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THE NEW CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE CENTER OPENS AUG. 31

Located at 111 E. Wacker Dr. at Michigan Avenue, the CAC will be a place to discover the stories and secrets behind Chicago’s magnificent architecture—through exhibits, tours and programs.

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Henry Kuehn, CAF Life Trustee, and Docent Class of 1974 helped launch the Blueprint Society and CAF’s legacy giving program. In the midst of these efforts, his eldest sister, Helen L. Kuehn, died in July, 2014. Unbeknownst to Henry, just as she had done many times in the past, Helen supported Henry’s endeavor. Knowing how important CAF was to her younger brother, Helen included charitable designations from her IRA and life insurance not only for charities at which she volunteered, but also for CAF.

Growing up in Minneapolis, Helen was always exposing Henry to new things – taking him to theater and movies, and later sharing her love of opera. Helen graduated from Wellesley College as a chemistry major and spent several years working in and directing the laboratories at Hamm’s Brewing Company and the wine division of Heublein Company.

According to Henry, Helen was supportive of all of her siblings and her many nieces and nephews. She hosted and entertained family and friends often – her graciousness and vibrancy personified by her outsized red framed glasses. Helen travelled to Chicago to attend many CAF tours and to be on hand when Henry was named CAF’s first Life Trustee.

Henry became a docent shortly after moving to Chicago and joined the Board of Trustees in 1982. “I’ve been with CAF longer than I’ve been married. It takes a remarkable organization to hold my interest for that long,” says Henry. “I’ve never felt as if I wanted to move on.” Even though he has moved to Louisville, Kentucky, Henry returns to Chicago regularly to visit his daughter and grandkids, attend board meetings and give tours.

“The view of the skyline from the south is breathtaking – when I see it on my drives, that’s how I know I’m home.”

After giving tours for more than 40 years, he has a hard time picking a favorite, although two very different experiences stand out in his memory. First was a behind the scenes tour of Comiskey Field with docents, trustees and people from the neighborhood who knew nothing about CAF. He remembers that it was great to see families playing ball and having the chance to share CAF with a whole new audience. The other was a Highlights tour the Sunday after 9/11. All the tour takers were international visitors who were unable to fly home. Henry described it as a “very poignant” tour and dialogue.

CAF is ever grateful to Helen Kuehn and Henry Kuehn for being members of the Blueprint Society and for making CAF a part of the Kuehn family’s legacy. Their support will have an impact on CAF for generations to come.