- Series: Chicago Architecture
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Prestel Pub (April 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3791323458
- ISBN-13: 978-3791323459
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.2 x 11.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,743,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chicago Architecture and Design 1923-1993: Reconfiguration of an American Metropolis Paperback – April 1, 2000
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From the Publisher
Named the Most Distinguished catalogue of 1993 by the Society of Architectural Historians.
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The first version of the other book, by Jay Pridmore and George A. Larson, was also published in 1993, and covered Chicago's architectural tradition from its beginnings in the 19th century to the year of publication. It was revised in 2005.
The present book, edited by John Zukowsky, is a compendium of essays on Chicago's architecture from the post-ordinance building boom of the '20s, just before the Depression, through the time of the major 1993 exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago for which this book is the companion volume. The Art Institute had had a very successful prior exhibition, "Chicago Architecture, 1827 - 1922: Birth of a Metropolis," and wanted a sequel whose time bracket ended at the 100th anniversary of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The sequel exhibition was planned by a team of Chicago architects, prominent historians and others involved in the Chicago architecture community and, with significant grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities and various other funders, was mounted and ran from June 12 to August 29, 1993.
This volume is a key one for any student of 20th century architecture in general and Chicago architecture in particular. It talks about the buildings of the Art Deco period, the long hiatus in skyscraper building in the Depression and what went on instead of such construction, and it describes how the emigration of artists and architects from Europe before and during World War II was to affect style and structure in the post-War period. The central figure of post-War Chicago architecture (and ultimately, world architecture) was, of course, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, an emigre whose influence on building and on two generations of architects is immeasurable. The book places major importance on the Miesian style and its derivatives and puts in context how it followed on and partook of Chicago's business/commerce-driven skyscraper culture of the late 19th and early 20th century. It also shows how and why many architects reacted to the Miesian milieu and where they took architecture in Chicago and world-wide after Mies's death in 1969.
The book is not limited to architecture, as the title implies, though the bulk of the book is so concerned. Two essays, one by Pauline Saliga, the other by Victor Margolin, ably address the developments and changes in design and graphics in the period.
A most engrossing section, done by architect Stanley Tigerman, "Chicago Architects: Genealogy and Exegesis," is a time-lined family tree of Chicago architects and architectural firms and how they were or are associated. You have to study it carefully to follow it, but the study is worth it and the connections are remarkable.
The essays are by turn historical, evaluative, and reflective and are well written and very well illustrated, with inter-textual figures both of plans and buildings and with multiple color plates, along with some dramatic aerial photos of the city and two of the most elegant photos of railroad locomotives you will ever see. Though written by specialists in the field, the book is addressed to the casual interested reader as well as to knowledgeable architecture fans and practitioners.
If architecture is your passion, or even if it's just a strong interest, this book is one that you need in your personal library. If you don't live in Chicago or haven't been to Chicago, you still need it. Read it. Then come to Chicago and take some tours.