If you’re the sort of person who eschews television because there’s nothing good on (How do you know there’s nothing good on TV if you don’t watch TV?) then it’s time to dig out the rabbit ears. Chicago’s favorite television historian has a national show about architecture.
Geoffrey Baer hosts the program 10 Buildings That Changed America. It airs Sunday (May 12, 2013) at 9:00pm on WTTW, channel 11. There’s also a web space about it on WTTW’s web site.
It features the usual suspects, like the Seagram Building in New York, and Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. But there is also a good dose of Midwest love. Here’s the full list:
- The Virginia State Capitol
- Trinity Church in Boston
- The Wainwright Building in Saint Louis
- Chicago’s own Robie House
- The Ford plant in Highland Park, Michigan
- Southdale Center, just outside Minneapolis
- The Seagram Building in New York
- Washington, D.C.’s Dulles airport
- The Venturi House in Philadelphia
- The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles
There was a preview of the show on Chicago Tonight last night. Check out the clip below. And below that, the press release that PBS sent over. If you miss it on Sunday, or your Tivo/DVR/VCR/Media Center malfunction, chances are pretty good you can catch it on the PBS web site, Kabletown’s on-demand service, WTTWPrime, or one of the second-tier PBS stations (WYCC, WYIN, etc…) later on.
10 Buildings That Changed America is a journey that takes viewers inside these groundbreaking works of art and engineering to reveal the shocking, funny, and even sad stories of how these buildings came to be. From the glorious Trinity Church, designed as “an envelope” for the voice of Rector Phillips Brooks (best known today as the writer of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”), to the Highland Park Ford Plant, designed by Jewish architect Albert Kahn, whose partnership with Henry Ford flourished despite Ford’s anti-Semitism, the program explores how their construction had consequences — some unintended — for cities and communities across the country. Ultimately, the program is a journey inside the imaginations of a group of architects who dared to create these influential structures.