North Central College - Naperville, IL

Registration open for Verandah walking tour during spring term

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A spring Verandah course—Chicago on the Ground: Walking Tour of America’s Architectural Capital—is open for registration. Taught by Wendy Koenig, associate professor of art, and Blair Kamin, architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune and North Central adjunct professor of art, the course will be held on three Saturdays, April 21 and 28 and May 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The seventh offering of this popular student Verandah course has some new features, including exploring masterworks of Chicago architecture, from the birth of the skyscraper in the 1880s to the present.

Day one begins with a visit to great early skyscrapers, like the Rookery and Reliance Buildings, where you’ll peek inside and analyze the innovations that made tall buildings possible. You’ll also look at innovative public art, like the Chicago Picasso in Daley Plaza, as well as Millennium Park and the Aqua residential and hotel tower, which was named the world’s top skyscraper of 2009.

On day two you’ll explore a perennial favorite, the neo-Gothic Chicago Tribune Tower, as well as some art deco skyscrapers, including one that resembles an oversized champagne bottle. Day three includes tours of the home and studio of America’s greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as a Mies van der Rohe masterpiece, the Farnsworth House, on the Fox River in Plano.

Koenig, a member of North Central’s faculty since 2008, is contributing editor to the journal Artpapers and a specialist in 20th century art and criticism, including African and Soviet/Russian contemporary art. She has led several Verandah experiences, including Public Art in Chicagoland, with Kamin. Koenig is the author of “The Phenomenon of Interruption in the Visual Arts.”

Kamin hosts the acclaimed architecture blog, Cityscapes, has lectured across the nation and appeared on numerous radio and television programs. He is author of “Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age,” “Why Architecture Matters: Lessons from Chicago” and “Tribune Tower: American Landmark.” Kamin has received more than 30 professional awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.   

Admission fees and transportation are included in the Verandah fee. Registration for North Central students is available through Merlin under VER, and the course can be taken for either 1 or 0 credit hours. For more information contact Koenig at
Verandah courses are designed as shorter, experiential learning opportunities featuring noted North Central College faculty or distinguished guests, small group interaction and inquiry outside of the traditional classroom.