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Join CAC and partners the Mies van der Rohe Society, the Edith Farnsworth House, and Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture for this unique event marrying book launch, panel discussion and a reading from Edith Farnsworth’s memoirs.

August 27, 2024
5:30 pm
$20 Public
$15 Member
Chicago Architecture Center Gand Lecture Hall


IIT Professor Michelangelo Sabatino will discuss his new book, Edith Farnsworth House: Architecture, Preservation, Culture, which traces a richer history of the iconic house than previously understood. Afterward, a panel of distinguished speakers including architecture critic Lee Bey, preservationist Elizabeth Blasius, and Mies’ grandson, architect Dirk Lohan, FAIA, will share stories of the house’s preservation saga and colorful cultural history on this 20th anniversary of its entry into the public domain.

A reading of Edith Farnsworth’s memoirs by architect Jeanne Gang, harkening back to a famously complex client-architect relationship, will conclude the evening. Wine, beer, and refreshments will be served. Copies of Michelangelo’s book will be on sale at the CAC Design Store before and after the program. 


Architect Jeanne Gang, FAIA, is the founding partner of Studio Gang, an international architecture and urban design practice with offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Paris. Her inquisitive, forward-looking approach to design has distinguished her as a leading architect of her generation. Drawing insight from ecological systems, she creates striking places that connect people with each other, their communities, and the environment. Her diverse, award-winning portfolio includes cultural centers that convene diverse audiences, public projects that connect citizens with ecology, installations that challenge traditional material properties, and high-rise towers that foster community.

Jeanne is a Professor in Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, her alma mater, where her teaching and research focus on the cultural and environmental aspects of buildings’ reuse. She is the author of four books on architecture. Her most recent, The Art of Architectural Grafting, was released this Spring in both French and English editions. A MacArthur Fellow, 2017 William A. Bernoudy Architect in Residence at the American Academy in Rome, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Jeanne has been honored with the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture and was named one of 2019’s most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.

Elizabeth Blasius is an architectural historian, writer, and co-founder of Preservation Futures, a Chicago-based firm exploring the future of historic preservation through research, action and design. She works on preservation projects at the radical forefront of the preservation movement, including buildings designed in the 1980s, 1990s and beyond. Elizabeth advocates to bring the recognition and resources of preservation into communities that have been historically overlooked. Prior to founding Preservation Futures with Jonathan Solomon, FAIA in 2021, Elizabeth worked in natural disaster recovery and mitigation, providing guidance on the care of historic places in the aftermath of hurricanes, floods, and other acts of climate violence.

Elizabeth is the former Midwest editor of the Architect’s Newspaper, and her writing on architecture and preservation has been featured in Bloomberg CityLab, Architectural Record, Block Club and Curbed Chicago. Elizabeth currently writes a monthly column for Mas Context, a non-profit design and architecture platform, and has recently been announced as a curatorial partner for the 2024- 2025 cycle of Exhibit Columbus, an exploration of community and design that activates the modern architectural legacy of Columbus, Indiana. Elizabeth is an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture and holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Lee Bey is architecture critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and member of the Sun-Times editorial board where he writes editorials on city governance, neighborhood development, politics and urban planning. Bey is the author of Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago’s South Side (Northwestern University Press, 2019), which showcases his architectural photography and social commentary.

Bey is an in-demand speaker and media commentator on architecture, urban planning, Chicago history and late 20th century Black history and culture. He is also an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture and recipient of the 2021 Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award and the 2019 Distinguished Service Award by the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Bey’s previous positions include director of media and government affairs for the Chicago office of SOM, executive director of
the Chicago Central Area Committee, and deputy chief of staff for architecture and urban planning under Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Bey lives in an 1893 rowhouse in Chicago’s historic Pullman community.

Michelangelo Sabatino trained as an architect, preservationist, and historian in Canada, Italy, and the US. He is Professor of Architectural History and Preservation at IIT’s College of Architecture where he directs the PhD program and is the inaugural John Vinci Distinguished Research Fellow. This past year, he was selected as one of the Top Design CHICAGO Influencers in Newcity’s Design 50. Sabatino’s first book, Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy (2011), won multiple awards, including the Society of Architectural Historians’ Alice Davis Hitchcock Award. Since arriving in Chicago in 2014, Sabatino co-authored Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929–1975, that recently won the “Modernism in America Award” from Docomomo US. Sabatino’s co-edited book Modern Architecture and the Mediterranean: Vernacular Dialogues and Contested Identities (Jean-Francois Lejeune, 2010) received a Commendation from the UIA’s International Committee of Architectural Critics. More recent books include Canada: Modern Architectures in History, Avant-Garde in the Cornfields: Architecture, Landscape, and Preservation in New Harmony, Making Houston Modern: The Life and Architecture of Howard Barnstone, and most recently Carlo Mollino: Architect and Storyteller (with Napoleone Ferrari, 2021). New books include MIES in His Own Words: Writings, Speeches, and Interviews (with Vittorio Pizzigoni, 2024), and The Edith Farnsworth House. Architecture, Preservation, Culture (2024). Amongst his forthcoming books is Building, Breaking, Rebuilding. The Illinois Institute of Technology Campus and Chicago’s South Side (co-edited with Kevin Harrington, 2024).

Dirk Lohan studied architecture at both the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Technische Universität in Munich, Germany. In 1962, he came permanently to Chicago and worked in the office of his grandfather Mies van der Rohe until Mies’ death in 1969. During these years, Dirk Lohan worked on many important buildings, notably the New National Gallery in Berlin. Over his lifetime, Dirk Lohan has produced an impressive portfolio of building designs and masterplans for public, corporate, and private use. Dirk Lohan’s achievements in architecture have been recognized with several prestigious awards, including his appointment to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.