Great House Architect, Chicago’s “Society Architect” on PBS in June.
New 4-part documentary airing every Friday night in June on WTTW Prime. Get the details at adlerarchitecturefilm.com
The documentary “David Adler: Great House Architect” produced and hosted by Kristin Noelle Smith shines a light on the life, clients and classic architecture of this “architect of society”. The four episodes feature expert visits to four of his grand residences, including two in Lake Forest, one in Lake Bluff, and one in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Adler (1882-1949) designed over forty-five houses in all. He avoided publicity, was born in Milwaukee and trained in Europe. Returning to Chicago in 1911, after studying in Paris, he embarked on an exceptional professional career. At least twelve of his works are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. His clients included America’s leading entrepreneurs of the big house era, a bygone era when the wealthy employed home service staff of butlers, chauffeurs, gardeners, maids, cooks and more. . Adler’s works are known for “symmetry, human-scale grandeur, meticulous detail, architectural salvage, and a wide variety of historical inspiration.”
Smith was first introduced to David Adler as a student when he was invited by friends to homes he designed in Lake Forest, Illinois. Struck by their distinctive allure and glamour, and motivated by her Francophile leanings and appetite for history, she set out to learn all she could about one of her favorite architects, poring over texts and eventually viewing a museum exhibit about him, and, in the process, became even more enamored with his timelessly beautiful work. Smith found, perhaps due to his historicism, reluctance to publicize, and the private nature of his wealthy clients, Adler is often overlooked among notable architects. She thinks more people would like to know about her amazingly elegant work. Smith recommends the books on David Adler and his documentary project adds to his history record.
“Let’s help preserve architecturally significant buildings for future generations so they continue to inspire. The process of historic preservation begins with education, often not provided in schools. David Adler: Great House Architect was created to support this mission.” Kristin N. Smith, MBA
WTTW Prime 11.2 channel, Comcast 367 or 370 and RCN 37. at 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
“Youth” on Friday, June 3 features Adler’s (1925-28) English Baroque-style “Castle Hill” (1925-28) estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts, with a tour by author, curator Susan Hill Dolan. Open to the public.
“Training” Friday, June 10. features Adler’s early 19th-century American-style “Port o’Call” (1926) estate in Lake Bluff, Illinois with a guided tour by Director of Collections Thomas Gleason.
“Career” Fri, Jun 17 features Adler’s French Norman, 17th Century style residence “Innisfail II” (1930) in Lake Forest, Illinois with an interview with renowned owner and architect Adrian Smith and his son, real estate developer Jason Smith .
“An Era Ends” on Friday, June 24 features Adler’s 18th-century Georgian “Wheeler” (1934) residence in Lake Forest, Illinois. with visit from author, librarian Arthur H. Miller.
For all questions :
Julia Pesek, Director, listen to this news now [email protected] 312.953.3685
Contact producer and host
Kristin N. Smith [email protected] 312.493.8204
She is a graduate of Fremd High School, holds BA and MBA degrees from Northwestern University, and an Applied Science degree from Harper College Palatine where she studied Decorative Arts, History of architecture and furniture.