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Our Mission

The Chicago Architecture Foundation inspires people to discover why design matters.


Our Vision

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is the leading organization devoted to celebrating and promoting Chicago as a center of architectural innovation. As Chicago’s forum for the exchange of ideas on urban design, CAF inspires people to participate in the building of vibrant communities and to demand the highest standard in urban design. CAF awakens young people to achieve their potential through the discovery of architecture, engineering, and design.


History, Purpose, Programs

In 1966, a group of community members came together to save H. H. Richardson’s architectural masterpiece, the Glessner House—a private home on Prairie Avenue—from demolition. The successful effort to save Glessner House brought together committed citizens from across disciplines and professions, and led to the founding of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. More CAF history


Jeannette FieldsIn Memory of Jeanette Fields, CAF Executive Director, 1970-1976

Jeanette Fields, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s first Executive Director, passed away on November 2, 2014 at the age of 94. In addition to helping establish CAF, Jeanette was a leader in efforts to preserve and protect architecturally significant buildings in and around Chicago, including the Glessner House on Prairie Avenue, the Wright Home & Studio in Oak Park, and Unity Temple, also in Oak Park. Jeanette’s legacy lives on through CAF’s 450 active docents who give over 85 different types of tours each year. Today, CAF docents carry with pride the passion and professionalism instilled by Jeanette over 40 years ago.


Read more about Jeanette Fields




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