Synopses & Reviews
Chicago has long captured the global imagination as a place of tall, shining buildings rising from the fog, the playground for many of architectures greats—from Mies van der Rohe to Frank Lloyd Wright—and a surprising epicenter for modern construction and building techniques. In this beautifully illustrated volume, Alexander Eisenschmidt and Jonathan Mekinda have brought together a diverse pool of curators, artists, architects, historians, critics, and theorists to produce a multifarious portrait of the Second City.
Looking at events as far back as the 1933 exhibition “Early Modern Architecture in Chicago,” Chicagoisms is remarkable for the breadth of its topics and the depth of its essays. From more abstract ventures like tracking the boom-and-bust cycle of Chicagos commitment to architecture and the influence of the Chicago grid system of Mies van der Rohe, to more straightforward studies of the “Americanization” of Berlin, the editors have chosen essays that convey the complex and varied history and culture of Chicagos architecture. More than simply an architectural biography of the city, Chicagoisms shows Chicago to have an important role as a catalyst for international development and pinpoints its remarkable influence around the world. The contributors explore topics as diverse as Daniel Burnhams vision and OMAs student center for the Illinois Institute of Technology, and show them to all be indelibly products of Chicago. This volume is published to coincide with the exhibition Chicagoisms: The City as Catalyst for Architectural Speculation opening at the Art Institute of Chicago, opening in June 2013.
“One of the freshest recent books on architecture in Chicago. . . . Impressions of Chicago are colored by personalities whose contributions were great but which overshadow the complexities and realities of the city. Many histories repeat these myths and simplifications, but this great book thankfully goes the opposite route, dismantling some of those myths and putting Chicago in an international context that shines a light on its influences.” Archidose
About the Author
teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Architecture.
Jonathan Mekinda is an architectural historian and visiting assistant professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago.