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Last Is More: Mies, IBM and the Transformation of Chicago

Landmarks Illinois invites you to their Snapshots Series:  Last Is More: Mies, IBM and the Transformation of Chicago

NEW LOCATION: Gage Building, 18 S. Michigan Avenue, Room 700, Chicago. The location for the Thursday, March 26, lecture—only--has changed to the historic Gage Building.

Last Is More: Mies, IBM and the
Transformation of Chicago

Date: Thursday, March 26 - 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Speakers: (writer) Robert Sharoff and (photographer) William Zbaren

On the eve of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 129th birthday, writer Robert Sharoff and photographer William Zbaren will discuss Mies’s final commission, the IBM Building, as well as his Chicago legacy. “Mies spent the last three decades of his life living and working in Chicago and his style eventually came to define the city in much the same way Baron Haussmann’s does Paris and Bernini’s does Rome,” said Sharoff. The 52-story IBM Building, the drawings for which were completed several weeks before Mies’s death in 1969, was the most expensive office building in the city’s history. It also represented the culmination of a half-century spent exploring the possibilities of steel and glass design. During its construction, New York Times critic Ada Louise Huxtable posited that the IBM Building “may well be the most important skyscraper in the country.” The IBM Building came midway through a legendary period in Chicago architecture – the decade-long building boom between 1965 and 1975 when Mies’s influence was at its most pervasive and his students and acolytes produced such enduring landmarks as McCormick Place, Lake Point Tower and the John Hancock Center. These buildings continue to dominate the city’s skyline and are at the heart of Chicago’s claim to be the founding city of American modernism.

  About the Speakers

Robert Sharoff (writer) and William Zbaren (photographer) are the creators of the American City Project, which celebrates the historic architecture of the Midwest. Their books include American City: Detroit Architecture 1845-2005 and American City: St. Louis Architecture: Three Centuries of Classic Design. They also report on architecture and real estate for the New York Times and other publications.

Admission: Free

Place: Gage Building, Roosevelt University’s Gage Loft, 18 S. Michigan Avenue, 7th Floor, Chicago