Lecture Series  

Friends Celebrates Chicago History, "Chicago's Motor Row"

Wednesday June 20, 2018 at 5:00 pm

Presentation by Dennis McClendon, Chicago Historian
“Starting in the early 1900’s, Chicago’s “Motor Row” was home to dozens of snazzy car dealerships. At its peak, over 100 different makes of automobiles were sold in the showrooms on Michigan Avenue near Cermak. The buildings were built to grab attention with their creative architectural design. A number of these buildings still stand paying tribute to when automobiles first came to Chicago.”

Rediscovering Chicago’s Legendary Artist Edgar Miller

Tuesday September 25, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Presentation by Zac Bleicher, Executive Director, Edgar Miller Legacy

Doors will open at 6:00pm for reception and docents will provide tours prior to the lecture.

Edgar Miller’s legacy as an American artistic maverick deserves more attention. He came to Chicago from Idaho in 1916 to study briefly at the renowned School of the Art Institute and then went on to have a storied career creating all kinds of art, commercial and private, throughout the 20th century. A master craftsman as well as a conceptual artist, he was able to translate his ideas into nearly any medium and is often referred to as a “Renaissance Man.”

During the height of his career in the 1920s and 1930s, Miller was friends and collaborated with numerous artists, designers, architects, writers, and civic leaders; he also designed and executed two bohemian artist colony buildings known as Carl Street Studios and Kogen-Miller Studios. In the commercial world, he became a prized decorative artist for top architectural firms like Holabird and Root.

Garnering more attention today is Miller’s Glasner Studio, one of his artistically rehabbed homes celebrated in Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home (City Files Press, 2009). The Studio is a true “total work of art,” a complete synthesis of art forms, and in this way it appeals to and inspires a wide range of artists, designers, and architects, as well as writers, musicians, and performing artists.

This lecture will hone in on a “best of” history of Miller’s broad and deep oeuvre and also discuss the preservation efforts to keep Miller’s incredibly unique history intact and vibrant for future generations to appreciate and learn from.

A partner program of the Terra Foundation’s Art Design Chicago; co-sponsored by Glessner House Museum.

 To purchase tickets go to:


Chicago Craftsmen and Second Presbyterian Church

Saturday, November 3, 2018 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Presentation by: William Tyre, Executive Director and Curator of Glessner House Museum

Following a devastating fire in 1900, architect Howard Van Doren Shaw was hired to redesign the sanctuary of Second Presbyterian Church.  He engaged a number of leading Chicago craftsmen who shared Shaw's vision for a unified interior that exemplified the tenets of the Arts & Crafts movement.  This program will begin with a PowerPoint presentation discussing the team that Shaw assembled, and their work at the church and at other sites around the city.  Following the presentation, Tyre will lead attendees through the sanctuary pointing out significant artistic features by muralist Frederic Clay Bartlett, lighting designer Willy Lau, sculptor Frederick Purdy and others.  

This special lecture and tour is being presented as a partner program with Art Design Chicago, a citywide celebration of the city's art and design legacy spearheaded by the Terra Foundation. To learn more, visit

Tickets are $10

For tickets:


*All photos by Martin Cheung unless otherwise noted

*Interior sanctuary photo by James Caulfield