Nickerson Lecture
The First American Skyscrapers: Chicago & New York

Thursday, April 17
6 p.m.
Museum Members $5; Public $15   Buy tickets

Note: To receive the member discount, members must log in after clicking through to the ticket purchase screen. Please place the tickets you would like to purchase in your cart and the discount will be applied when you check out. For information about Driehaus Museum memberships, please see the Join section on the website or call 312 482 8933, ext. 21.

Perennial rivals Chicago and New York are noted for their majestic skylines, first defined in the 19th century.  Its island location encouraged Manhattan architects to build vertically.  The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 drew established and aspiring architects to a city that required complete rebuilding. 

Barry Lewis will contrast the work of New York’s Richard Morris Hunt, Cass Gilbert and McKim, Mead & White and Chicago’s Louis Sullivan and Burnham and Root.  The evolution of the New York skyscraper from the first elevator buildings of 1870 to Rockefeller Center and the Seagram Building will be discussed.  Chicago’s 10-story Montauk building of 1882, designed by Burnham and Root, was also a significant contribution in skyscraper design and will be placed in the context of American skyscraper engineering.

This lecture is part of the Driehaus Museum’s 2014 Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Series, a program which serves to situate the Nickerson Mansion within the context of social artistic developments of the period and against the wider background of America’s Gilded Age.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for any attendees who would like to explore the Museum and its collections. The lecture begins at 6 p.m. As space is limited, advance reservations are highly recommended.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Barry Lewis is an architectural historian who focuses on the evolution of modernism in European and American architecture of the 18th to 20th centuries.  Educated at the University of California at Berkeley, the Sorbonne, Paris, and the New School for Social Research in NYC, he teaches at Cooper Union Continuing Education and has recently retired after 23 years of teaching at the New York School of Interior Design.  Lewis co-hosted the Emmy award nominated 42nd Street, Broadway and Harlem as well Brooklyn, Greenwich Village and Central Park video walks for WNET Channel Thirteen.  His tips on Paris sites will be included in the soon to-be-released City Secrets: Paris.

Please note that in exchange for your reservation and/or ticket, you have authorized the Driehaus Museum to photograph, record, film, video tape, or otherwise use your likeness, performance, image, and/or voice for use in general and/or program-related Driehaus Museum promotional materials. If for any reason, you do not wish to be photographed, please provide your name(s) at registration that evening.

< Back

Featured Program

Mansions and Millionaires: The McCormickville Walking Tour
First and third Saturdays, May 3 through November 15

Step back in time to enjoy a special walking tour of Chicago's River North district, led by historian Sally Sexton Kalmbach. Read more

Featured Program

Nickerson Lecture: Achievements of the Low Art Tile Company
Thursday, September 18

The Low Art tile Company produced some of the finest ceramic tiles ever produced in the United States. Between 1878 and 1904 Low tiles were displayed in more than eighteen distributors showrooms around the United States, Canada and Britain. The talk will provide a window into the artistic world of late 19th century America. Read more

Featured Program

Nickerson Lecture: Gardens for a Beautiful America
Thursday, October 30

Gilded Age industrialism brought a new prosperity, but at the price of once pristine forests, rivers, and blue skies, devastated by continental railroad building and factory pollution. This lecture will explore the work of wealthy women and landscape architects to green America. Read more

Visitor Entrance

40 East Erie Street
Chicago, Illinois Get directions