Dr. Cremin discusses Joliet Area Historical Museum exhibit

Lewis University professor shares insight on “Envisioning Joliet: Burnham, Bennett & Beyond” exhibit

Published: September 24, 2009.

The “Envisioning Joliet: Burnham, Bennett & Beyond” exhibit is on display until May 2010 at the Joliet Area Historical Museum located at 204 N. Ottawa Street in Joliet. Dr. Dennis H. Cremin, assistant professor of history and director of the Lewis University History Center: Urban, Cultural and Catholic History of the Upper Midwest offered insight on the creation of the exhibit Sept. 22 at Lewis University in Romeoville.

Lewis students conducted preliminary research for the exhibit that focuses on the planning and growth of Joliet. Students involved in the project include Candace Coop of Minooka, Emily Custardo of Naperville, Jason Kinnaman of Plainfield, Brian Tierney of Chicago, Lauren Rizzo of Romeoville, Joshua Jacobson of Aurora and Kyle Skager of Frankfort.

Cremin pointed out that Daniel Burnham wanted a “Paris on the prairie,” meaning that people would not have to go all the way to Paris for vacation because they would want to enjoy Chicago. Similarly, Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett envisioned the “dirty, industrial Joliet” as a “beautiful, urbanized” city.

The “Envisioning Joliet: Burnham, Bennett & Beyond” exhibit begins with a quote from Burnham, who said, “Make no little plans.” The exhibit showcases Burnham’s significant contributions through working on several buildings in Joliet including the Joliet Public Library, the Renaissance Center, the YMCA, and Joliet Township High School. The exhibit also includes Bennett’s plan for Joliet, which was created and executed in 1921.

To continue with the celebration of the Burnham Centennial, Emmy Award-winning storyteller and WTTW producer Geoffrey Baer will discuss “The Imprint of the World Columbian Exposition” at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at Lewis University in Romeoville. For details, please visit www.lewisu.edu.

A Catholic university sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis offers nearly 80 undergraduate majors and programs of study, accelerated degree completion options for working adults, various aviation programs and 22 graduate programs in nine fields. The 10th largest private, not-for-profit university in Illinois is being honored for the sixth consecutive year by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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