For Chicago Cultural Center’s late-night building tour with Chicago Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson, participants were reminded to BYO Flashlight, and arrive promptly at 10:30 PM. The night concluded around 1AM with a screening of the wonderful “Lost Buildings”, an animated film by Chris Ware; an inspired excursion through Samuelson’s early love of buildings and his friendship with noted preservationist and photographer Richard Nickel. The tour included a ghost story or two, Scott Joplin playing “Maple Leaf Rag” on a player piano, and in-person presentations by Czech artist Jan Tichy whose ‘around center’ exhibition includes what he calls ‘interventions’; site specific installations responding to the architecture and history of the building. Also included was a brief visit to the wonderful Mecca Flats Blues exhibition.
Samuelson is an engaging host, and his early love of buildings clearly endures to this day. His wry sense of humor, explorations of various ironies of the building’s uses, his respect for history and for human experience of the built environment, and his enthusiasm for sharing it all made for an entertaining and enriching night.
Below are a few highlights from the tour. This is the third flashlight tour Samuelson has led, so keep your eyes out for a future opportunity to BYO Flashlight and on jump in!