The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

Program Partners


Northwestern University is a private institution founded in 1851 to serve the Northwest Territory, an area that now includes the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota. Today,  the university combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment that transcends traditional academic boundaries. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal, and professional growth in a setting enhanced by the richness of Chicago.

Partner Category: Educational Institution

Centennial Activities

Thursday, November 13, 2008 9:00am to 5:00pm

2nd Annual William O. Lipincki Symposium on Transportation Policy

Northwestern University

Northwestrn's Infrastructure Technology Institute will use the 100th anniversary of Daniel H. Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago as a vantage point, speakers and participants at the Symposium envisioned a future transportation system for the Chicago region to meet the accessibility, capacity, quality, and sustainability needs of our society and economy for the next century. The series of presentations and panel discussions identified current challenges facing transportation systems locally and nationally and explored avenues for change. [MORE]

Exhibit : Wednesday, July 1, 2009 to Friday, January 15, 2010

Burnham and Northwestern

Northwestern University

The exhibit, which will include blueprints, sketches, manuscript and archival material, and photographs, will document Burnham's relationship with the University a few blocks from his Evanston home. Burnham received his first honorary degree here (1895), and his firm submitted proposals for a number of buildings, including Fisk Hall, which opened in 1899. A focal point of the exhibit will be Burnham's comprehensive Campus Plan (1905). While the Plan of Northwestern was never implemented, Burnham's drawing reflects many of the features found in his other large-scale projects. [MORE]

Sunday, October 11, 2009 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Finding Burnham in the Archives: Spiritual Revelations and the Plan of Chicago

Swedenborg Library

Daniel Burnham's views on architecture and his ideas for the city are more fully revealed in his notes, letters and drafts than in the published Plan of Chicago. These materials enrich our understanding not only of the public architect and planner, but also disclose the religious beliefs and moral values of the private man. [MORE]

Thursday, May 28, 2009 6:15pm

Paris at the time of the Burnham Plan

Northwestern University


Modernizing Paris: 18th, 19th, 20th Centuries

Organized by David van Zanten, Northwestern Professor of Art History.  Featuring Christian Topalov and Isabelle Backouche, Professors in the Urban History seminar of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences So­ciales, Paris.  Part of the department of art history’s “Elizabeth and Todd Warnock Lecture Series.” [MORE]

The Plan of Chicago

Northwestern University

Professor Carl Smith, Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English & American Studies Studies in American Culture will teach “The Plan of Chicago” in spring quarter, 2009. [MORE]


Weinberg College
1922 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60602
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Contact: Mary Finn,

The Burnham Plan Centennial
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