NPHM and its partners were a significant part of the annual professional gathering of the American Institute of Architecture, held in Chicago in late June.
On June 28, architecture scholars and practitioners from across the nation joined a "Mobile Syposium" through Chicago concieved by NPHM's Programs and Interpretation Vice-Chair Roberta Feldman. The tour's highlight was first-hand testimony from NPHM Staff Intern and Youth Council alumna Salyndrea Jones. As she recounted her journey from public housing in Stateway Gardens to her home today in a mixed-income development in Park Boulevard her words underscored the relevance of oral history based interpretation being conducted for the Museum's historic site at the Jane Addams Homes. Along a route which included 1322 Taylor Street, the redeveloped Horner Homes and Cabrini-Green and the preservation challenges facing Lathrop Gardens, an historical overview was provided by UIC Professor Bob Brueggman. The mobile workshop's stops included new construction and historic preservation sites that were touchstones for architect Pete Landon's insights into contemporary design and policy questions.
The mobile symposium was previewed on June 25, by Interim Director Todd Palmer at the "Multifamily Housing, Community Design and Neighborhood Revitalization" workshop hosted by AIA Housing Knowledge Community. Together the tour and talk encouraged rethinking the potential of the "architecture tour" -- that keystone of Chicago's tourism industry -- as a platform for bringing to light overlooked, challenging and yet inspiring facets of this city that speak to how design, policy and planning touch everyday life.