One Book, One Chicago Fall 2009
Architecture in Times of Need: Make It Right—Rebuilding the New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward
By Kristin Feireiss, Brad Pitt (Introduction)
In 2005, the New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The Make It Right Foundation’s mission to rebuild and develop this New Orleans neighborhood focuses on sustainable design and green housing.
Big Plans: The Allure and Folly of Urban Design
By Kenneth Kolson
Kolson’s perspective takes into account the most important variable in successful urban planning—the human factor.
Beyond Burnham: An Illustrated History of Planning for the Chicago Region
By Joseph P. Schwieterman and Alan Mammoser
Written in conjunction with the Burnham Plan Centennial, this book highlights the plan’s legacy and future growth possibilities for the region.
Burnham of Chicago: Architect and Planner
By Thomas S. Hines
Hines presents a fascinating biography of Burnham and a vivid portrait of the birth and growth of Chicago.
Chicago: A Biography
By Dominic A. Pacyga
One of Chicago’s most well-known public historians, Pacyga writes about moments in the lives of the men and women who built this powerhouse of a metropolis. The result is a vivid portrait of the community of Chicago.
By Witold Rybczynski
Architect and author Rybczynski writes an insightful history of the American urban environment, emphasizing the need for inclusion of community within the planning process.
Daniel H. Burnham: Visionary Architect and Planner
By Kristin Schaffer
Reflected and highlighted in this work are many famous landmarks designed by Daniel Burnham and John Root, including the Reliance Building, the Monadnock, Rand-McNally, the Rookery Building, the Marshall Field store and the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities
By Jane Jacobs
Jacobs’ classic work reflects the history of urban planning in America and challenges contemporary urban planners with the question, “What makes cities work?” She argues that when it comes to our cities’ futures, tearing down and rebuilding is the wrong tactic.
Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises
Edited by Architecture for Humanity
An incredible variety of innovative projects and socially responsible planning options from around the world are presented by the internationally lauded organization Architecture for Humanity in the search to design sustainable environments for communities in need.
Frank Lloyd Wright: American Master
By Kathryn Smith, photography by Alan Weintraub
Featuring more than a hundred buildings designed by perhaps Chicago’s most well-known architect, this beautifully illustrated book provides a great introduction for those not familiar with the scope of Wright’s design.
The Great Neighborhood Book: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Placemaking
By Jay Walljasper
Despite current economic challenges, struggling communities can be revived, not by funding or the government, but by the people who live in the neighborhood. This book highlights feasible options that any community can implement to make their neighborhood a welcoming place to live.
Louis Sullivan: Prophet of Modern Architecture
By Hugh Morrison
A definitive biography of one of the most revered American architects of late 19th and early 20th centuries, Morrison’s thoroughly researched work offers insights into this brilliant life.
Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West
By William Cronon
This classic work highlights the role that Chicago played in the westward expansion during the second half of the 19th century. Cronon explores how the West was grounded in the development of cities and a metropolitan economy.
The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville
By Derek S. Hyra
The transformation and gentrification of two of America’s ghettos into vibrant, successful urban neighborhoods is discussed in this detailed work highlighting the gains and losses to the residents of New York’s Harlem and Chicago’s Bronzeville.
New Urbanism and Beyond: Designing Cities for the Future
Edited by Tigran Haas
Haas outlines the design challenges facing cities today, including defining “New Urbanism” and its role in community planning.
Resilient Cities: Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change
By Peter Newman
The world faces an estimated urban population of 5 billion within the next 20 years. Newman’s book highlights practical and successful ideas currently implemented in many cities and explains why the time to begin solving the climate crisis is now.
They All Fall Down: Richard Nickel’s Struggle to Save America’s Architecture
By Richard Cahan
In 1972, Chicago photographer Richard Nickel was killed as he tried to salvage artifacts from the ruins of Louis Sullivan’s magnificent Stock Exchange Building during its demolition. Cahan presents Nickel’s mission as a somber chapter in the story of Chicago’s urban renewal and rebuilding.
Toward the Livable City
Edited by Emilie Buchwald
A collection of essays that celebrate community, this book presents ideas in which creative urban planning can inspire city neighborhoods and towns to help its inhabitants transform their environments into lively, vibrant places to live.
Urban Design for People
By Michael Dobbins
Dobbins highlights what urban design is and details its components, including the elements of environment, design, change and, most importantly, the people who will live in the community.
Urban Design for an Urban Century: Placemaking for People
By Lance Jay Brown, David Dixon and Oliver Gilham
Award-winning projects by The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) National Honor Awards for Urban Design demonstrate creative and forward design principles for 21st century living.
