Seven Plus Eleven equals seven architects (Messrs. Beeby, Booth, Cohen, Freed, Nagle, Tigerman, and B. Weese) plus the 11 years that have passed since their seminal 1976 show "Seven Chicago Architects," and it all adds up to a daylong seminar, 9:30-4 in the Rubloff Auditorium of the Art Institute, Adams at Michigan. The architects' past and current work will be reviewed in the morning; in the afternoon, Village Voice architecture critic Michael Sorkin will moderate a panel discussion of the current trends in Chicago architecture. $3 admission, with info at 828-0699.
The 1987 Model Downhill Racer Derby, featuring wooden models no greater than 15 inches long, handmade by children ages 8 to 15 in Park District craft shops around the city, will be held at 8 tonight at Gage Park, 2415 W. 55th. Prizes go to the fastest, best designed, best painted, and most unusual roadsters. Free; more at 294-2330.
Joseph Celli, who recently conducted the Kronos Quartet in works by Ornette Coleman at Carnegie Hall, will perform seven pieces for film, video, oboe, bass clarinet, and tape at 9 tonight at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. Admission is $8; 281-0824.
The Chicago Conference an Sexual Orientation and the Law will be held from 9 to 6 today at the University Chicago Law School Auditorium, 1111 E. 60th. Legal experts from around the country will take part in panels on AIDS and civil liberties, employment discrimination, child custody and relationship protection, and other concerns faced by lawyers and politicians involved in gay issues; the conference should appeal to laypeople as well as professionals in the field. Free; 493-9264 for further information.
The producers of today's 50s Fun-O-Rama claim to have found their treasure -- men's clothes and accessories and some kids' clothes -- inside a store that shut its doors to the public in 1957. Lots of really cool, never worn stuff will be on sale from noon to 6 today only at the Orbit Room, 3708 N. Broadway; 348-0301.
The Crossroads International Student Center is having its annual spring festival, starting at 3 this afternoon with a Children's Fair, International Gift Shop, and Cafe de Casa; an auction will be held at 5:30, followed by an international buffet at the Restaurante del Mundo from 6 to 9; and the Taberna de la Noche, which will feature drinks and live entertainment, opens at 6 and, along with the gift shop, will be open until 10. $2 admission, 75 cents for kids under 12; Crossroads is located at 5621 S. Blackstone. 684-6060 for details.
Hyde Park House '87 describes itself as a "marketplace of restoration and decorating ideas for homes and apartments": exhibitors range from construction and restoration contractors to people who work in stained glass and make custom ceramic tiles to the folks from Leslie Hindman's Salvage One -- more than 50 in all. The fair will be held from 10 to 5 in the Mies van der Rohe Building on the Midway, 969 E. 60th. Admission is $1 667-3932.
The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park celebrates the author's foundations with Hemingway's Oak Park, a walking tour of the parts of the village where Hemingway spent his childhood and youth. It starts at 2 at the Oak Park Public Library, Lake and Grove in Oak Park, and concludes there with memories from two school friends. $3, with no reservations required: 848-1968 or 386-2300.
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel observes the close of the Lenten season with performances of Bach's Passion According to Saint John at 4 this afternoon (Palm Sunday) and 8 PM next Friday, April 17 (Good Friday). The Chapel Choir, soloists, and orchestra will be conducted by Victor Weber; the audience may join in the singing of the chorales. $10 in advance, $12 at the door, $8 for students and seniors. The very splendid (and acoustically excellent) chapel is at 5850 S. Woodlawn; more at 702-7300.
The Bright New City series on environmental design continues today with a talk by Vartan Gregorian, president of the New York Public Library and a fellow who, perhaps, could knock some sense into ours, at 12:30 at the First Chicago Center, Dearborn at Madison; $5. The topic will be pursued further at a panel discussion that will include Gregorian, lawyer Newton Minow, Chicago Public library commissioner John B. Duff, reporter Charles Nicodemus, and Rebecca Riley of the MacArthur Foundation, 5:30-9 at the Casino, 195 E. Delaware; $30, which includes dinner. More on this and on subsequent lectures by New Yorker columnist Brendan Gill and Harvard Graduate School of Design dean Gerald McCue at 996-2006.
New Music Chicago's Spring Festival '87 has its grand opening when Dieter Kober conducts the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and Randall M. Johnson conducts the Kennedy-King Community Choir in works by Frank Abbinanti, Sidney Friedman, Lena McLin, Betty Jackson King, and William Neil, 5:30 PM at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Student composers from the U. of C. and Northwestern, Donald Erb and Kapture, Desperate Measures, Voyager 2, and many other local composers and performers of music on the cutting edge will be featured in festival events through Saturday, April 18, that will range from a chocolate and champagne reception to a night at Neo. Many, including this evening's concert, are free: 477-1379.
Take a narrated tour of the Merchandise Mart, the third largest building in the world, at 10 AM Tuesdays and Thursdays through next November. Because of the building's mammoth proportions (seven and a half miles of interior corridors), no two tours are exactly alike -- although general motif of home furnishings prevails. $4; reservations at 661-1443.
That's the way to treat a lady: Eberhard Fechner's documentary A Home for Noble Ladies (Damenstift) will be screened at 6 PM at the Goethe Institute, 401 N. Michigan. Sixteen countesses, baronesses, and other titled, unmarried women of the German nobility live in a retirement home that also happens to be a moated castle. The film is in German with English subtitles. Free; details at 329-0915.
Soviet dissident poet Irina Ratushinskaya served half of a seven-year sentence in a Soviet prison camp, during which time she scratched poems onto a bar of soap with a burnt match before committing them to memory. Some of these poems will likely be among those she will read at 7 tonight at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted. The reading is free; 996-4412.
Elaine Harrington, curator of the Glessner House Museum, gives a lecture titled Integrating American Ideals With the English Arts and Crafts Movement at 8 tonight at the Graham Foundation, 4 W. Burton Place. The Arts and Crafts Movement was a major inspiration to architect H.H. Richardson, who designed Glessner House. The talk is free; more at 787-4071.
Roger Ebert waxes eloquent with a talk titled The Art of Criticism at 5:30 tonight at First Chicago Center, Dearborn at Madison. Following cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, Ebert will critique a film for the audience, which is likely to consist of many members of the sponsoring organization -- the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Association. Admission for members is $20, $25 for guests; make reservations, which are required, at 996-8535.