SAH Awards Field Trips Grants to AIA Chicago, Friends of the Cabildo, and Dade Heritage Trust

by SAH News | Jan 06, 2022

The Society of Architectural Historians has awarded $17,150 in SAH American Architecture and Landscape Field Trip funding to AIA Chicago Foundation, Friends of the Cabildo, and Dade Heritage Trust to help support field trip programs for students in grades 3–12 from under-resourced communities.

These grants help fund awe-inspiring youth design education programs and docent-led architecture and landscape tours administered by nonprofit organizations such as architectural and cultural heritage organizations, house museums, creative placemaking sites, summer workshops focusing on architecture and design, schools of architecture with youth outreach programs, and arts and architecture high schools. SAH established the Field Trip program in 2015 through an anonymous gift from a generous SAH member.  The goal of the grant program is to share the wonders of architecture and landscapes with students whose educational interests in the arts and humanities have been underserved due to racial, social, or economic inequity.

AIA Chicago Foundation and AIA Chicago – $4,250

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Program Title: Architects in Schools Field Trip
Program Director: Allison Garwood Freedland
Dates: March 2022 to December 2022
Program Description: The field trip is a session of the 8-week Architects in Schools (AIS) program, which is an initiative focused on bringing architecture professionals into classrooms to introduce middle school students to the field of architecture and to discuss the broader theme of architecture as community influencer and changemaker. Volunteers engage the students in critically analyzing their neighborhood for opportunities to create positive change and utilizing architecture as a means for implementing solutions. Through project-based learning, students are introduced to design thinking skills, taught how to communicate their ideas, and encouraged to be thoughtful about planning and designing in their own environments/neighborhoods. After working in their neighborhoods and understanding how architecture impacts a neighborhood, we take them outside of their community into the Chicago Loop on a 90-minute Loop walking tour. The docent-led tour pairs eight significant buildings with eight architectural themes to help students understand how the built environment impacts our lives, reinforcing the idea that architecture, large or small, is an influencer. Further, a significant number of the students have not left their neighborhood to travel downtown. Following the Loop tour, the students tour a downtown design firm. They have an opportunity to see the inner workings of a design firm and meet several architects and professionals working in various capacities within the firm. Students have toured Gensler, Partners by Design, Perkins + Will, Harley Ellis Devereaux, bKL Architects and site design group, ltd. The goal is to offer the students a glimpse of a professional workplace experience. The combination of the two types of tours exposes students to the history and influence of the built environment of Chicago as well as a framework of the architecture profession.

Friends of the Cabildo – $5,400
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Program Title: French Quarter Architecture & Landscape: Drawing Connections through Buildings, Environment & History
Program Directors: Barbara Holdsworth
Dates: March 2022 to May 2023
Program Description: French Quarter Architecture & Landscape: Drawing Connections through Buildings, Environment & History intends to engage 400–500 students in a unique and creative series of hands-on activities and also create a durable and repeatable resource for future students. While on location, students will participate in a walking tour and museum visit that will incorporate a variety of drawing exercises to introduce architectural terminology and concepts through observation. These grant-funded field trips will allow our educators and volunteers to test a variety of prototype drawing activities which will together create a guided architectural sketchbook for teachers and students. The goals of this tour and guided sketchbook are to enable students to use the observation of architectural features to correctly identify the style, rough age, and past use of common New Orleans buildings, to draw connections in how buildings relate to each other and the creation of public spaces, and to consider environmental conditions and how they are addressed by architecture. The creation of this sketchbook will allow us to continue to engage students and families after the end of the grant period, generating a large impact over the coming years. The activities included in the sketchbook will also be scalable to different age groups, creating a durable, guided resource with select activities for lower, middle, and high school students.

Dade Heritage Trust – $7,500
Location: Miami, Florida
Program Title: African-American Heritage Education Program
Program Director: Lucia Meneses
Dates: February 2022 to February 2023
meaning of these venues and the effect of segregation on our community.
Program Description: This new and important Dade Heritage Trust education track will focus on African American heritage in Miami. Three designated historic sites will be highlighted in the program: The Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum in Overtown, the historic Hampton House Hotel in Brownsville, and the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust on Virginia Key. Miami is the only city in the United States that had a segregated police force, jail, and courthouse—all in one facility. Now home to the Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum, the building has been restored and is fully curated with exhibits detailing its history, the police force, jail, and courthouse it housed. The Hampton House was an official Green Book hotel and has been restored and serves as a museum, gallery, and community center. The hotel had a special room for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was a frequent guest. Virginia Key Beach was the only City of Miami beach where African Americans could swim and enjoy the waterfront. These sites are very important in telling the history of the African-American experience in Miami, which is not traditionally taught in the classroom. It is imperative that the stories these places hold must be shared with students (and shared in a way that meets curriculum standards) to assist in educating our community about the Black experience in Miami. The program offers this multi-site approach to engage students and educators in a meaningful, on-going manner. The arts activities will provide freedom of expression and engage students in creative and critical thinking as to the meaning of these venues and the effect of segregation on our community.


Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610