Community Engagement

The Historic Preservation program at SAIC uses Chicago as a laboratory, and nearly all department projects involve Chicago or Chicago-area buildings and sites, often resulting in community-based projects that connect and serve the public.

Photo of Big Daddy's Patio abandoned drive-up restaurant

Landmark Illinois Launches New Recent Past Survey Database

Nearly 15 years after first launching the Recent Past Survey of Suburban Cook County, Landmarks Illinois has released an updated and revamped online database that allows visitors to easily search for and learn about non-residential architectural resources built between 1935 and 1975 in dozens of Chicago suburban communities.

Learn More about Landmark Illinois

The Forum

The Forum served the Bronzeville community with a variety of functions focused on both the arts as well as other cultural and social institutions throughout its history. After standing vacant for almost four decades, the building was purchased with the goal of restoration.  

Learn more about The Forum

Roger Brown Study Collection: Window Conditions Assessment and Recommendations

A Building Diagnostics class from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s M.S. Historic Preservation Program was tasked in Fall 2010 with documenting conditions and proposing recommendations for the restoration of the facility’s exterior windows. 

Learn more about the Roger Brown building assessment

Walt Disney Birthplace Exterior Paint and Finish Analysis

The students extracted samples from three exterior sides of the house while carefully documenting the location of the removed paint. Students then performed a microscopic analysis of the layers of paint from the exterior trim, bargeboard, and clapboard siding.

Learn more about the analysis of Disney's birthplace

Frances Willard House Paint Analysis

The objective of the project was to determine the historic paint colors and wallpapers of the extant first floor of the office, hall, parlor, and dining Room on the Frances Willard House in Evanston, Illinois, and to select paint colors and coatings for future restoration purposes that are appropriate to the period of significance - 1890.

Learn more about the Frances Willard House analysis