The Architectural Legacy of Illinois – 200 Great Places

The Architectural Legacy of Illinois – 200 Great Places

Illinois could use a reminder of what we are capable of and gives us something to look forward to. The bicentennial birthday of December 3, 2018 is the perfect occasion to find perspective and purpose. From an architectural point of view, there’s a lot to be proud of, because some of the world’s greatest projects and the people who designed them are rooted here.
Architecture practice as we know it today was first written into law by the state legislature in 1897. Illinois is where world renowned architects Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, Mies van der Rohe and Buckminster Fuller lived and produced their best work. Chicago firms like Holabird and Root, Perkins and Will, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill grew to have a global presence from a handful of founding partners.
“We have so much to be proud of in Illinois,” notes Bonnie McDonald, president and CEO of Landmarks Illinois, a statewide nonprofit preservation organization. “The Bicentennial is an opportunity to spotlight the extraordinary achievements made in architecture, the arts, and history by generations of people in this state. We are world class in so many ways that can be celebrated.”
From past to present, there’s an incredible Illinois legacy of impact on the built environment. Abraham Lincoln said, “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” As we close out the year-long bicentennial celebration, we will be taking stock of projects we are most proud of and the people whose work makes their communities proud of them.
To celebrate 200 years of statehood, we gathered architects, historians and community leaders to identify 200 great places. We encourage you to see those selections at Illinoisgreatplaces.com. The point isn’t to simply remember where we’ve been, but to shape where we want to go.

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A statewide multimedia campaign will celebrate Illinois' influence on the world through music, sports, agriculture, literature, commerce, history, technology and innovation, transportation, and art and architecture.

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