SAIC faculty member Martha Frish Okabe gave a talk at a freshman orientation class at DePaul University on September 1, entitled French Cultural Influences in the Physical Development of Chicago. This lecture summarized the influence of French architecture and culture on the development of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, on the 1908 Plan of Chicago by Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett, and on elements of urban design subsequently overseen by the City of Chicago.
She has also been the organizer of three events at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Two of these will be walking tours led by SAIC's Rolf Achilles, entitled Jane's WalkCHICAGO: The Art of Local Architecture on Dearborn Street from Van Buren to Randolph. The third Biennial event is co-sponsored by Friends of Downtown and The Cliff Dwellers and feature a panel discussion entitled 35 years of Friends of Downtown: What Have We Achieved, and What's Left? The panelists included four distinguished former members of the board of Friends of Downtown: Norm Elkin, Mary Ludgin, Graham C. Grady and Mary Jo Graf, and they discussed the strategies employed in these political processes over the years.