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Lost Chicago


Lost Chicago Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


The City of Big Shoulders has always been our most quintessentially American—and world-class—architectural metropolis. In the wake of the Great Fire of 1871, a great building boom—still the largest in the history of the nation—introduced the first modern skyscrapers to the Chicago skyline and began what would become a legacy of diverse, influential, and iconoclastic contributions to the citys built environment. Though this trend continued well into the twentieth century, sour city finances and unnecessary acts of demolishment left many previous cultural attractions abandoned and then destroyed.


Lost Chicago explores the architectural and cultural history of this great American city,  a city whose architectural heritage was recklessly squandered during the second half of the twentieth century. David Garrard Lowes crisp, lively prose and over 270 rare photographs and prints, illuminate the decades when Gustavus Swift and Philip D. Armour ruled the greatest stockyards in the world; when industrialists and entrepreneurs such as Cyrus McCormick, Potter Palmer, George Pullman, and Marshall Field made Prairie Avenue and State Street the rivals of New York Citys Fifth Avenue; and when Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, and Frank Lloyd Wright were designing buildings of incomparable excellence. Here are the mansions and grand hotels, the office buildings that met technical perfection (including the first skyscraper), and the stores, trains, movie palaces, parks, and racetracks that thrilled residents and tourists alike before falling victim to the wrecking ball of progress.


Lost Chicago is more than just another coffee table gift, more than merely a history of the citys architecture; it is a history of the whole city as a cultural creation.”—New York Times Book Review

About the Author

David Garrard Lowe is a lecturer, cultural historian, and the president of the Beaux Arts Alliance in New York City. He is the author of Stanford Whites New York, Beaux Arts New  York, Art Deco New York, and Chicago Interiors.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2010 Edition

Preface to the first edition

I The Island

Building for a City

II Time of the Temple


Great Houses

Small Houses


III The Rails Reach Out

The Age of the Iron Horse

The Stations

The Trains

The Kingdom of Pullman

IV Queen of the Lakes

The Living City

Bunting and Arches

Places of Worship

Pleasures of Parks

Streets for People

V The Great Fire

A City in Ruins

VI A Phoenix Rising

Grand Hotels

VII An Architecture for a Democracy

American Metropolis

Monuments of Commerce

The Auditorium

The Stock Exchange


VIII Dreams of Empire

The Fairs

The Columbian Exposition 1893

A Century of Progress 1933

IX Where is Athens Now?

Places of Entertainment


Dining and Dancing

Movie PalacesX Bad Times, Good Times

Product Details

Lowe, David Garrard
University of Chicago Press
Chicago (Ill.) History.
Chicago (Ill.) Buildings, structures, etc.
History : General
Historic Preservation - General
United States - General
Architecture -- History.
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
274 halftones
11 x 8.5 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Historic Preservation » General
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » History » General
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Regional
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » United States » East
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Lost Chicago New Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226494326 Reviews:
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