The James R. Thompson Center Historic Society was formed in the summer of 2019 by Elizabeth Blasius, Jonathan Solomon, and AJ LaTrace to encourage all to visit the building and contribute to the ongoing discussion of its past, present, and future in Chicago. The story of the Thompson Center is a complex one, and has continued to be so in more recent years as its future remains uncertain.
As a city known around the world for its contributions to architecture and design, Chicago also has an equally troubling history of discarding many of its most significant structures and public places. We ask a simple question: Do we dare squander Chicago’s great architectural heritage? Our city’s cultural heritage — and the Thompson Center itself — belongs to all Chicagoans.
Join us this month as we seek to explore the spaces at the Thompson Center and discuss the cultural context of the building’s conception, its role as a civic space, and the symbolic optimism conveyed through architecture.