November 6, 2004:

Our 1st Annual GALA BENEFIT party was a unique and special evening, celebrating Edward Dart's life and architecture. We enjoyed a fantastic evening of stimulating conversation, live entertainment, wine and a light dinner buffet with distinguished guests of honor.

The beautiful setting for the party was a flat roofed modern house designed in 1957 by Edward Dart, on a wooded lane overlooking a ravine in Lake Forest, IL in the north shore of Chicago.

A magical gathering of friends, family and fans paid tribute to the late architect Edward "Ned" Dart. What started out as a fund raiser for Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond in a Dart house, became an evening of history and tales about the life and adventures of the man who designed everything from residential homes, churches, Pick-Steiger concert hall (at Northwestern University) to Water Tower Place on Chicago's Magnificent Mile.

Present were Wilma Dart (wife), Elaine Dart Hanan (daughter), Richard and Roxie Pepper (builder, friend and neighbors), and former partner and practicing architect Don Hackl and his wife Bernadine. Artist Fay Peck, who commissioned the house and lived in it for 43 years, and Lake Forest alderman Roger Mohr and his wife Pauline also attended. The party was hosted by new owner Charles Walgreen, who is planning to restore the home to its original glory, and Catherine Watford.

Don talked about Dart's ability to "come up with the big idea" in an age when architects like Keck & Keck, Paul Schweikher, and Bruce Goff actually did their own work. "Today the big firms do design by committee and the guy who's name is at the top takes all the credit. And that's BULL!" said Hackl in a spirited way, continuing on to say how Dart led a team of talented draftsmen and designed each project with unique styling and features custom to its mission.

Elaine talked about "the year of the boat" (shared with neighbor Richard Pepper) and the excitement of living under the direction of a father who made his own rules. Following his typical 80-hour work week, he thoroughly "let loose" on the weekends to spend time with his family and friends, and among his many joys was painting with watercolors.

Richard Pepper told humorous tales of the premier party of "Ned's Barn" which was a home he built on the foundation of an existing barn. The home was not a barn, but "on the night of the big architecture party (to unveil the house for all his competitors and friends for the first time) there was a terrible downpour and the house leaked everywhere!" To which CBB VP Gary Gand added "Frank Lloyd Wright always blamed the contractor. The contractors always blamed Wright." And so the rules of engagement were set and haven't changed since.

The home was furnished in period style by CBB President Joe Kunkel. Jesse Langen's live classical guitar was piped into the main rooms of the house. Food and wine flowed, and the memories of this great architect and the world he created for his clients came back to life for a few brief hours on the ravines in Lake Forest.

Standing by the fireplace in a glass house surrounded by nature, CBB cofounder Joan Gand summed it up when she said, "We traveled back in time to the days when neighbors were friends and people got together in each others homes to discuss their dreams and their futures."

Roxie Pepper, Elaine Dart Hanan, Charles Walgreen, Wilma Dart, Richard Pepper, Harriett Burnstein, Joan Gand, Joe Kunkel, Pauline and Roger Mohr

Fay Peck and Joan Gand

Allen Porter reading Modernism Magazine

Catherine Watford, Allen Porter, Frania Ross, Charles Walgreen, Joe Kunkel, Gary and Joan Gand, Bonnie Katz, and Phillip Ross

Frania and Phillip Ross' 1955 Olds Super 88 led the way to the party

Harold Burnstein, Elaine Dart Hanan, Richard Pepper, Don Hackl, and Joan Gand.

Biography: Don Hackl
Donald J. Hackl has served as President of Loebl Schlossman & Hackl since 1975, having joined the Chicago-based design firm in 1963, where Dart was a partner from 1965 through his unexpected death in 1975. A graduate from the University of Illinois, Hackl received a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1957 and a Master of Architecture degree in 1958. In 1982, Hackl was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and served as the National President in 1987. Throughout his career, he has been actively involved in professional and community affairs and has held numerous other AIA offices at both local and state levels. He is an honorary member of the UIA Member Sections of Brazil, Bulgaria, Cuba, Japan, Mexico and Spain. He is also a Professor at the International Academy of Architecture in Bulgaria, at the Shenzhen University Institute of Architectural Design in China and at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Don Hackl has lectured extensively throughout the United States and abroad and has authored numerous monographs on topics related to the profession.

Biography: Edward Dart
Edward Dart graduated from Yale School of Architecture, where he studied under Pietro Belluschi, Marcel Breuer, Harwell Hamilton Harris, Richard Neutra, Louis Kahn, Eero Saarinen, Harold Spitznagel, Edward Durell Stone, and Paul Schweikher. Frank Lloyd Wright had a large impact on Dart; Schweikher and Bennett also figured prominently in his career. Dart worked for Schweikher for a time after graduation, then started his own independent firm, during which time he designed the house featured here. Later he joined the large firm of Loebl, Schlossman, Bennett, and Dart, where all but four of his 45 projects were completed.

Dart was listed in Who's Who in America, and won 18 awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), including two (a Distinguished Building Award in 1971 and a National Honor Award in 1973) for his design of St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois. He was made a Fellow of the AIA, the highest honors that the organization can bestow, at the age of 44. He built 52 custom houses from from 1949 to 1968, 26 custom churches, several builders' spec house designs, shopping centers and commercial buildings. The Art Institute of Chicago honored his work in a guided tour of several his churches, Sublime Sanctuaries: The Churches of Edward Dart. The Art Institute also has Dart's archives and drawings in their permanent collection.

Dart designed the "House of the Fifties" for Good Housekeeping magazine, a model house for Popular Mechanics, and won the National Association of Homebuilders competition in 1951. In all, he completed over 100 projects before his unexpected death at the age of 53, while working on Water Tower Place in Chicago, one of his largest projects. Because of his early death, the world would never get to see more of the humanistic architecture Dart would surely have gone on to design. Had he lived, he would likely have continued his career in the independent fashion he preferred, designing without the politics of big business and commercially-driven decisions of real estate developers which largely drive architecture today.

Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to celebrating and promoting awareness of 20th Century modern architecture and design in the Chicago area.

This event is sponsored, in part, by Gand Music and Sound, Jetset Modern, Modernism Magazine, Pure Wine Company, Dave's Italian Kitchen, and BelGioso Cheese, plus many hard-working volunteers! THANK YOU!


Special thanks to our co-sponsors and volunteers for a wonderful evening. We could not have done it without you!

Sources: Joe Kunkel; and Edward Dart, Architect, by Susan Dart; and the International Union of Architects

For more details on this exciting new group, please contact: Joe Kunkel
joe@jetsetmodern.com   or (T) 312-371-0986

Copyright 2004 Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond (www.chicagobauhausbeyond.org) and Joe Kunkel (joe@jetsetmodern.com). All rights reserved worldwide. This article and photos may not be reproduced, reprinted, reposted or rewritten without express permission in writing from the author, owner and publisher.