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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments

When you think of modern architecture, you think of Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper, the cradle of twentieth-century American design, and the home of enduring works by such iconic figures as Louis Sullivan, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Idealized through tourism and celebrated in the groves of academe, the city’s majestic skyline and landmark buildings remain a living testament to the modern movement.

In Chicago Architecture, Charles Waldheim and Katerina Ruedi Ray revise and offer alternatives to the archetypal story of modern architecture in Chicago. They and an esteemed group of contributors assert that the mythic status of Chicago architecture has distorted our understanding of the historical circumstances in which it was realized. This searching volume illuminates the importance of photographs, books, magazines, and other media in the cultivation of an international audience for Chicago architecture; it explores the pivotal role of real estate developers, finance and insurance sectors, and speculative capital markets in the development of the city itself; and, perhaps most notably, it examines a wide variety of overlooked architectural works and their creators—individuals who did not fit into the dominant modernist narrative.

Offering new insights on Chicago public housing and O’Hare International Airport, on the Columbian Exposition and Marina City, on the city’s grid system and the place of women architects in the story of Chicago modernism, and on the subjective experience of living inside Chicago’s most well-known buildings, Chicago Architecture is a work of enormous scope and vision—a book as heady and towering as the skyline it considers.

About the Author

Charles Waldheim is associate professor of architecture and director of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program at the University of Toronto. Katerina Rüedi Ray is professor in and director of the School of Art at Bowling Green State University.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard Solomon


Introduction: Chicago Is History by Charles Waldheim and Katerina Rüedi Ray

Part One – Revisions

1. Western Architecture: Regionalism and Race in the Inland Architect

Joanna Merwood

2. Myth of the Chicago School

Robert Bruegmann

3. The Centrality of the Columbian Exposition in the History of Chicago Architecture

David van Zanten

4. William Le Baron Jenney and Chicago’s West Parks: From Prairies to Pleasure-Grounds

Reuben M. Rainey

5. Does Frank Lloyd Wright Belong in Chicago’s Architectural History?

Sidney K. Robinson

6. Preservation and Renewal in Post-World War II Chicago

Daniel Bluestone

7. More than Mies: Architecture of Chicago Multifamily Housing, 1935-65

Eric Mumford

8. Selling Mies

David Dunster

9. Inside Mies: Living at 860/880 Lake Shore Drive

Janet Abrams

Part Two – Alternatives

10. 1614 North Hermitage Avenue: Painting as Inscription

Julia Fish

11. A Century of Progress: An Alternate Tale

Lee Bey

12. Only Girl Architect Lonely

Susan F. King

13. Marion Mahoney Griffin: The Chicago Years

Pamela Hill

14. The Third Chicago School? Marking Sexual and Ethnic Identity

Christopher Reed

15. The Chicago Parks: Tableaus of Naturalization

Jane Wolff

16. The Architectural Photography of Hedrich-Blessing

Robert A. Sobieszek

17. Forms of the Grid

Mitchell Schwarzer

18. Wish You Were Here: Alvin Boyarsky’s Picture Postcards

Igor Marjanovic

19. Bertrand Goldberg: A Personal View of Architecture

Geoffrey Goldberg

20. Making Marina City: Men, Money, Masquerade and Modernity

Katerina Rüedi Ray

21. Walter Netsch: Field Theory

Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn

22. Systematic Genius: Walter Netsch and the Architecture of Bureaucracy

David Goodman

23. Opposing Mies: The Triangular Constructs of Harry Weese

Leah Ray

24. Diminishing High-Rise Public Housing

Janet L. Smith

25. Understanding Chicago’s High-Rise Public Housing Disaster

D. Bradford Hunt

26. Bas-Relief Urbanism: Chicago’s Figured Field

Sarah Whiting

27. From Operational Anonymity to Brand Identity: Chicago O’Hare

Charles Waldheim

28. From Flesh to Fiberglass: “Cows on Parade” in Chicago

C. Greig Crysler


List of Contributors


Product Details

Trade Paperback
Publication date:
Series info:
Chicago Architecture & Urbanism (Paperback)
Chicago Architecture & Urbanism
Number of Units:
Copyright Year:
UPC Code:
Katerina Ruedi Ray
Charles Waldheim
Chicago (Ill.) Buildings, structures, etc.
Architecture — Illinois — Chicago.
Architecture — History.
Architecture and society
Architecture-United States General


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