The Thompson Center: Populist Postmodernism

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The “Postmodernist People’s Palace” has been controversial since it opened in 1985. Helmut Jahn’s glassy spaceship was designed to reference the dome of the state capitol and to symbolize government openness and transparency.  The building’s dizzying circular atrium (described as “a place some people love to hate”) is simultaneously an icon of the Postmodernist architectural movement and a visible reminder of the effects of deferred maintenance. This tour will explore the political, cultural, and technological history of the James R. Thompson Center – and address ongoing threats to the building’s preservation. The tour will conclude with a live Q&A.


Tour leader: Elizabeth Blasius
Duration: 1 hour with live component and Q&A