoln era, the first time the interior of the White House was extensively photographed, and concludes with the McKim, Mead and White remodeling in 1902, during the administration of Theodore Roosevelt. A fascinating journey for anyone with an interest in 19th century interior design.


Lectures are $10 per person, $8 for members of the museum. All lectures will be held in the East Gallery, please use the front entrance on Prairie Avenue. For reservations or further information, please call 312.326.1480.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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