The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

Calendar & Projects


Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City

Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City

Director Judith McBrien appears in person for the Chicago theatrical premiere of her feature-length documentary. McBrien will introduce the movie and participate in an audience discussion afterward. The film—narrated by Joan Allen—explores the fascinating life and complex legacy of Daniel Hudson Burnham and how his vision to organize the chaos of 19th century America shaped the nation's towns and cities for generations.

    “His acclaimed visionary plan for Chicago was architect Daniel Burnham's career-capping legacy, but Make No Little Plans reveals much more about the man, his prolific design work and his lasting influence. Director McBrien casts a compassionate aura over this personal account of Burnham's life, shaped by the practical tenets of his Swedenborgian faith and fueled by the energy of Chicago's rapid rise from the ashes of the 1871 fire. The film details little-known aspects of the architect's career, as well as his finest achievements including the Monadnock and Rookery buildings, the construction of the 1893 Columbian Exposition and city planning work for Washington, D.C., Cleveland, San Francisco and Manila.”

The film is produced by The Archimedia Workshop in consultation with Kartemquin Films. Click here to view a video preview.

Program Partners

Gene Siskel Film Center

The year-round not-for-profit Film Center, named for the late Chicago film critic, is the cinematheque attached to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Every year, the Siskel features more than 100 filmmaker appearances and more than 1,500 screenings ...[MORE]

Archimedia Workshop

The Archimedia Workshop was formed in June 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not for profit media production company in order to produce programming about architecture, history and urban design. The purposes of the Archimedia Workshop are to "establish and ...

This program was offered on these dates:
Sunday, December 13, 2009 3:00pm
Monday, December 14, 2009 6:00pm

Gene Siskel Film Center

Cost: General admission $10; Students $7; Film Center members $5 at the Film Center Box Office.


Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60601
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The Burnham Plan Centennial
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