Join authors Susan Benjamin and Michelangelo Sabatino as they discuss their new book Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929-75, which explores the substantial yet overlooked role that Chicago and its suburbs played in the development of the modern single-family home, including the Adlai E. Stevenson II Historic Home. Following the talk and book signing, learn about this Illinois governor and ambassador to the United Nations as you then tour his home, a National Historic Landmark.
Through reflecting different approaches to site, space, structure, and materials, the examples in Modern in the Middle reveal an abundance of astonishing houses that have never been collected into one study- until now.
Susan Benjamin is an architectural historian with 40-plus years of experience in the world of historic preservation. Her firm, Benjamin Historic Certifications writes National Register and local landmark nominations, historic resource reports, Historic American Buildings Survey documentation and helps clients receive tax incentives for rehabilitating historic properties. Three of her projects have won the coveted Driehaus Award. She is a frequent lecturer on a variety of architecturally interesting subjects and has previously written two books for Acanthus Press with architect Stuart Cohen: Great Houses of Chicago, 1871-1921 and North Shore Chicago: Houses of the Lakefront Suburbs, 1890-1940. Susan and her husband Wayne live in Highland Park in a modern house designed in 1941 by Larry Perkins of Perkins, Wheeler & Will.
Michelangelo Sabatino trained as an architect, preservationist, and historian. Sabatino’s book Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy (2011) was translated into Italian and won critical acclaim and multiple awards, including the Society of Architectural Historians’ Alice Davis Hitchcock Award. His recent books include Canada: Modern Architectures in History (with Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, 2016), Avant-Garde in the Cornfields: Architecture, Landscape, and Preservation in New Harmony (with Ben Nicholson, 2019), Making Houston Modern: The Life and Architecture of Howard Barnstone (with Barrie Scardino Bradley and Stephen Fox, 2020) and Carlo Mollino: Architect and Storyteller (with Napoleone Ferrari, 2021). Sabatino and his partner live in a modern house designed by Winston Elting, in Riverside, an Olmsted & Vaux designed community.