Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tour Chicago's Great Landscapes with the all-stars: What's Out There Weekend this Saturday, Sunday

It hasn't been a good week for Chicago vegetation. We wrote earlier this week about the dumbing down replacement of Hoerr Schaudt's wonderful work at Trump Tower, and now one of our correspondents has tipped us off that the traditional vines on Harry Weese's addition to Newberry Library appear to have gone defunct.
click images for larger view
There is, thankfully, still a lot of great stuff surviving, and this weekend you'll have an incredible opportunity to take it all in.  This Saturday and Sunday, the 11th and 12th, The Cultural Landscape Foundation is offering  up a What's Out There Weekend, covering no less than 25 of Chicago's "historic designed landscapes," with tours led by many of Chicago's leading landscape designers and other architectural all-stars.
park photographs: courtesy Cultural Landscape Foundation
Everything from Graceland Cemetery, the final architect's final resting place (Root, Burnham, Sullivan, Mies, Goff, and more), in a two hour tour led by Ted Wolff, to Lincoln Park's new South Pond boardwalk designed by Studio Gang, tour led by Brian Houck.

Alfred Caldwell is represented not only by his restored Lily Pool at Lincoln Park (tours every 30 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00), but by a rare chance to visit his two-and-a-half acre roof garden at Lake Point Tower, and a tour led by Peter Schaudt of the IIT campus.  Julia Bachrach leads tours of Midway Plaisance and Humboldt Park, Dennis McClendon of Fuller Park, Joan Pomeranc of the Stephen Douglas Memorial, Ed Uhlir of Millennium Park,  Ward Miller of Logan Square Boulevard - unfortunately, a lot of them already appear full, but you get the idea.

There's also a selection of family activities - mosaic making at Exelon Plaza, fishing in Sherman Park, and more.
My apologies for not giving you more advance notice but this is an absolutely fantastic event.  All the tours are free and open to the public.  For some, you just have to show up.  For others - it looks like it may include many of the ones I just listed - space, as they say, is limited, and many already look full, so you want to make your reservations now. Information and booking here.
If you can't get in to the tour of your choice, the Cultural Landscape website also contains detailed profiles - generously illustrated - of over 30 of sites including in this weekend tours.  You can find the list here.  It's great stuff, but in person is better.

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