Why Architecture Matters: Lessons from Chicago
By Blair Kamin
Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin’s classic collection of columns offers the reader insight into Chicago’s vibrant and at times frustrating architectural past and future.
Unless otherwise noted, read these articles on any computer with Internet access with your Chicago Public Library card.
“Burnham, Daniel Hudson”
By Douglas P. Woodlock
American National Biography, Oxford University Press, 1999
“Burnham, Daniel Hudson”
By David van Zanten
The Dictionary of Art, Grove’s Dictionaries, 1996
The Plan of Chicago
“See New Chicago Gem of America: Members of Merchants’ Club Launch a Comprehensive Project for Beautifying the City…”
Chicago Daily Tribune, October 27, 1906, p. 1
“The Commercial Club’s Vision of a New Chicago”
Chicago Daily Tribune, July 4, 1909, p. F5
By Anthony James Catanese
The World Book Encyclopedia, World Book, 2009
By Stanley K. Schultz
The Reader’s Companion to American History, Houghton-Mifflin, 1991
“Burnham Before Chicago: The Birth of Modern American Urban Planning”
By John W. Reps
Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, 10 (1983), p. 190-217
Available at all Chicago Public Library locations.
By Meyer Levin
Levin’s final novel is a fictionalized portrait of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, here called Andrew Lane, as he revolutionizes architectural theory and construction. Lane has encounters with real Chicago figures of the time, such as Theodore Dreiser and Jane Addams.
The Dream Seekers
By Mark Grace
The lives of two women from divergent backgrounds run parallel in late 19th century Chicago. The upper-class Isabelle suffocates within a loveless marriage while Hannah and her family face the hardships of being working-class immigrants in an unwelcoming city. Though these women never meet, they both seek out their independence and strive to live their lives on their own terms. Real Chicago figures and historical events permeate the novel, from Isabelle’s work at Jane Addams’ Hull House to Hannah’s brother’s involvement in the Pullman strike of 1894.
Haussmann, or The Distinction
By Paul LaFarge
This novel tells the unique tale of Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann, the architect of modern Paris, and his love affair with an orphaned girl named Madeleine and the political scandal that breaks out. Haussmann is purported to have regretted all of the work that he did to transform the city and tells how Madeleine became an unknowing victim to the politics and social change of the time.
By John Jakes
The first of a two-part historical series that begins in 1892 when an orphaned 15-year-old leaves Germany to live with his uncle in Chicago, this novel richly details the immigrant experience and highlights issues that people endured as the nation faced a new century.
By Upton Sinclair
This classic novel, first printed in 1906, tells the story of a Lithuanian family recently immigrated to Chicago. Jurgis Rudkus finds a job at a meatpacking district where the work is physically hard, unsanitary and dangerous. Sinclair’s novel depicts the working conditions and injustices that many immigrants faced in trying to establish a comfortable life in America.
The Lazarus Project
By Alexander Hemon
A 21st century Chicago writer from Bosnia grows obsessed with the 1908 death of a poor, Jewish immigrant who was shot by Chicago’s chief of police and accused of anarchism. Hemon creates a brilliant portrait of Chicago during two turn-of-the-century eras—a city of immigrants then and now.
Looking Backward, 2000-1887
By Edward Bellamy
This classic utopian novel first printed in 1888 tells the tale of wealthy Bostonian Julian West, who falls asleep one night and wakes up 113 years later in the year 2000. Bellamy describes his thoughts about improving the future for a better society of people.
By Nancy Horan
Horan’s debut novel mixes fact with fiction and tells the life of Mamah Borthwick Cheney and her scandalous affair with American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Frank and Mamah abandon their families and travel the world together, but Mamah struggles with the roles she must play as wife, mother, lover and intellectual.
The Moments Lost: A Midwest Pilgrim’s Progress
By Bruce Olds
Young Franklyn Shivs leaves his Wisconsin farm and heads to Chicago, where he lands a job as a beat reporter and ends up covering the Iroquis Theater fire of 1903. Years later, he’s recruited to go to Michigan and cover the copper mine strike of 1913. Here he finds himself in the middle of one of the most violent labor disputes in U.S. history as the workers fight for unionization.
By Barbara Croft
Jim Moon, a Civil War veteran, is lured by the excitement of the World’s Fair in Chicago and leaves the monotony of his life and family in Iowa for bigger things. Moon realizes that the idealized dreams and bright future he envisioned are compromised by the greed and corruption of others.
