College of Architecture Professor Michelangelo Sabatino and Students Curate Permanent Exhibition on Olmsted’s Riverside

Join College of Architecture Professor Michelangelo Sabatino and students from the Ph.D. program on Monday, January 23 from 7–8 p.m. for Picturing Riverside: An Exhibition of a National Historic Landmark Community at the Riverside Railroad Station (90 Bloomingbank Road, Riverside, Illinois).

Picturing Riverside is a new permanent exhibition about the many facets of a living landmark community. Shortly after the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 was passed to stop reckless demolitions across the nation committed in the name of progress, the National Park Service designated Riverside as a Landscape Architecture District (1970). Designed specifically for the Riverside Train Station, Picturing Riverside opened in 2017, in the building that helped establish the town’s link to Chicago and the rest of North America. Picturing Riverside seeks to bring renewed awareness to residents and visitors alike about the significance of this “suburban village” in which nature and the built environment are harmoniously interwoven.

Beginning in 1868, the entrepreneur Emery E. Childs commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux to design Riverside. Taking cues from the Des Plaines River, Olmsted and Vaux created a “suburban village” that “suggests and implies leisure, contemplativeness and happy tranquility.” Curated by Riverside resident and architectural historian Michelangelo Sabatino with the students of the Ph.D. in Architecture Program of the College of Architecture of the Illinois Institute of Technology; in collaboration with the Riverside Historical Museum, Constance Guardi, chair of the Riverside Historical Commission. Ph.D. students include: Karl Johann Hakken, Mohammed Ali Khesroh, Anat Mor-Avi, Nadia Shah, Yen-Hang Yang, and Aishwarya Karunanidhi (M.Arch). Special thanks to Ben Sells, Riverside Village President, Charlie Pipal, chair of the Riverside Preservation Commission; Ed Bailey, Riverside Department of Public Works; Serge Ambrose, Riverside Historical Commission. Thanks also to Casimira Gorman, principal of Blythe Park Elementary School and Janice A. Foley, director, Riverside Public Library.