Guide to Chicago’s Twenty-First-Century Architecture

Univ. of Illinois. May 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780252085710. pap. $34.95. REF
Architect Hill (Guide to Contemporary New York City Architecture), in collaboration with the nonprofit Chicago Architecture Center, has produced a beautiful work that highlights 200 architecturally significant buildings and spaces from the last two decades, in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Hill highlights visionary, dynamic projects that are accessible to the public, were designed as “long-term additions to the cityscape,” and exhibit innovations in infrastructure and energy-efficient construction. The work is divided into five regions (“Downtown,” “North Side,” “West Side,” “South Side,” and “Suburbs”), then subdivided into 21 neighborhoods. Each entry includes at least one photograph of the building, the name of its design architect, and background information, plus the building’s address and its nearest public transit stop. Sidebars spotlight additional sites and projects, many in progress or under construction. The work features two excellent indexes, organized by architect/building and building type, and many maps, with helpful directions to landmarks and mass transit options.
VERDICT With stunning visuals, this is not only a captivating study of architecture but also an insightful snapshot of Chicago’s history and daily life. Readers interested in Chicago or in urban architecture, planning, or development will devour this volume.
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