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Urban History Seminar

Virtual Urban History Seminar

Thursday, October 19

The Urban History Seminar series feature a scholarly presentation followed by lively discussion. Rebekah Coffman, CHM curator of religion and community history, and Chris Redgrave, architectural photographer at Historic England, present “How to Save a Building with a Camera: Architectural Photography and Its Role in the Preservation Movement in London and Chicago, 1960s–2020s.”

This talk will explore the role photography plays in the preservation movement. Drawing from the life and work of Richard Nickel, the presenters will discuss his influence and legacy in critical documentation of the urban landscape. The discussion will draw connections between preservation movements in both Chicago and London by exploring photographs of buildings lost to the wrecking ball in both cities and how they were recorded, alongside others that were saved thanks to public action and heritage protection, and quite possibly a good photograph.

The Zoom session will open at 6:45 p.m. with the program starting at 7:00 p.m. and concluding by 8:15 p.m. RSVP is required.  

This session is free of charge; we would greatly appreciate a donation to the Museum in any amount. A Zoom link will be provided after registration.

About the Speakers

Rebekah Coffman is a historian and curator currently serving as Chicago History Museum’s curator of religion and community history. She is a passionate believer in and advocate for the preservation and interpretation of local heritage through community-centered approaches. Her research interests focus on themes of religious identity and its expressions within the built environment through visual and material culture. She holds an MA in Historical and Sustainable Architecture from New York University and a BA with majors in Art History and Religion from Hamline University.

Chris Redgrave is an architectural photographer at Historic England and photographer for various Survey of London volumes since 2012. Chris is also a visiting lecturer at The Bartlett/UCL on the MA- Surveying and Recording Cities module.

The Urban History Seminars have been generously underwritten by the Chicago History Museum since 1983.

Rebekah Coffman
Chris Redgrave
Historical preservationist Richard Nickel shows ornamental work by Louis Sullivan at the Garrick Theater to two men, Chicago, 1962. ICHi-051609

The Details



19 th

7:00–8:15 p.m.

Event Location


Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories