Chicago architecture and design

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H.N. Abrams, Sep 30, 1993 - Architecture - 256 pages
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For over a century, Chicago has been evolving as a major creative center of American architecture. Its buildings are admired the world over for their inspired and original designs, which have made the city a mecca for architecture enthusiasts. This book is the first examination of Chicago's finest buildings from the viewpoint of their interior architecture. With an array of superb illustrations, many from the archives of Hedrich-Blessing, one of America's premier architectural photography firms, this lively book chronicles the development of Chicago's architecture and brings to life the events that surround it, beginning with the Great Fire of 1871 that reduced the city to ashes. Presented with a clean slate in the fire's aftermath, architects flocked to the raw and booming city, bringing fresh ideas and vitality - and the new technology that made skyscrapers possible, such as the fireproof steel frame and the safety elevator. H. H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan, John Wellborn Root, William LeBaron Jenney, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and their successors utilized these innovations and greatly influenced the look of modern American cities. Their legacy continues to inspire admiration, as can be seen in the 243 photographs, 108 in full color, that reveal the interiors - along with an exterior view - of more than 70 important buildings, from Richardson's 1887 Glessner House through the current work of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Cesar Pelli, and others. Biographical information about the leading architects is integrated with the architectural discussion. Impassioned debates about the merits of a building, new or old, are as much a part of Chicago'sarchitectural tradition as the buildings themselves. This book includes discussions of the famous Tribune Tower competition as well as of the Harold Washington Library Center and Helmut John's State of Illinois Building. Are we to believe Mies van der Rohe's aphorism that "less is more" or Robert Venturi's retort that "less is a bore"? Whatever the answer, all agree that Chicago has a unique place in the annals of American architecture.

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Chicago architecture and design

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Many books cover historic Chicago buildings, but this significant update of the 1993 classic is one of the few architecture histories to span the city's entire 170 years. Revisions include all-new ... Read full review

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About the author (1993)

Lieutenant Colonel George A. Larson, USAF (Retired), served as a Strategic Intelligence Officer with the former Strategic Air Command and then with the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has published more than 250 magazine articles on military history, aviation, and naval and general history.
Michael Benson is the former editor of "The Military Technical Journal" and the author of 30 books including "The Complete Idiot's Guides" to NASA, the CIA, Submarines, and Modern China.

Jay Pridmore is an architectural historian and the author of numerous books, especially about the architecture of Chicago. Among them is Abrams "Chicago Architecture and Design", now in its second edition. He divides his time between Chicago and Rome.

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