At CAF, we’re as great as the sum of our parts, and we’d like to introduce you to someone who is making wonderful things happen during Open House Chicago. Meet OHC Interim Program Manager Eric Rogers.
1. Why does design matter?
Good design creates places that are distinctive, functional, and pleasant for people to live, work, and play. Most of us could choose to live just about anywhere, but thoughtful design is what gathers us in places with thriving economies and rich cultural scenes. Whether historic or contemporary, landscape, infrastructure, or architecture – well-designed places promise the highest quality of life.
2. What is your favorite Chicago building or place and why?
My answer to this question changes by the minute, but having adopted the South Side of Chicago as my hometown, it’s usually something south of Madison. Lately, with plans flying around for the future of Jackson Park and the South Shore Cultural Center, I’ve come to especially value – and be concerned about the future of – the beautiful lakefront nature sanctuaries in those parks. There’s no shortage of exciting architecture in Chicago, but how many places within the city limits allow you to forget for a moment that you’re surrounded by millions of other people?
3. How do you explain to your parents what you do?
My parents have never been able to visit Chicago during OHC, but they scroll through every single site listing online each year. I’m lucky that they know exactly what I do, and know me well enough to understand why I love doing it!
4. What is your favorite CAF experience?
Anything that gets Chicagoans to explore their own city. CAF serves a lot of tourists, and does a remarkable job telling the story of Chicago’s place in the world of architecture. But many of our tours, not to mention Open House Chicago, take people beyond downtown into the diverse communities that live here, helping locals broaden their horizons. That’s one of the most important and satisfying ways that CAF has a long-term, wide-spread impact on Chicago.
5. What was the last photo you took on your phone?
Just this afternoon, I took a photo looking north from the penthouse floor of the Railway Exchange Building, showing the neatly gridded Modernist side wall of 200 South Michigan and the iconic skyscrapers north of Millennium Park.