University of Birmingham, Public Housing Museum and a 3D Laser scan!

University of Birmingham, Public Housing Museum and a 3D Laser scan!
A rendering of what the completed building of the National Public Housing Museum will look like/ Image courtesy of National Public Housing Museum

On Friday, October 19th, last year at the future site of the National Public Housing Museum (NPHM) on Chicago’s west side, the University of Birmingham presented the museum with a 3D laser scan of the building as it currently stands.

The NPHM is the first cultural institution in the United States dedicated to shedding light on the American experience in public housing, and aims to show the spirit of the poor and working class families of every race and ethnicity.

As part of the partnership that exists between the university and the museum, this first joint project was announced by Dr Keith L.Magee NPHM executive officer and Professor Malcolm Press, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Engagement in the Americas at the University of Birmingham.

“We are thoroughly excited about our partnership with the University of Birmingham and deeply grateful for the incredible laser scan created by their team,” Keith L. Magee said. He further expressed the importance of the scan by stating that “the scan allows us to keepsake an important focal point as we hold the history and look to the future of this treasured site.”

The results of the scan created a virtual tour of the building at 1322 W.Taylor Street, the last remaining building of the Jane Addams Homes. The Jane Addams Homes was one of the first housing projects that consisted of 32 buildings of 2, 3, and 4 stories built in 1938 under Frank D. Roosevelt’s WPA Program. The scan has allowed visitors a chance to peek inside one of the first public housing complexes in Chicago. This allows visitors to experience a virtual tour of the building as it stands today.

Professor Malcolm Press said, “It is with great pleasure that we are sharing the results of our first joint project with the National Public Housing Museum.” He went on to highlight the importance of the relationship and the project. He continued, “We continue to build links with Chicago and this partnership is one of a growing number of exciting initiatives by the University of Birmingham with partners across the state of Illinois.”

Dr Richard Clay and Dr Henry Chapman, co-directors at do.collaboration at the University of Birmingham presented the scan to the National Public Housing Museum. They explained the function of the scan, stating that,

‘The result is a metrically accurate 3D point-cloud (i.e. record) of the building as it survives today before any future development proceeds. The 3D dataset will not only serve as a basis for interpretation and as an aid in architectural planning, but will also serve as a historic legacy to preserve the past.’

Those present at the scan included British Consul General Robert Chatterton Dickson, State Senator Annazette Collins, and US Congressman Danny K. Davis.

Head on over to to see the amazing virtual laser scan of the building.

Visit the University of Birmingham's website to learn more about the University at

And while you're here, subscribe to me. It'll keep you right up to date with my posts and my list is completely spam free. So drop your email below!


Leave a comment