Registration starts today for Chicago's annual
    public celebration of architecture and design

    More than 200 tours of Great Chicago Places and Spaces you might otherwise never get to see. Inside and out, indoors and out. Visits led by Chicago architects, designers, historians and People Who Love This Great Place.

    Schedule here.
    Sign up here.

    It will all kick off Friday, May 18 at 5:15 pm with "Great Chicago Conversations," a discussion about Chicago's built environment. This year's open discussion will be led by architect and Heinz award winner Rick Lowe.

    Says the Heinz Foundation, Rick Lowe "has harnessed the power of art and architecture to illuminate and celebrate the meaning of the past while dealing with the problems of the present." If you missed this recent New York Times article on Rick Lowe, it's more than worth digesting. Then catch his talk Friday, May 18, 2007 at the Chase Auditorium - 10 S. Dearborn Street in Chicago (lower level). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. No reservations required.

    From the GCPS release:
    "On Saturday and Sunday there are more than 200 free tours throughout downtown and many of Chicago's historic neighborhoods. Some exciting jaunts include tours of sculpture, movies, gardens, theatres, stained glass tours, bungalows, skyscrapers, trolley tours and walking tours. See the works of world famous architects including Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Holabird & Roche/Root, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright.

    GCPS also celebrates environmental initiatives with tours featuring some of Chicago's sustainable architecture and green spaces. ...

    New this year is GCPS Kids."
    The full schedule of free tours begins bright and early on Saturday, May 19. The Santa Fe Building, in which you'll also find the Chicago Architecture Foundation, serves as Event Headquarters. Registration for "event day" tours starts at 7:30am.

    Wonderful weekend, wonderful Mayor!

    Bring your camera and send me photos, I'll post them.

    Rick Lowe photo: c Michael Stravato for The New York Times
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