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Until further notice, all CAC walking tours are suspended and the Center at 111 E. Wacker Dr. is closed, in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines from the State of Illinois.

The CAC is proud to offer “The American Skyscraper: Transforming Chicago and the Nation” workshop for teachers in summer 2021, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Landmarks of American History and Culture.

The skyscraper, more than any other building type, gives American cities their distinctive character. During this week-long workshop, participants will investigate the skyscraper as a physical and cultural construct. By examining tall buildings in Chicago—home to some of the world’s earliest skyscrapers—the workshop will explore how to use all buildings as primary source teaching tools.

Skyscrapers will serve as a lens for studying innovation, urbanization, segregation, labor,  gender and civic identity. We will address such questions as: How did the rise of the skyscraper stimulate and reflect changes in American life? And what do these developments indicate about the future of countries building large numbers of tall buildings today?

All sessions will take place in the Chicago Architecture Center’s brand-new 20,000 square foot exhibition, studio and event space along the Chicago River, which opened to the public in 2018. Designed using feedback and counsel from local educators— including several participants in past NEH workshops—its permanent exhibits include the Chicago Gallery, which explores how Chicago became the “city of architecture,” and the Drake Family Skyscraper Gallery, where the Building Tall exhibit features supersized scale models of famous skyscrapers from Chicago and around the world.

Both sessions will host 36 educators in grades 3–12 from across the country. Based on a need for housing, educators will be eligible to receive a $1,200 NEH stipend to defray the cost of housing and travel expenses.

The application period for both sessions will open December 2020.

Nicole Kowrach, NEH Project Co-Director, Vice President of Education and Audience Engagement
Adam Rubin, NEH Project Co-Director, Director of Interpretation
Rebecca Boland, NEH Project Co-Director, Manager of Schools and Family Programs

Chicago Architecture Center
111 E Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (program/workshop), do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.