In a career spanning half a century, Chicago architect Harry Weese (1915-98) produced a large number of significant designs, ranging from small but highly inventive residences to large-scale urban commissions such as the Washington, D.C., Metro system.
In Missouri, Weese is probably best known for the campus of St. Louis' Forest Park Community College and the WallStreet Tower (formerly Mercantile Bank) in Kansas City.
In The Architecture of Harry Weese (2010), critic and historian Robert Bruegmann reexamines Weese's protean career and legacy, part of a fast-growing revival of interest in the work of Weese and other second-generation modernists such as Eero Saarinen, Edward Larrabee Barnes, I. M. Pei, Ralph Rapson, and Paul Rudolph.
Bruegmann, a University Distinguished Professor of Art History, Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is also the author of Sprawl: A Compact History (2005)—the first major book to challenge urban sprawl's pejorative connotations—and The Architects and the City: Holabird and Roche of Chicago 1880-1918 (1997), which traces the history of one of Chicago's most influential firms.
At 6:30p Wednesday, March 7, Bruegmann will speak for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts' spring Public Lecture Series. The talk—the School's annual AIA St. Louis Scholarship Trust Lecture—will take place in Steinberg Auditorium.
Bruegmann earned a bachelor's degree from Principia College in 1970 and his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976, writing his dissertation on late 18th- and early 19th-century European hospitals and other institutions.
In 1977, Bruegmann became assistant professor in the Art History Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia College of the Arts, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia University. He has worked for the Historic American Buildings Survey and Historic American Engineering Record of the National Park Service.
Bruegmann's fields of research and teaching are architectural, urban, landscape, and planning history and historic preservation. He has received scholarships and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Graham Foundation; the Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University; and the Institute for the Humanities and the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Other books include Modernism at Mid-Century: The Architecture of the United States Air Force Academy (editor, 1994), Holabird & Roche/Holabird & Root, Catalog of Work 1910-1940 (1991), A Guide to 150 Years of Chicago Architecture (1985) and Benicia: Portrait of an Early California Town: An Architectural History (1980).