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Chicago 00 at the 150 Media Stream: Visualizing the Hedrich Blessing Architectural Photography Archive

October 1st – November 30th 2019

Extended Viewing Hours for ‘Chicago 00 at the 150 Media Stream’ in conjunction with Chicago Architecture Biennial

Monday thru Friday

Saturday & Sunday

Explore the iconic 20th century architectural images from the Hedrich Blessing Photographers archive at Chicago History Museum. These unique photographs morph into ever changing compositions by digital artist Geoffrey Alan Rhodes as part of the Chicago00 project, a technological initiative to create historical encounters.

Shot between 1929 and 2017 by a remarkable collection of photographers, the Hedrich Blessing Photography Archive includes images of iconic architecture, cityscapes, and skylines by many of the world’s most significant architects. Through photographers’ eyes, this immersive experience is a window into Chicago as a designed and constructed environment. The project is included in this year's Chicago Architecture Biennial, North America's largest international exhibition of groundbreaking architectural projects.

Public reception: October 21st from 6:30–9pm at 150 N Riverside Plaza

Please mark your calendar for a public reception from 6:30 to 9 pm on Monday, October 21st at 150 N Riverside Plaza. During the event, Steve Hall, one of the original Hedrich Blessing photographers, will give a few remarks about their work. John Russick, senior vice president from the Chicago History Museum, and artist Geoffrey Alan Rhodes will talk about the archives and their Chicago 00 project.

More about the Chicago 00 Project

A section of a then and now panorama from Chicago00: 1968 Democratic National Convention protests showing the corner of Balbo Drive and Michigan Ave. Learn more at

The Chicago 00 Project is an award winning partnership between the Chicago History Museum and Geoffrey Alan Rhodes to produce and publish a series of site-specific, interactive, immersive multimedia experiences designed to showcase the museum's film, photo, and sound archives. Each episode shares Chicago's rich media archives with the public, in which history is embedded in the objects and places of our city. All Chicago00 augmented and virtual reality experiences are free at

In addition to the visualizations at the 150 Media Stream, the project has published 4 interactive history experiences. The first in the series, Chicago00 The Eastland Disaster, uses the same technology as Pokémon GO to give an augmented reality tour along the Chicago River, at the downtown site where the passenger steamship Eastland capsized in 1915. The Chicago00 St Valentine’s Day Massacre VR app, released February 2017, transports audiences to the exact spots where those photos were taken, and superimposes then and now in virtual reality. The project recently won an award for excellence from the American Alliance of Museums.

Detail of a VR panorama from Chicago00 The Eastland Disaster showing the steamship SS Eastland where it capsized in the Chicago River in 1915.

Released in 2018, Chicago00 A Century of Progress is a virtual reality tour of the 1933 A Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago. For the VR experience, they hired drone photographers to chart the path of the fair’s Skyride, a 219 foot high ride across the entire fairgrounds, and matched it with historical photos. Last year, on the 50th anniversary of the protests, the virtual reality experience Chicago00 The 1968 DNC Protests was released, which is narrated by historian David Farber. Currently, the Chicago 00 team are producing a virtual experience of the 1893 Columbian Exposition, to be released early next year.

All Chicago00 augmented and virtual reality experiences are free to download and view at

A section of a panorama from Chicago00: 1968 Democratic National Convention protests gathering at the statue of General John Logan Memorial in Grant Park.

Project Creators:

The Chicago 00 Project began as a conversation between Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, a filmmaker and an Associate Professor of Visual Communication Design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and John Russick, Vice President for Interpretation and Education at the Chicago History Museum, about the possibilities in new media for telling historical stories. The talk turned to experiments and collaborations that gathered notice and funding from the Princess Grace Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts to publish a series of experiences for the community.

Chicago 00 in use by children at the Chicago History Museum.

“People always associate VR technology with the future,” says Rhodes, “but we are using it to travel back through time. Like a 4-dimensional Google Street View, where you can see back in time—long before digital cameras and smartphones, into a time when only certain important moments and places on the earth were captured in film.”

“We’re connecting today’s screens with historical cameras—the mobile device of the last century,” continues Rhodes. “It makes you aware of the photographers throughout history who stood at certain places and times, pointed their lenses, and captured moments.”

A detail of a VR panorama from Chicago00 A Century of Progress with 1933 historical photos taken from the eastern Skyride tower, 219 feet above the ground looking back at the city.

“There’s something extraordinary about putting an image in a different context like this—you see something new… and it opens up some great opportunities for storytelling,” says Russick.

Learn more about Chicago History Museum here
Learn more about Geoffrey Alan Rhodes here
Learn more about The Chicago 00 project here

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Rick Silva and Nicolas Sassoon

150 Media Stream website:
design by the narrative
photography by michael salisbury