Virtual Burnham Project



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Contact information regarding the website:


The VBI works closely with a number of academic, professional, and cultural institutions; VBI partners for the first phase of the project for the academic year 2008-09 include:


Bold Ideas: Waukegan High School

As a part of CMAP’s Go To 2040 Initiative, this project asked students in Waukegan High School Urban Studies teacher Christine Le’s course to envision the Waukegan area in the year 2040.

The four most-innovative projects were honored at the Waukegan Public Library on May 4, 2009, and all course projects were displayed at the library through June 1, 2009.

The winners:

  1. Angel Rea
  2. Destiny Keys
  3. Gabriel Cervantes
  4. Jose Aguilar

The biographies of student participants are listed here.


Highland Park High School

The VBI worked in two capacities with Highland Park High School, featured in a Google Earth layer.

First, the VBI worked in partnership with two Urban Studies courses, taught by Ed Garza and Debbie Castellani. Students studied the Plan of Chicago and its implications for development within the entire metropolitan area, preparing projects that analyzed the themes of the Plan as applied to select Chicago-area locations.

See their work here.

Second, students from John Connolly’s Architectural Drafting course designed virtual models for select Chicago structures—including train stations proposed by the Plan of Chicago and the First Regiment Armory (from 1552 S. Michigan Ave.—[1891-1967]).

See their work here.

Click here to see the biographies of the students.


Lake Forest High School

LFHS students, under the tutelage of Debra Zare, researched the Plan of Chicago and then created photo essays exploring how the Plan, with its regional focus, affected Lake Forest. This project, part of the Chicago Botanic Garden's Fairchild Challenge, also produced 4 photographs that were chosen for use in the new book The Plan of Chicago @ 100: 15 Views of Burnham's Legacy for the New Century, published by the Lambda Alpha International Ely Chapter.

Each school participating in the Fairchild Challenge submitted up to three submissions from their school for the challenge. Two of LFHS’s submissions are presented on the VBI—Colleen Dunn and Michael Brandorff; Dunn’s work was selected in the top three for the entire competition.

The project helped the students gain a greater appreciation of their community and its resources as well as creating an awareness of the importance of urban planning and its effects on our daily lives.  The student photos presented with the VBI are selected from the Lambda Alpha winners and Fairchild Challenge submissions.

See their work here.

Click here to see the biographies of the students.


Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)

CMAP partners with the VBI in several ways:  as co-facilitator of the Spring 2009 Waukegan High School “Bold Ideas” contest, in featuring VBI content on their community-focused website (coming soon), in VBI presentations for CMAP community conferences and conferences.

The VBI supports CMAP’s community and partner -driven approach to regional planning.


Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Studies at Depaul University

The Chaddick Institute will sponsor the VBI public launch on June 23 at DePaul University.

Additionally, Chaddick Institute Director Joseph P. Schwieterman is the lead author on the Lake Forest College Press book, Beyond Burnham: An Illustrated History of Planning for the Chicago Region.