The City as Catalyst for Architectural Speculation
More than simply an architectural biography of a city: this book shows Chicago to have an important role as a catalyst for international development and pinpoints its remarkable influence around the world.
1st edition, 2013
184 pages, 33 color and 69 b/w illustrations
21 x 27 cm
Chicago has long captured the global imagination as a place of tall, shining buildings rising from the fog, the playground for many of architecture’s 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 as far back as the Auditorium Building of 1889 and the 1909 Plan of 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 Chicago’s commitment to architecture and the influence of the Chicago grid system on 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 Chicago’s architecture. More than simply an architectural biography of the city, the book shows Chicago to have an important role as a catalyst for international developments and debates.
“One of the freshest recent books on architecture in Chicago. [...] People’s 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.” John Hill, Archidose