The City Beautiful v. the City Logical: Burnham, Brennan and Chicago's Grid | Newberry

The City Beautiful v. the City Logical: Burnham, Brennan and Chicago's Grid

Led by Bill Savage. Seven sessions, 6 - 7:30 pm.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tuesday, February 20 - April 3

6 - 7:30 pm

This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (January 9 at 10 am – January 26 at 4 pm): $200
Regular Registration Price (January 26 at 4 pm – first day of class): $220

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

This seminar is full. Please call (312) 255-3700 to be added to the wait list.

Excuse our dust!

Beginning January 2018 the Newberry will be undertaking renovation of much of the first floor. The Adult Education Seminars Program will still have use of the basement classrooms, but please check this link frequently for the latest conditions - which exterior doors are open or closed, where to find an accessible entrance, which restrooms are available, etc.

Because of the renovation, the Newberry Bookstore will be closed during the Winter/Spring and Summer 2018 terms. As such, seminar participants will be responsible for acquiring all required texts for their seminars on their own. We apologize sincerely for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding. We have put together a list of helpful resources that should make it easy to find the books you need.

Seminar Description

In this seminar, we will explore (in texts and on site) the difference between plans and realities and how history is written into, and out of, Chicago’s very streets. After one meeting at the Newberry, we will convene at different spots across Chicago to explore Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago for the “City Beautiful,” and Edward Brennan’s more modest, but perhaps more important, plan for the “City Logical.” Our fundamental questions will be: where are you, how do you know, and what does it mean? Seven sessions. **Weather depending, classes will include short walks at various sites

Bill Savage teaches Chicago literature at Northwestern University and is at work on a book about Edward Brennan’s reformation of Chicago’s street name and numbering system, tentatively entitled The City Logical. He has taught Newberry Library seminars since 1992.

Materials List


  • A course pack of additional materials, compiled by the instructor and distributed during the first class.

First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for the first class.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.