By Bob Uphues
OK, you probably haven't heard of an organization called the Alliance Française de Chicago, so you're welcome.
But the Society of Architectural Historians (you're welcome for that, too) has and the two are joining forces to screen the premier of the film William LeBaron Jenney: In His Own Words at the Alliance Française de Chicago, 54 W. Chicago Ave. in Chicago on Tuesday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. A reception will follow at 7:30 p.m.
William LeBaron Jenney is considered the father of the steel skyscraper whose Home Insurance Building from 1884-85 is considered the first steel skeleton skyscraper. Of course, back in 1869-70, Jenney was busy helping design some of the most important structures for Riverside, including the water tower and the Riverside Hotel (both of which suffered devastating fires, by the way). He also built a home for himself on Scottswood Road, which still stands today.
Anyway, William LeBaron Jenney: In His Own Words, is a documentary about the architect and told in Jenney's "own voice." To be perfectly accurate, it will be told in Jenney's French voice, but a French/English transcript will be available for anyone who needs one. A transcript is also downloadable.
It's free to attend the screening, but reservations are required. Call 312-337-1070 or click here to register online.
Hat tip to Paul Stack.