Lectures and Talks

Charles A. Cregar: Architectural Prodigy of Springfield’s Golden Age

Architect Charles Cregar designed some of Springfield most significant buildings, including the City Building and Market, St. Raphael Catholic Church, and St. John Lutheran Church, before his untimely death in 1896 at age thirty-eight. While these landmarks are tangible reminders of his genius, they are just a small percentage of the monumental designs that defined his career during his lifetime. In this talk, architectural historian Kevin Rose takes a critical look at the life and career of Springfield’s most gifted and prolific Victorian architect.


Arrival of the Romanesque: Robert H. Robertson's Bushnell HOuse

The Bushnell House, designed by prominent New York City architect Robert H. Robertson between 1886 and 1888, was a bold addition to Springfield's already fashionable East High Street neighborhood. It was also Springfield's first example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style. In this talk, architectural historian Kevin Rose shares the remarkable history of this project and sets it in context with other landmark designs of the period, including the Warder House in Washington, D.C. (Henry Hobson Richardson, 1887) and Glessner House in Chicago (Henry Hobson Richardson, 1887).


Springfield Beautiful: How 1890 Changed the Champion City

While the Champion City was no stranger to great architecture in the years following the Civil War, it redefined itself in the late-Victorian period with three monumental public buildings: Warder Library by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, City Building and Market by Charles A. Cregar, and Government Building by Mifflin E. Bell. All three were finished in 1890 within months of each other. In this lecture, Kevin Rose, historian with the Turner Foundation, explores how these three buildings inspired the then-bustling city to dream big.


Historic Modern: Alfred Shaw’s Springfield Savings Society and Commercial Bank at Fifty

Alfred Shaw's Springfield Savings Society and Commercial Bank (now Key Bank) in downtown Springfield, Ohio, opened to the public on August 12, 1961. This sleek two story glass and marble design was in stark contrast to the neighboring Victorian structures and redefined the downtown experience in a positive and powerful way. This lecture analyzes the design of this modern landmark and explores its impact on Springfield's then-historic urban landscape.


The Rise and Fall of the Champion Empire, 1856-1902

In 1856, William Whitely created a reaping machine that he called the Champion. It lived up to its name. Over the course of twenty-five years, it became one of the leading agricultural implements in the world, moving it from a small frame building in downtown Springfield to the largest factory in the Western Hemisphere. The Champion's success helped transform the latent town of Springfield into the bustling Champion City. However, flamboyant style that made Whitely a success also lead to his company's collapse. In this talk, historian Kevin Rose explores the rise and fall of the Champion Empire.


Other Recent Lectures and Talks

English Inspiration: The Changing Form of Ecclesiastical Architecture

Open Museum: How to Plan and Manage a Great Tour Series

Champion Designs: H.H. Richardson and Warder, Bushnell & Glessner

Prairie Avenue to Prairie Style: Richardson, Wright, and the Glessner House

Why Preservation Matters: The Case Study of Springfield, Ohio