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Chicago Architecture Foundation (Chicago, IL 60604-2505)
Jennifer Masengarb (Project Director: February 2016 to May 2018)
The American Skyscraper: Transforming Chicago and the Nation

Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers on the development of the skyscraper and its impact on the city of Chicago and on urbanization throughout the world.

Skyscrapers define the physical landscape and shape social life of major cities. High-rise construction is a symbol of innovation, industry, and infrastructure. Chicago’s history as a center for development of the skyscraper from the late 19th through mid-20th centuries positions the city as an ideal place to explore the ways in which tall buildings reflect social, cultural and political changes related to urbanization. In two six-day workshops conducted by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, educators will investigate the skyscraper as a physical and cultural construct. The tall building in Chicago will serve as a lens for studying invention and innovation; urbanization; industrialization; segregation; technology; labor; gender, particularly the introduction of women to the workplace; and civic identity. Studying the myriad forces that shaped Chicago will support educators’ investigations and teaching of how people’s decisions continue to shape an urban nation.

Project fields:
Architecture; Urban History; Urban Studies

Landmarks of American History and Culture

Education Programs

$160,800 (approved)
$160,800 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2016 – 12/31/2017