2018 HPRES Thesis Readings

Wednesday, April 25, 10:00 p.m.Thursday, April 26, 12:00 a.m.
LeRoy Neiman Center
37 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL
United States

Please join us for the MS Historic Preservation Thesis presentations, to be held on Wednesday April 25 from 5:15 pm to 7:00 pm immediately followed by a reception.

This year, in addition to our graduating students, we welcome two guest speakers with complimentary presentations.  Stop by and see the great work being undertaken by our students. 

Speaker Schedule

5:15 Introduction

5:30 Jeanne Sylvester, N. Max Dunning, Chicago Architect: His Life and Works

5:50 Andrew J. Elders, Sophistication on a Smaller Scale: The Local Architectural Development of Galesburg, Illinois

6:10  Guest Michael A. Lambert, Herbert Cowell's Architectural Legacy in Plainfield, Illinois

6:30  Nicole Louise Frank, Mid-Century Glass Block: The Colored, Patterned, and Textured Era

6:50 Guest John H. Waters, Bruce Goff: the Cullet, the Ashtray, and the Inventive Use of Glass

7:10 Reception

Speaker Topics

MSHP Thesis Student Jeanne M. Sylvester

N. Max Dunning, Chicago Architect: His Life and Works N. Max Dunning (1873-1945) was a versatile and prolific architect whose eponymous practice was based in Chicago but whose work was spread across the United States and Canada. He was one of the founders of the Architectural League of America and served as its secretary and later president and through his work with that organization and others, he disseminated progressive and modern design to the country. From 1907 – 1933 Dunning designed numerous buildings in a variety of architectural styles, but he is best known for his commercial and industrial buildings. Dunning incorporated the Chicago School of Architecture’s philosophy of functionalism expressed through design, while creatively embracing technology and minimal ornamentation. Due to financial constraints caused by the Great Depression, Dunning closed his firm and moved to Washington D.C., where he turned his sights and talents on addressing one of the greatest needs of the era, public housing and public works of the New Deal. His tireless work for architectural organizations helped professionalize the practice and point it toward progression and for the benefit of social welfare.

MSHP Thesis Student Andrew J. Elders

Sophistication on a Smaller Scale: The Local Architectural Development of Galesburg, Illinois Galesburg, Illinois, a small city situated on the western Illinois prairie, is a community with a particularly rich architectural history. From its beginning as a planned community in 1837, the city was planned in line with the founders’ lofty educational, religious, and cultural ideals. While the city was built up in an eastern-inflected vernacular, larger buildings designed by important regional and national architects such as William W. Boyington, Elijah E. Myers, and Burnham & Root illustrated the settlement’s growth mentality. As Galesburg became home to two liberal arts colleges, two railroad lines, and a growing industrial base, substantial educational, civic, commercial, and residential buildings were required. The 1887 arrival of William Wolf, the city’s first locally-based architect, ushered in an unprecedented period of building which lasted another 30 years. At various points between 1890 and 1901, the community sustained up to 6 residential architects before finally settling on a prominent trio of Wolf, Norman Kellogg Aldrich, and J. Grant Beadle. These three men, together and separately, designed hundreds of buildings in the city Galesburg and set the architectural tone for the city and surrounding area.

Guest Michael A. Lambert Owner
ARRIS Architects + Planners Preservation Planner
City of Geneva, IL

Herbert Cowell's Architectural Legacy in Plainfield, Illinois A discussion of Cowell's work in Plainfield, located 40 miles southwest of Chicago. Joliet architects were behind many of Plainfield's earliest homes and buildings. Herbert Cowell was responsible for transforming - nearly single handedly - the architectural appearance of Plainfield at the dawn of the 20th century

MSHP Thesis Student Nicole Louise Frank

Mid-Century Glass Block: The Colored, Patterned, and Textured Era During the mid-20th century glass block manufacturers made major changes to their designs that would embody the eras optimism and playfulness. These were colored, patterned and textured unlike any seen before. This study examines a building material between 1957 and 1979, when it departed visually from its previous and future counter parts. Mid-century glass blocks fit into their architectural context of colorful, geometric, and biomorphic designs which have become synonymous with the era. This decorative mass-produced material is no longer manufactured, creating an important 20th-century point of change. The Owens-Illinois Corporation (OI) and the Pittsburgh Corning Corporation (PC) went through a brief period manufacturing glass blocks utilizing fused ceramic frit, colored, patterned, rectangular, and textured blocks that offered new graphic possibilities to architects and builders. A range of colors from walnut to vibrant coral in several geometric patterns were available. The colors manufactured fit into their context of 1950s color theory. Splitting them into pastels, modern, and Scandinavian color families, they could easily adapt to any architectural style and into their overall building design context. The blocks could be utilized as decoratively or minimally as desired. It is valuable to understand the context and history of these decorative glass blocks before they disappear entirely from the built environment.

Guest John H. Waters, AIA, LEED AP
Preservation Programs Manager
Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

Bruce Goff: the Cullet, the Ashtray, and the Inventive Use of Glass John Waters is a registered architect based in Chicago. He is the Preservation Programs Manager at the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and co-director of the Victorian Society in America's Chicago Summer School. His independent projects have included consulting with Taliesin Preservation at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and research on architects Walter Burley Griffin, Marion Mahony Griffin, and Bruce Goff. He will discuss Goff's work implementing art glass at the Ford House in Aurora, Illinois and elsewhere.