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Online programs and virtual tours continue while CAC tours are currently suspended and the Center is closed, in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines from the State of Illinois.


Robert Bruegmann, PhD is a Professor Emeritus of Art History, Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At UIC, he taught courses in modern and contemporary architecture and landscape architecture. He is the author of The Architects and the City: Holabird & Roche of Chicago 1880–1918; A Guide to 150 Years of Chicago Architecture; Sprawl: A Compact History; and The Architecture of Harry Weese. Dr. Bruegmann’s lecture will examine humanities ideas of history, nations, evolution and "heroes."

Henry Binford, PhD is an Associate Professor of History and Urban Affairs at Northwestern University. He specializes in the 19th century evolution of sub-communities within cities and suburbs and redevelopment efforts of cities in the 20th century. He is the author of The First Suburbs: Residential Communities on the Boston Periphery, 1815‐1860 (University of Chicago Press, 1985) as well as numerous entries in The Encyclopedia of Chicago. Dr. Binford’s lecture will outline six stages of Chicago history and explore the relationships between people, geography and growth of the city.

Joanna Merwood‐Salisbury, PhD is Head of School and Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Merwood-Salisbury is one of the leading authorities on the social, political and labor history of 19th century tall buildings. She is the author of Chicago 1890: The Skyscraper and the Modern City (University of Chicago Press, 2009). Via Skype from New Zealand, Dr. Merwood‐Salisbury will lead a question-and-answer session for workshop participants based on course readings from a chapter in her book titled "Louis Sullivan’s Democratic Architecture and the Labor Movement."

Thomas Leslie, AIA is a registered architect and the Pickard Chilton Professor in Architecture at Iowa State University. There, he teaches graduate level design studios and courses in building technology and the history of technology. In 2013, he was awarded the Rome Prize in Historic Preservation and Conservation to research the work of Pier Luigi Nervi, Italy's best-known postwar engineer. Leslie is the author of Chicago Skyscrapers: 1871–1934 (University of Illinois Press, 2013). His lecture will explore the competing interests and struggles, technological advances, and politics that produced a new built landscape in 19th-century Chicago.

Douglas Gilbert, AIA is Principal Architect of his own architectural practice in Oak Park, Illinois. With more than 25 years of experience in preserving and restoring historic structures, he has served as project architect for the preservation or restoration of Chicago landmarks including: the Reliance Building/Hotel Burnham (DH Burnham & Co. 1895); the Carson Pirie Scott Building/Sullivan Center (Louis Sullivan, 1899); and S.R. Crown Hall (Mies van der Rohe, 1956). Gilbert's lecture will explore the restoration of the Reliance Building as well as issues of preservation and adaptive reuse.

Paul Steinbrecher, AIA is Principal Architect at Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) in Chicago. IDEA was recently named as the architect of record for the forthcoming Obama Presidential Center in partnership with Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Steinbrecher has more than 30 years of experience in new construction and preservation projects throughout the Midwest, including facade restorations at the Federal Center buildings in Chicago (Mies van der Rohe, 1958-1974), Milwaukee and Cleveland. He served as project manager for construction of the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago. Steinbrecher will discuss modernism, Mies' life and built works and Chicago’s reaction to the Mid-Century Modern glass and steel box.

Antony Wood, PhD, RIBA is Executive Director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and Studio Associate Professor in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology. Since 2006, Wood has been responsible for day‐to‐day operations of the CTBUH, the world's leading professional body in the field of tall buildings and recognized arbiter of the criteria upon which tall building height is measured. Dr. Wood's lecture will explore current international design and technology trends in tall buildings, including the thousands of new skyscrapers being constructed in East Asia and the Middle East.

The 2021 Faculty Scholars roster is subject to change.


Adam Rubin, CAC Director of Interpretation, is an architectural historian with a background in public education, informal teaching and learning communities and preservation advocacy. He has developed and managed programs helping multi-generational audiences engage with their historic and contemporary built environments in cities across the country, including Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York City. Since moving to Chicago in 2017, Adam has contributed research and writing to a survey of historic buildings along North Lake Shore Drive and created a report to nominate the 1942 Samuel Himmelfarb House and Studio in Winfield, Illinois to the National Register of Historic Places. Adam holds a Master’s degree in American Studies with a focus on Historic Preservation from the George Washington University and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Cinema Studies from New York University.

Nicole Kowrach, CAC Vice President of Education and Audience Engagement, joined the organization in July 2019. She is responsible for providing vision, strategy and leadership for the CAC’s learning initiatives serving schools, children and families, and teens. With more than two decades of experience leading education initiatives in museums, Nicole has served in both small and large organizations, including the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum in Ann Arbor, MI and the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago. She blends knowledge of the informal and formal education fields to develop and deliver learning experiences with documented impact. Nicole holds a BS in Anthropology with a certificate in Museum Studies from Michigan State University and an MS in Anthropology with a certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin−Milwaukee. In her role at MSI, Nicole led the development and delivery of numerous teacher professional development courses and student learning labs about energy and served on the exhibit development team for the Future Energy Chicago immersive simulation exhibit.


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