Historic Preservation in Chicago

March 13, 2007

When Frank Sinatra sang "State Street, that great street," it was considered "great" because of its reputation as a shopping destination. Today this corridor could be called that for another reason: the successful preservation of significant buildings at various points along its span. From the Reliance Building and Carson Pirie Scott in the Loop, to IIT's Crown Hall and the Bee Building in Bronzeville, State Street is home to several examples of Chicago's architectural legacy.

In this program, T. Gunny Harboe, the architect behind these projects, explained how their preservation came about. Harboe also talked about the role he sees for planners in historic preservation, for both individual structures and entire districts, and he gave his thoughts on how planning and its management tools can successfully help to support the history and legacy of our past.


Gunny Harboe

Gunny Harboe is president of Harboe Architects, PC, an architecture firm specializing in historic preservation and sustainable design. Prior to that, for nearly 18 years he was with McClier (and Austin/AECOM), where he was responsible for the firm's projects involving preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation of older structures of historic or architectural significance. He gained a national reputation for his work on the Rookery and Reliance Buildings. Both projects received national honor awards from the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Recent projects include Holabird and Roche's Marquette Building, Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple, Mies Van der Rohe's Crown Hall, Louis Sullivan's Carson Pirie Scott Store, and Holabird and Root's Chicago Board of Trade Building, all National Historic Landmarks. He is a registered architect, with a M. Arch. from MIT, a M.Sc. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, and an A.B. in History from Brown University.