The Pit: A Story of Chicago
By Frank Norris
Part of a trilogy that takes a look at Chicago’s wheat market in the early 1900s, The Pit details how the lives of all individuals involved—from the farmers to the bankers—are affected with the highs and lows of the market. Not only is Curtis Jadwin, an ambitious businessman, affected financially, but his obsession may have also ruined his marriage.
By Theodore Dreiser
Eighteen-year-old Caroline leaves her rural Wisconsin home for Chicago and gets a job in a shoe factory. She quickly is faced with the long hours and hard physical demands of the job that crush her young and adventurous spirit. Dreiser’s novel is a classic tale of the American experience in a growing capitalist economy.
The White City
By Alec Michod
Fans of Erik Larson’s nonfiction work The Devil in the White City will enjoy this fictionalized account set against the backdrop of the World’s Fair, where a serial killer preys on young boys. Psychologist Elizabeth Handley is sent to Chicago to see if she can help establish a profile of the killer, but soon the son of an architect goes missing and may have ended up in the dangerous clutch of the “Husker.”
With the Procession
By Henry Blake Fuller
This novel explores the tension between native Chicagoans and the new immigrants who were a growing part of so many communities in the 1890s. David Marshall, a wealthy grocer, feels engulfed by the “new comers.” Fuller’s classic is an interesting account of a time of change and instability, when acceptance and progress were hindered by fear.
For Kids and Teens
Burnham’s early work in developing tall buildings has forever changed how we look at and live in the sky. These titles might just do the same.
Built to Last: Building America’s Amazing Bridges, Dams, Tunnels and Skyscrapers
By George Sullivan
Scholastic, 2005 (Ages 9-13)
By Lynn Curlee
Atheneum, 2007 (Ages 9-13)
Skyscrapers: How America Grew Up
By John Severance
Holiday House, 2000 (Ages 10-13)
Skyscrapers: Uncovering Technology
By Chris Oxlade
Firefly, 2006 (Ages 9-12)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Skyscraper Builder!: A Hazardous Job You’d Rather Not Take
By John Malam, illustrated by David Antram
Franklin Watts, 2009 (Ages 7-10)
Chicago History and Burnham’s Place in It
How Chicago looks and works today has a lot to do with Burnham’s vision. His inspiration and dedication is apparent by looking around you and looking through the pages of these books.
Chicago History for Kids: Triumphs and Tragedies of the Windy City
By Owen Hurd
Chicago Review, 2007 (Ages 9-12)
Exploring the Chicago World’s Fair, 1893
By Laurie Lawlor
Aladdin, 2002 (Ages 9-13)
By Richard Peck
Dial, 2001 (Ages 9-13)
Great Cities of the World: Chicago
By Marc Nobleman
World Almanac, 2005 (Ages 8-12)
The Great Fire
By Jim Murphy
Clarion, 1995 (Ages 9-13)
A Travel Guide to Al Capone’s Chicago
By Diane Yancey
Lucent, 2003 (Ages 10 and up)
It’s not just Chicagoans who are fascinated by the Plan of Chicago. These titles demonstrate how cities functioned before and after Burnham’s day.
City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction
By David Macaulay
Houghton Mifflin, 1983 (Ages 10-14)
The City ABC Book
By Zoran Milich
Kids Can, 2003 (Ages 4-8)
Global Architecture: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
“Make no small plans…”
The Architecture Handbook: A Student Guide to Understanding Buildings
By Jennifer Masengarb and Krisann Rehbein, illustrations by Benjamin Norris
Chicago Architecture Foundation, 2007 (Ages 14 and up)
The Art of Construction: Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers & Architects
By Mario Salvadori
Chicago Review Press, 2000 (Ages 10 and up)
By David Macaulay
Walter Lorraine, 2000 (Ages 10 and up)
Buildings: What is Art?
By Karen Hosack
Raintree, 2008 (Ages 8-12)
Can Buildings Speak?
By Louise and Richard Spilsbury
Cherry Tree, 2008 (Ages 8-10)
By Giles Laroche
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009 (Ages 8-12)
What would Daniel Burnham say of where our cities are today and where we’re going?
Living in Urban Communities
By Kristin Sterling
Lerner, 2008 (Ages 4-8)
Sustainable World: Cities
By Rob Bowden
KidHaven, 2004 (Ages 9-12)
Urban America: Opposing Viewpoints
By Laura Egendorf
Greenhaven, 2005 (Ages 14 and up)
By Debra Miller
Greenhaven, 2008 (Ages 14 and up)