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Joan and Gary Gand are making a generous gift to CAF to sponsor the audio-visual and acoustical elements in the new Chicago Architecture Center, including the Gand Lecture Hall.

The couple discovered their mutual interest in design on their first date: a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Oak Park. In addition to being serious architecture buffs, the Gands are musicians by trade and longtime business owners. Since the 1970s, their company, Gand Sound, has designed and installed audio systems in a variety of facilities, including Buddy Guy’s Legends, Second City’s UP Comedy Club and numerous schools, churches and restaurants. The company also provides huge portable sound systems for concerts.

In 2004, Joan and Gary started Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond, a nonprofit that provides tours, lectures and educational events about Mid-Century Modern architecture and design. The Gands are long-time supporters of CAF and Joan serves on the board of trustees. Upon hearing about the Chicago Architecture Center, they knew that wanted to be involved in a way that reflected their passion for music. We are so thankful for their support!

How did you become interested in architecture?

Joan: Growing up in Highland Park, architecture was everywhere, all around me. My best friend lived in the Willits House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and it was filled with Mid-Century Modern furniture and art. I was young and just becoming aware of my surroundings, what was beautiful and interesting. It was the most fun, cool and engaging house I’d ever been in. This early experience shaped my view of spaces I wanted to be in.

Why is investing in CAF important to you?

Gary: There is a favorite quote by Goethe: “Architecture is frozen music.” In our world, music is the one art form that you experience while you are doing something else. For other art works you have to stop what you are doing and participate one-on-one. Architecture is an art form that is always there. You experience it at home, work, and in pubic buildings. It's important to people's daily lives. Since we have an expertise in making great spaces sound as good as they look, we seemed destined to get involved in the lecture hall. We intend to ensure that it is state-of-the-art and functions well. It is going to be the best lecture hall in the city of Chicago.

Joan: After years of hard work, we've given a lot of thought about where to invest our savings. Architecture says so much about history without using a word. CAF's mission is in line with our mission — it is important to preserve great and historic architecture. While it is not a preservation organization, we think CAF gets people excited about preserving architecture the best way possible, which is preservation through appreciation. I can't think of a better organization to support.