Preservation of Industrial Archaeology and its Construction History

The Association of Preservation Technology, Western Great Lakes Chapter (APT WGLC) and the Construction History Society of America (CHSA) will hold a collaborative 2019 Symposium Preservation of Industrial Archaeology and its Construction History in Chicago, IL on May 17, 2019.  



This program offered a single track, intermingling the two disciplines of preservation technology and construction history while exploring topics including local and regional structures, industries and companies.  A session on Materials offers presentations on the history of the oldest limestone company in Indiana, comparison of building materials in two Petrographic case studies, unusual construction methods and preservation of 150-year-old Eckley miners village houses, and how postwar reconstruction impacted rival aluminum plants Alcoa and Reynolds Metals.

Technology presentations examined the development of rivet manufacture and driving, changing standards and adaptive reuse of “slow burn” construction in heavy timber buildings, re-development of Imperial Sugar’s historic char house, and case studies exploring deterioration of industrial masonry chimneys.

Two Chicago sessions included the rehabilitation of Edgewater Beach Apartments and waterfront terrace, the unique structural riveted design of the Northwestern elevated railway, interpretation and evaluation of the Pullman National Monument’s Administration building, how the 1893 World’s Fair was constructed in a short time period, redevelopment of Cook County Hospital and the construction history of industrial crane manufacturer Whiting Foundry in Harvey, Illinois.

The symposium was held in the ballroom of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (112 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60611) , and is sponsored by the school’s Historic Preservation Program. CHSA and APT WGLC thank sponsors of the event:

Pin Level: Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger

Gusset Level: Vertical Access and Berglund Construction

Rivet Level: AltusWorks, Inc., PVN, and Peter Hilger and the University of Minnesota

Approved for 6 HSW AIA learning units.

The keynote address, Chicago’s Other Skyscrapers, was given by Thomas Leslie, Morrill Professor of Architecture at Iowa State University.  Author of Beauty’s Rigor:  Patterns of Production in the Work of Pier Luigi Nervi (University of Illinois Press, 2017), Chicago Skyscrapers 1871 – 1934 (University of Illinois Press, 2013), and Louis I. Kahn:  Building Art, Building Science(George Braziller Press, 2005).

TOUR – Pullman National Monument was offered on Saturday, May 18th.

Participants took a guided walk of the Pullman National Monument to learn about the history of Pullman, its architecture and the landmark community of today.  Pullman’s experiment in community planning and industrial order was declared “the World’s most perfect town” but circumstances could not prevent growing labor unrest fueled on by one of the worst economic recessions in our Nation’s history, resulting in the Pullman Strike of 1894. 

School of the Art Institute of Chicago winter wedding reception by chicago documentary wedding photographer rotarski photography
SAIC Ballroom_Image courtesy of SAIC/HMR