Society of Architectural Historians Presents Architectural Tours and Public Events at Chicago Conference

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Tickets for 2015 SAH Annual International Conference events are now on sale to the public.

Photos (clockwise from top left): Charles Waldheim, Robert Bruegmann, Jeanne Gang, Carol Ross Barney, Debra Shore, Gwendolyn Wright, Alison Fisher, Patricia Saldaña Natke, Alaina Harkness and Martin F

Leading scholars from around the world will convene in Chicago, April 15–19, to present new research on the history of the built environment at the 68th Annual international Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians. But the conference isn’t just for academics. SAH aims to engage two important audiences—conference attendees and the local community—with public programs that include the SAH 75th International Anniversary Celebration at The Rookery, over 30 architectural tours, the SAH Chicago Seminar and the conference plenary talk. Tickets are currently on sale at

SAH will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding with a party at The Rookery, the National Historic Landmark building designed by Burnham and Root in 1888. SAH invites the public to take part in the celebration, which is co-sponsored by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, the Vernacular Architecture Forum Chicago and SAH.

Tours of the region’s architecture, landscapes and neighborhoods will be led by an impressive group of Chicago-based architects, architectural historians, authors, preservationists and nonprofit leaders. Chicago’s Pilsen, Uptown, Pullman and Chinatown neighborhoods will be featured, along with structures designed by Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Netsch, Studio Gang and JGMA, among others. For the complete tour lineup, visit

“Magnitudes of Change: Local Sites and Global Concerns in Chicago’s Built Environment” is the title of the SAH Chicago Seminar, a half-day program comprised of a keynote address, “Reading Chicago’s Landscape as Urbanism,” by Harvard University professor Charles Waldheim, and two panel discussions. Panelists include architects Martin Felsen, Jeanne Gang, Carol Ross Barney, and Patricia Saldaña Natke, architectural historian Robert Bruegmann, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Debra Shore, and Alaina Harkness of the MacArthur Foundation. Transformations of the Chicago River and Lakefront and development and change in Chicago’s neighborhoods are the topics to be covered. Alison Fisher, Harold and Margot Schiff Assistant Curator of Architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago, will moderate the discussion. This program is funded in part by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. To learn more, visit

Columbia University professor and “History Detectives” host Gwendolyn Wright will give the plenary talk, “The Role of Play: Looking for Patterns and Crossing Boundaries.” Co-sponsored by The Art Institute of Chicago, the Architecture & Design Society and SAH, the talk will explore ways architectural historians may further adopt creative techniques that architects use in order to gain insights into how architects have imagined built realities experienced by all.

Event Details

Conference Tours
Guided tours will run from Thursday, April 16 through Sunday, April 19
Tickets range from $20–$105. A one-time $25 per order processing fee is applied to all tours-only registrations. (open to the public; full conference registration is NOT required.)
AIA CES LU/HSW available for participating in tours

Plenary Talk
The Role of Play: Looking for Patterns and Crossing Boundaries
Thursday, April 16 | 8–8:30 pm
Rubloff Auditorium, The Art Institute of Chicago
Free and open to the public; no reservations necessary

The SAH 75th International Anniversary Celebration
Friday, April 17 | 6:30–8:30 pm
The Rookery (209 S LaSalle St)
Tickets $60 (includes light hors d’oeuvres, birthday cake, and 2 drink tickets)

SAH Chicago Seminar
“Magnitudes of Change: Local Sites and Global Concerns in Chicago’s Built Environment”
Saturday, April 18 | 8:30 am–12:30 pm
The Buchanan Chapel, The Gratz Center (126 E Chestnut St)
Tickets $10 (open to the public; pre-registration required; full conference registration is NOT required.)

SAH 68th Annual International Conference
April 15–19, 2015
Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza (350 West Mart Center Drive)
Conference Hashtag: #SAH2015


About SAH
Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by vocation or avocation, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs. Learn more at

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Helena Karabatsos
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