Learn how an abandoned railway freight yard was transformed into an important urban development called Illinois Center—home since 2018 to the Chicago Architecture Center. CAC docent Lorie Westerman shares how Illinois Center was designed for people to “work, live and play,” along with interesting facts gathered through her extensive research into the history of one of the Office of Mies van der Rohe’s last Modernist projects. Discover the promises and controversies it generated at the time it was envisioned, improvements beyond the buildings that were included in the project, and the ongoing transformation of this once-unremarkable patch of land, where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan and where the city was born.
Host Lorie Westerman has been a CAC docent since 2006. She leads several CAC neighborhood tours and serves as Tour Director for the CAC’s pedway tours, including the Illinois Center Pedway tour.