Interpreters of the New Age
Grades 7 & 8
2 Class Periods
- A Legacy for the Future (approximately 5 minutes)
- A Modern, Visionary Design (approximately 6 minutes)
Kleinhans' Gift to Buffalo
A Legacy for the Future
Edward and Mary wish to use their wealth to leave a gift for future generations.
Students will be able to:
- Recognize architect team Eliel and Eero Saarinen’s designs.
- Understand how architecture and public buildings can impact communities.
- Kleinhans' Gift to Buffalo
- Access to the Internet and the article: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/architect-eero-saarinen-landmark-buildings
- Drawing paper and pencils
CLASS PERIOD 1
- The teacher will begin the lesson by explaining that Buffalo, NY, is home to many buildings designed by significant architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and H.H. Richardson. At the time of the planning for a new music hall in Buffalo, there were no modern concert halls in America. The teacher will explain that Kleinhans’ Gift to Buffalo tells the story of Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo.
- The students will watch the segment from Kleinhans' Gift to Buffalo on the father and son architect team, Eliel and Eero Saarinen.
- The teacher will start a brief classroom discussion about the decision to use the Saarinens as architects for the new music hall. Some prompting questions might be: Do you think it was a good idea to hire the Saarinens over a more traditional architect? How could that decision impact the community? What do you think of the style of Kleinhans Music Hall?
- The students will then be given some time to review the article on Eero Saarinen. Extra time can be given if they'd like to do more research on Eliel's work specifically.
- The students will then begin a drawing of a public community building (music hall, library, theater, etc.) in the style of the Saarinens. Students should think about designing a unique appearance for a community-shared space with a sleek and modern feel.
CLASS PERIOD 2
- Students will be given class time to finish their drawings.
- The students will be instructed to write two paragraphs to accompany their drawing, explaining how their proposed building will complement our community. They should give thought to and include in their writing how their design would make visitors feel.
- Students will turn in a drawing and accompanying written description.
Extension Activities (optional)
- Students could do more research about another one of the Saarinen designs and write an essay on it.
Adaptations for Grades 9-12
- Students could construct 3-D models of their proposed buildings.