Chicago Architecture News


UPDATED DAILY: Best Practices: COVID-19

Best Practices: COVID-19 On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a global health emergency. The virus, now known as COVID-19, was first identified in January in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Confirmed cases are concentrated in China but have spread throughout Asia and more recently into Europe and other regions, including a small number in the United States and Canada.

Concern for member health and safety, airline restrictions, and travel warnings are affecting association global operations and conferences. These resources are compiled here to help you stay informed on this rapidly evolving situation.

AIA has compiled a list of resources for you to refer to. This list will continue to grow as the situation evolves. Links are in red.



AIA Chicago Office Closed; Staff Working Remotely

Dear AIA Chicago community members:

Considerations of health, safety and welfare guide the decisions of architects. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently characterized COVID-19 as a global epidemic. In order to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees, clients and their families and friends, most Chicago architecture firms are working remotely or giving their employees the option of working remotely from home during this period of uncertainty.  

Health officials are urging the world to take immediate and aggressive action to help control the spread of the virus. AIA Chicago encourages all members of our community to protect those most vulnerable by limiting social interactions and minimizing gatherings. Enabling our community of professionals to work from home is one way of doing that. 

Effective immediately, AIA Chicago will remain operational with its staff members working remotely and the physical office at 35 East Wacker Drive closed until further notice. AIA Chicago staff members are available during normal business hours by phone and by email. Most programs, meetings and events originally scheduled for the month of March and April have been postponed. AIA Chicago’s calendar of events contains more information related to postponements and cancellations.

AIA Chicago thanks and applauds members of our community, comprised of practices of all sizes and members of many kinds, for taking swift action during these sensitive and serious times in order to preserve everyone's longterm health, safety and welfare.  

We wish all our members and friends the best of health and safety during this time and always. Please remember that AIA Chicago staff members are available to provide assistance, information and support. Don’t hesitate to continue to be in contact with us. 

Lastly, and most importantly, for the most up-to-date information on the city's response to COVID-19, please visit, where you can also sign up for regular email updates.

Zurich Esposito, Hon. AIA

April Hughes, AIA
AIA Chicago Board President


Nina Dew, Office Manager

Zurich Esposito, Executive Vice President

Joan Pomaranc, Director of Programs

Allison Garwood Freedland, Manager of Programs & Outreach

Kacey Larsen, Program & Events Manager

Anjulie Rao, Director of Communications

Steve Riforgiato, Membership Manager

Debora Donato, Sponsorship Coordinator

Kathy Jessen, Accounting



AIA Chicago 2030 Commitment Update

The AIA 2030 Commitment The Chicago Campaign to Combat the Climate Emergency By: Douglas Farr, FAIA, 2030 Campaign Strategist, Arathi Gowda, AIA, and Scott Farbman, AIA, AIA Chicago 2030 Working Group co-chairs and Nathan Kipnis, FAIA, 2030 National Liaison Every day there are reports on our current climate emergency—from fires in Australia to record high temperatures and flooding closer to home—reminding us of our urgent need to stop burning fossil fuels and pumping CO2 (and its equivalents) into the atmosphere. With 53% of Chicago’s CO2e generated by residential and commercial/industrial buildings (71% if including manufacturing industries and construction), architects have a duty to lead climate change mitigation efforts locally.1 The AIA 2030 Commitment is the architecture profession’s leading platform for tackling this emergency and ridding our economy of carbon dependency, and AIA Chicago area member firms are stepping up.



License renewal this year in Illinois

Your State of Illinois license will be renewed in 2020, and renewal information will likely be available in September. The state requires 24 hours of learning earned during the duration of your license (December 1, 2018, through November 30, 2020), and 16 of those hours must be in HSW topics. New for 2020: the state now requires all license holders to earn one hour of sexual harassment prevention training from an Illinois-approved provider as part of renewal. More details on how to meet this requirement will be available in 2020. 



Letter to City Council Regarding Chicago Bird-Friendly Design Ordinance

AIA Chicago recently sent a letter to the Chicago City Council sponsors of the proposed Bird Friendly Design Ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to establish bird-safe standards for new building construction and substantial building facade renovations. AIA Chicago leadership believes that the expertise of its members can contribute to this process. The letter is included below.


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