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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Lost Chicago
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$27.79+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on July 29, 2013
Superb photographs, well-written, overall a fascinating book for those interested in Chicago architecture and history.
Books like these are also sad and frustrating in that virtually all of the great mansions, opulent hotels, theatres and office buildings pictured have long since been demolished. Hard to believe that such imaginative and atmospheric architectural fantasies were once commonplace. One would like to think that a city like Chicago would be more respectful of its architectural history, but as in most every American metropolis, such is not the case.
This book is hugely recommended, but I also urge you to search online "Charles Cushman" and look at his magnificent color photos of a vanishing Chicago from the 1940's.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 27, 2003
If you care about the history of Chicago and/or American architecture, you will be blown away by this photographic treasure trove of the Windy City's lost legacy. Through fire, ignorance and greed many of the country's most beautiful buildings have been lost. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the merchant princes and the stockyards, George Pullman and Hull House's Jane Addams, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, the Columbian Exposition. These people and events shaped what few would neglect to identify as one of America's architectural centers.

This beautiful book is filled with more than 200 black-and-white photographs of buildings, bridges and other structures tragically allowed to fall into disrepair, destroyed by natural disaster, or bulldozed for parking lots and malls, repeated testaments to the Gordon Curve, predicting that a building is valued most when it is new, that it is least valued and most likely to be razed at approximately 70 years of age, and that if it makes it past that nadir it will begin to rise again in value as a relic and monument.

Each chapter is preceded by several well-written and accessible pages, and each photograph is accompanied by informative paragraphs and quotes. The author delves into Chicago's beginnings as a frontier fort and its rapid growth into a bustling mercantile hive, along the way outlining the history of the peoples and policies of various times from 1803 to the 1970s, organized into ten conceptual and functional groups such as residences, hotels, railway stations, churches, arthouses, The Fire and the fairs.

The photographs are wonderful, many I've never seen before, and each is described well, though the book would benefit by containing more maps. The book is constructed of good heavyweight paper and concludes with picture sources and notes, and a good index. It should be of interest to those with some connection to Chicago, architecture or American history, particularly of the 18th and 19th century.
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on October 25, 2016
Very extensive, with a passionate telling of Chicago history. I wish this book had even a couple color pictures, but obviously most of these building were demolished before color photography. My book was used but in excellent condition. Only the cover protector was ripped, every page of the book was without marks, or even creases. It was like it sat on a shelf unread until I bought it.
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on May 28, 2008
The well written story and photos of Chicago are great. It was amazing the number of outstanding architectural building that were built and torn down in such a short number of years.
Having grown up in Chicagoland during the 40' & 50's, I found myself depressed to see such destruction - only to be replaced by glass and aluminum boxes. Even efforts to save the outstanding and much beloved main lobby at the Chicago and Northwestern station failed in the name of the almighty dollar!
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on November 25, 2015
Good read, with great photos of a Chicago I knew years ago. Thanks to the acurate bio stuff and the balack and white photos are really a throw back which add to the reading and exploring.
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on July 11, 2015
Delighted with my purchase. The book arrived as described by the Seller and it arrived ahead of schedule. Couldn't be happier.
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on June 16, 2011
Leafing through the latest edition of David Lowe's "Lost Chicago", one realizes that the destruction of historically significant buildings is a Chicago tradition, accelerated under the reigns of Richard Daleys I and II. It's wonderful to at least have most of them in print, if not still standing.

Since I bought this book, Chicago has lost three Louis Sullivan buildings to fire, and Mayor Daley II tore down most of the Michael Reese Hospital campus, including buildings designed by Walter Gropius, to build housing for an Olympics we didn't get (it ultimately went to Rio).
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on October 17, 2013
I have had the book for years. I bought this one as a 90th birthday gift for a man who grew up in Chicago and met his wife there. They have lived in Arizona for about 60 years, but loved the book, in particular, the photo of Riverview Amusement Park where they had their first date!
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on February 21, 2015
Very interesting book
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on June 27, 2015
Good vintage book if you are interested in chicago history and architecture.
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