Making Big Plans for the Centennial of the 1909 /Plan of Chicago/

Programs for Teachers
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Monday, December 7, 2009 to Tuesday, December 8, 2009

At the turn of the 20th century, an extraordinary generation of reformers, business leaders, architects, and city planners reimagined American cities. The visionary /Plan of Chicago/, published in 1909 by Chicago architects Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett, stood at the heart of this movement. This lavish volume addressed problems prompted by the rapid, unplanned growth of the city in the 19th century, from dirt and disorder to congestion and unsightliness. The plan’s beautiful illustrations offered an alternative: elegant streets, gracious parks, and a well- oiled transportation network. The  “Burnham Plan,” was only partially implemented, but its sweeping vision and magnificent illustrations remain relevant today. This seminar will offer a critical overview of the plan’s central themes and its legacy in metropolitan Chicago and around the nation. Akerman and Dillon are co-curators of the exhibition.

Seminar led by James Akerman, Newberry Library and Diane Dillon, Newberry Library

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