Chicago Archtiecture Foundadtion

Love the layover: Architecture exhibition about O’Hare Airport


From now through May 1, the Chicago Architecture Foundation (224 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago) is featuring a free exhibition about the architecture of O’Hare International Airport.

Frequent travelers who have spent way too much time stuck at O’Hare may quibble, but this exhibition looks at the airport “as an international model of airport design.”

How’s that?

“Innovations such as a central parking garage, movable jetway bridges, and the two-tiered drive separating arrivals and departures, established O’Hare as the industry standard for jet-age airport design.”

Decide for yourself: The exhibition includes photographs of O’Hare from the 1950s through the 1980s, a pair of Eames O’Hare Tandem Sling Seats, an acoustic installation of airport sounds, and a newspaper brochure with additional historical material.

The exhibition is curated by Charles Waldheim, principal of Urban Agency and director of the landscape architecture program at the University of Toronto.


Photos:  “View of Upper Level Ticketing Lobby, Chicago O’Hare International Airport,” 1963. Hedrich-Blessing photo, courtesy Chicago History Museum,
Above: “Entryway Drive Upper Level and Terminal Buildings, Chicago O’Hare International Airport,” 1963. Hedrich-Blessing photo, courtesy Hedrich-Blessing Archive / Chicago History Museum,