Chicago Architecture Hits the Books: Landmarks & Letterpress at Starshaped Press - Atlas Obscura
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Chicago Architecture Hits the Books: Landmarks & Letterpress at Starshaped Press

A laid-back lecture on architecture & printing history with a chance to explore one of Chicago’s coolest letterpress studios.

What do letterpress printing and Chicago buildings have in common? A lot more than you’d think. Join Atlas Obscura for a super special behind-the-scenes-tour of the award-winning Starshaped Press, coupled with a conversational lecture about the intertwined history of Chicago architecture, ornament, and printing. We’ll begin our night with wine, light snacks, and history as told by Field Agent Patti and Starshaped’s founder, principal designer, and master printer, Jen. Afterwards, we’ll explore the magic of a working letterpress studio, watch a live printing demo, and pull one of a kind take-home prints on a Vandercook press!

Adventure Notes

Ticket includes: Tour, lecture, drink/snacks and take- home print 

Are there age limits for the event? Attendees under 18 must be accompanied by an adult

Where do we meet? Meet field agent Patti outside 

What should I wear? Not your best clothes due to the presence of ink. Closed toe shoes recommended.

Is this ADA accessible?  None

Is my ticket refundable? No, sorry kids, no money back on this purchase but you can transfer it by following this handy Eventbrite tutorial.

Patti Swanson is an architectural historian, educator, preservation enthusiast, and bookbinder living in Chicago. Raised near Austin, Texas, Patti came to Chicago in 2011 to pursue a degree in art history at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and stayed for the city's rich history, friendly people, and balmy winters. She worked as a tour guide for four years in various capacities before starting her own walking tour company, Chicago for Chicagoans, in 2016. Patti factors lots of local collaboration into her tours and strongly believes in making history accessible to everyone. She is best described as "Shazam for buildings," and can be found on her websites, and

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