printer’s row lit fest


A solid weekend in Chicago celebrating the release of Chicago Skyscrapers.  The highlight was a good Sunday at Printer’s Row Lit Fest, the city’s giant outdoor book festival.  Gary Johnson, president of the Chicago History Museum, and I had a public conversation about the book, and it was great to see a room full of interested folks–some familiar faces, some new.  Many thanks to all who came, and especially those who stopped afterwards to talk or to pick up a copy of the book.  And special thanks to the University of Illinois Press staff who set this up and who manned the tent.

Additional thanks to the folks at Gensler, who had me do a lunch and learn on Friday.  I knew Iowa State had a couple of grads there, but had no idea there was a growing Cyclone mafia at that firm.  Good to know–and it bodes well for the office.  A particular thrill to give the talk in the actual Carson’s building (OK, OK, the Holabird and Root addition, but still, big windows).

It’s fantastic to see the book out in the world, of course–a good ten years after the project got started.  And very glad to see that it’s of interest.  By far the best part of the weekend, though, was the excuse to catch up with friends, colleagues, and fellow travelers who’ve all played some role in my Chicago travels over the last decade–or in some cases well beyond.  From the high school classmate, Mike, who owns the Floradora boutiques in the Monadnock, to the group working with us on planning 5ICCH in 2015, to college friends, it’s nice to have an excuse to share good news with bunches of folks who’ve been hearing about the book for years.


And at least one colleague had a weekend as good as mine.  This is the view from his–brand new–office window.  Nicely done, Russ, and thanks for the tour.

I have a weekend ‘off,’ teaching studio and catching up at home, before heading back to Chicago next weekend for a talk at the University Club and the joint APTWGLC/CHSA symposium on skyscraper historyfeaturing a debate between myself, Meghan Elliott, and Don Friedman, who are brilliant preservation engineers from Minneapolis and New York, respectively.   It promises to be a good discussion as we argue about where the skyscraper was really born, with plans for the Q&A session to spill over into happy hour.  The symposium will also feature a set of case studies on skyscraper preservation, so it should be a solid afternoon.  (And it comes with 6 AIA CES credits, which I need…)

A full weekend, but Sunday afternoon is free, and the Cubs will be in town…

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