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Building Chicago: The Architectural Masterworks













John Zukowsky. Building Chicago: The Architectural Masterworks. New York, Rizzoli (2016).

What sets this book apart is not only Zukowsky’s interpretation of the two-century sweep of Chicago architecture, but the way that he sheds light on the past few decades. He sees historicism as the key to understanding the “Postmodern Chicago” of the 1980s and 90s and a revival and refinement of modernism as the key to the “Neomodernism” of our own era. Reading between the lines of Zukowsky’s captions, however, is another very positive story – the way that contemporary architects such as Laurence Booth have been called upon to renovate and refresh Chicago’s buildings from earlier times. Among these is Old St. Patrick’s Church – originally built in 1856 by Carter and Bauer, restored in 2000 by Booth Hansen, and documented that same year by the Hedrich Blessing architectural photography firm. The Chicago History Museum’s immensely important Hedrich Blessing collection makes books like this possible.

In his Author! Author! blog series, Museum president Gary T. Johnson highlights works that draw on our collection.

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