Living Landmarks of Downtown Chicago goes beyond the what, when, and where to tell the how and why of 50 downtown Chicago landmarks. From the parlor used as a meat locker to the fight over the Field Museum, history comes to life in this non-traditional guidebook.
History lines Chicago’s sidewalks. Stroll down LaSalle or Dearborn or State and you’ll see skyscrapers that have been there for a century or more. It’s easy to scurry by, to dismiss the building itself, but a hunt for placards turns up landmarks every few feet, it seems. Here’s a Chicago landmark; there’s a National Historic landmark. They’re everywhere.
Ironically, these skyscrapers keep the city grounded; they illustrate a past where visionaries took fanciful, impossible ideas and made them reality. Buildings sinking? Raise them. River polluting the lake and its precious drinking water? Reverse it. Overpopulation and urban sprawl making it challenging to get to work? Build up. From the bare to the ornate, from exposed beams to ornamented facades, the city’s architecture is unrestrainedly various yet provides a cohesive, beautiful skyline that illustrates the creativity of necessity, and the necessity of creativity.
In this nontraditional guidebook, Theresa L. Goodrich tells the stories of fifty landmarks in downtown Chicago. Each chapter is a vignette that introduces the landmark and brings it to life, and the book is organized chronologically to illustrate the development of the city’s distinct personality. If you want to take the show on the road, the appendix includes suggested walking tours.