North Central College - Naperville, IL

Tribune's Blair Kamin to give talk at North Central College

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Contact:  Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306, A high-res image is available.

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (Jan. 13, 2011)—North Central College welcomes Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic of the Chicago Tribune and North Central College adjunct professor of art, to its campus on Thursday, Jan. 20. He will give a talk based on his newest book, “Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age,” starting at 7:30 p.m. in Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. The event is free and open to the public.

North Central’s Office of Academic Affairs, departments of art and English, and history of ideas and urban and suburban studies programs are co-sponsoring Kamin’s illustrated lecture. An interdisciplinary examination of architecture since 2001, his talk will focus on a decade of extreme destruction and extreme construction—from the disaster of the World Trade Center’s collapse and Hurricane Katrina to the spectacle of Chicago’s Millennium Park and new buildings such as Santiago Calatrava’s Milwaukee Art Museum addition. Kamin will also reflect on Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s 22 years in office, including Daley’s push for energy-saving green design.

Kamin has lectured nationwide and appeared on many radio and television programs, including ABC’s “Nightline,” “NBC Nightly News,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” His Cityscapes blog has been nationally recognized. Kamin is author of “Tribune Tower: American Landmark” (2000), the critically acclaimed “Why Architecture Matters: Lessons from Chicago” (2001) and, most recently, “Terror and Wonder,” which Kai Ryssdal of American Public Media’s Marketplace named one of the best books of 2010.

Kamin has received more than 30 professional awards, including journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. In 2009, he gave the Commencement address at North Central College, where he also received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree during the 144th Commencement exercises. Kamin received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and his master’s in environmental design from the Yale University School of Architecture.  

In addition to Kamin’s evening lecture, he will be on North Central’s campus through the day, visiting various classes and engaging in informal conversations among students and faculty. His itinerary: 

  • 2-3 p.m. Talk with students in English Style course, taught by Richard Guzman, professor of English and coordinator of master of arts in liberal studies program. Goldspohn Hall, room 21.
  • 3-3:30 p.m. Informal conversation with students and faculty in English, journalism and interactive media studies programs. Kiekhofer Hall, Gathering Room.
  • 4-5 p.m. Informal conversation with students and faculty in art, urban and suburban studies and history of ideas programs. Open to the campus community and moderated by Wendy Koenig, associate professor of art. Meiley Swallow Hall.                                                                                    

Coming during spring term, Kamin will lead an architectural walking tour in and around Chicago as the centerpiece of a popular North Central College Verandah course. The College’s Associate Professor of Art Wendy Koenig will join him. Participants will tour architectural masterpieces including such sites as early Chicago skyscrapers, Millennium Park, Tribune Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio in Oak Park, and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano. The Verandah course will be offered three Saturdays—April 16, 23 and 30. For more information about the course, contact Katie Marszalkowski, academic affairs secretary, at 630-637-5357.

These lectures and programs are some of many ongoing programs hosted by North Central College to enrich and broaden the academic and cultural outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of lectures, art exhibits, musical performances and theatrical productions, visit