Houses of Tomorrow: Solar Homes from Keck to Today

Discover more about the House of Tomorrow and mid-century solar innovations in Chicagoland.

For the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, George Fred Keck designed the first glass house in America with groundbreaking domestic amenities. After the visionary “House of Tomorrow”, he and his brother William built mid-century homes throughout the Midwest to harness solar energy and now stand as early precursors to today’s sustainable building practices. The Houses of Tomorrow: Solar Homes from Keck to Today exhibition explored how the Keck brothers became the first “solar architects” with historic photos, architectural artifacts, design diagrams, a commissioned artist interpretation by Jan Tichy centered on glass and light, and a looked at how these energy-saving efforts are more relevant than ever before.

Learn more about renewable energy solutions through our resource center.
For educators: request a Virtual Tour to receive lesson plans, instructional videos, and free materials for solar-based STEAM activities.

In this recorded program, architect Alicia Ponce, fellow architects Nathan Kipnis, Tom Bassett-Dilley, and Doug Farr will introduce how key technologies have transformed their practice and will share how their current work has contributed to a more efficient and sustainable design.

This pre-recorded program, led by industry experts and historians Robert Boyce and Tony Denzer, will give us an in-depth look at the innovations of George Fred Keck’s House of Tomorrow.

This is the Perfect Angle for a Solar Home (in Chicago) - Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Stewart Hicks is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Featured in our main galleries, this video explores Keck homes today.

NBC5: New Elmhurst Art Museum Exhibit Explores World’s Fair’s ‘House of Tomorrow’

FOX32: Elmhurst Art Museum’s 25th Anniversary Exhibition

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