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How to Redesign an American Metropolis

Water, Transportation, and Land Use in the Notre Dame Plan for Chicago 2109

A Luncheon Lecture featuring Professor Philip Bess

When: October 2nd, 2014; 12noon

Where: Houston Hall 218, Ben Franklin Room


Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago was one of the last efforts (perhaps the greatest) to employ classical principles of architectural, landscape and urban design in and for and at the scale of a rapidly expanding modern industrial metropolitan region. Though Burnham’s classical humanist sensibilities are often downplayed by contemporary admirers more admiring of his environmental and civic sensibilities, modern metropolitan Chicago to its detriment has turned away from all three. The Notre Dame Plan of Chicago 2109 picks up where Burnham’s Plan left off, critiquing contemporary Chicago and proposing for it a 100-year vision comparable in scale and scope — and also showing how the long tradition of classical humanist urbanism speaks directly to contemporary concerns for better human stewardship of nature, and for making cities, towns, villages, and hamlets both economically and environmentally sustainable.

Philip Bess is Professor of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame. He teaches graduate urban design and theory, with a particular interest in Catholic and classical humanist intellectual and artistic traditions in the context of modern American life and the contemporary culture of architecture and urban design. He is the author of several books, including: Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architecture, Urbanism, and the Sacred (ISI, 2006).

Moderated by Dr. Lothar Haselberger, the Morris Russell Williams and Josephine Chidsey Williams Professor of Roman Architecture and Art History at the University of Pennsylvania



The Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania

The Department of the History of Art and the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania

To RSVP for the Luncheon, please click here.