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Photo exhibit on green roofs in Chicago and beyond to open Feb. 9 at Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery

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Wabash building green roof
Wabash building green roof

The public will get a rare look at green roofs in Chicago and beyond when photographer Brad Temkin’s Rooftop: Second Nature opens Thursday, Feb. 9 at Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, 18. S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Approximately 20 large-scale images of green rooftops in Chicago and other major cities around the world are the focus of the exhibit by Temkin, a Chicago-based artist whose photos taken between 2009 and 2016 tell a story of architecture and sustainability in the making.

“This exhibit is about a vision to make our environment different and better. Through it, I’ve tried to show the wonder of what is working in the urban landscape,” said Temkin, who has taken photos of more than 100 green roofs worldwide, at times from open skyscraper windows, on ladders or as a passenger in a hovering helicopter.

Lurie Green Roof
Green roof of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Temkin will discuss the large-format film project and challenges he has faced in gaining access to rooftops, sometimes waiting for hours once on site for the proper lighting conditions to occur, at an opening night reception for the exhibit that begins at 5 p.m. on Feb. 9 in Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery.

Sponsored by Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Physical Resources, the exhibit provides a look at green roofs atop Chicago’s City Hall, Roosevelt’s Wabash Building, the new Lurie Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Chicago Cultural Center, to name just a few Chicago locations.

Green rooftops at Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Mich., Millennium Hall at Drexel University in Philadelphia and atop buildings in Switzerland, Germany, Ireland and Moscow are among other sites visited and photographed by Temkin, and are included in his new book Rooftop, which was published in 2015.  

“Temkin’s work shows us places we don’t normally have access to. It gives us a sense of the relationships that exist between things like rooftops and water infrastructure and illustrates how green design can  connect people in urban environments to the nature that is all around them,” said Michael Bryson, professor and director of Sustainability Studies at Roosevelt.

Rooftop: Second Nature will run through May 6 at the Gage Gallery. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 312-341-6458 or visit

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