AIA Chicago, the second largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the collective voice of 4,000 licensed architects, emerging professionals, architecture students, and allied professionals, today announced the publication of the new, updated definitive guide to the city’s architecture, the AIA Guide to Chicago, Fourth Edition.
Chicago’s architecture attracts visitors from around the globe. The fourth edition of the AIA Guide to Chicago is the best portable resource for exploring this most breathtaking and dynamic of cityscapes and neighborhoods. The editors offer entries on new destinations like the Riverwalk and The 606, chronicling the city’s construction boom since the previous guide was published in 2014, as well as updated descriptions of refreshed landmarks. Thirty-four maps and more than 500 photos make it easy to find each of the almost 2,000 featured sites.
A special insert, new to this edition, showcases the variety of Chicago architecture with over 80 full-color images. A comprehensive index organizes entries by name and architect.
Sumptuously detailed and user friendly, the AIA Guide to Chicago encourages travelers and residents alike to explore the many diverse neighborhoods of one of the world’s great architectural cities.
“AIA Chicago has refreshed the ultimate handbook of Chicago architecture with new buildings and old buildings redesigned for new uses,” said AIA Chicago’s Executive Director Jen Masengarb. “We’ve added overlooked iconic designs from Chicago’s architecturally and culturally distinct neighborhoods—many designed by female architects and architects of color.”
In addition to prominent buildings known to millions because of their perches in the downtown skyline or their places along the river—Studio Gang’s St. Regis Chicago, SOM’s Willis Tower, Edward Durell Stone’s Aon Center, Adler & Sullivan’s Auditorium Building, Goettsch Partners’ 150 North Riverside, Graham, Anderson, Probst & White’s The Old Post Office converted to offices by Gensler—this new edition includes striking architectural designs from the past and present waiting to be discovered.
Imaginative Rehabs for Reuse:
The heroic rehab of historic Beaux-Arts hospital that once served Chicago immigrants and was scheduled for demolition but now reinvented with offices, a food hall and two hotels (Old Cook County Hospital, 1835 W. Harrison St., Paul Gerhardt, 1914; SOM and KOO conversion, 2020)
·An exuberant Roaring Twenties firehouse (image© Eric Allix Rogers) stacked with terra-cotta ornament now converted into an arts center fostering appreciation of Chicago filmmaking (Chicago Filmmakers—Ridge Firehouse; Engine Co. 59, Truck 47—5720 N. Ridge Avenue; Argyle E. Robinson, 1928; Bureau of Architecture & Design, 2017 conversion)
An extraordinary arts center in a former bank designed by urban planner, artist and activist Theaster Gates who created performance spaces and galleries—including a stunning double-height room lined with bookshelves that house the Johnson Publishing Company archives-—in a deliberate state of semi-restoration, revealing layers of the building’s history (Stony Island Arts Bank—Stony Island Trust & Savings Bank—6760 S. Stony Island Ave., William Gibbons Uffendell, 1923; Fitzgerald Assocs. Architects, conversion, 2015)
Rediscovered Designs and Architects:
Eleven condos developed, built and designed by Chicago legend Gertrude Lempp Kerbis who designed the Rotunda Building at O’Hare which housed her Seven Continents restaurant (Greenhouse Condominiums, 2131 N. Clark St.; Gertrude Lempp Kerbis, 1976)
An international style flat roof, light brick home designed by John Moutoussamy (image © Eric Allix Rogers) a student of Mies and the first Black architect to become partner in a large Chicago firm, who also designed 820 S. Michigan Ave., the offices of the publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazine (John Moutoussamy House, 361 E. 89th Pl., John Moutoussamy, 1954)
A sleek rectilinear church of light brick and stone designed by Nelson Harris, a founding member of the National Organization of Minority Architects, featuring a three-story bell tower clad in smooth stone panels and topped with stained glass and crenellations (Berean Baptist Church, 5147 S. Dearborn St., Harris & Isensee, 1962)
Civic Spaces and Public Art:
A yellow brick sidewalk and mosaic tile mural by Hector Duarte commemorates L. Frank Baum’s writing of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz when he lived here in 1900 (There’s No Place Like Home, Southeast corner of Humboldt Blvd. and Wabansia St., Hector Duarte, Artists, 2020)
A striking, new pedestrian bridge over Lake Shore Drive at 35th Street joined others in moving toward rectifying the disinvestment and scarcity of access to the lake on Chicago’s South Side (35th St. Pedestrian Bridge, 35th Str. Over S. Lake Shore Dr., EXP, 2016)
The reimagined Garfield Blvd. CTA Stations including a restoration and creative reuse of the 1892 building originally built to bring passengers to the World’s Columbian Exposition, and a renovation of its 2001 replacement station to include vibrant artwork by Nick Cave and Bob Faust in a variety of media and surfaces. (CTA—Garfield Blvd. Station, 320 E. Garfield Blvd., 2019 renovation, exp; Original station house, restoration, Antunovich Assocs.)
Art Deco outside the Loop:
An exuberant Art Deco factory in the West Loop that produced sausages, smoked and boiled meats (Richter’s Food Products, 1034 W. Randolph St., H. Peter Henschien, 1933)
An Art Deco apartment hotel on the Near West Side (image© Eric Allix Rogers) designed by Benjamin Albert Comm in 1930 was gut rehabbed into affordable, sustainable units (Harvest Commons Apartments, 1519 W. Warren Blvd., Benjamin Albert Comm, 1930; Rehab, Landon Bone Baker Architects, 2013)
The Art Deco exterior dating from a 1928 remodeling of an Austin bank building is slated to have its celery, mustard and off-white terra cotta facades restored as part of a redevelopment project included in Chicago’s Invest South/West initiative (Laramie State Bank Building, 4200 West Chicago Ave., Meyer & Cook, 1928 remodeling of 1909 building).
“Working on the fourth edition of this indispensable handbook has been a special delight as we continue to deepen the book’s tradition of including an expansive canon of work,” said editor of the AIA Guide to Chicago, Laurie Petersen. “The opportunity to have a section of color photos allowed us to increase the book’s educational value even further by grouping them to illustrate building styles and types.”
A new 32-page section of color photos directs readers to entries across the city that have capsule descriptions of particular styles, materials or building types. Styles are organized chronologically, from 1870s Italianate through 1990s Postmodernism. Interspersed are two double-page spreads: Unexpected Delights, including a water pumping station and a storage facility, and Quintessential Chicago Housing Types, including the Chicago bungalow.
Even at 648 pages, the AIA Guide to Chicago is illustrative rather than encyclopedic, presenting a representative selection of buildings in addition to the essential landmarks. The neighborhoods chosen display a range of types, styles and eras. The criteria for selecting buildings, landscape and park features, bridges, public art and cemetery monuments included not only the quality of their design but also the degree to which they either exemplified a style, trend or functional type or stood out as unusual. Other important factors included visibility, historical significance, and the “what the heck is that” curiosity factor. A team of advisers helped evaluate the various buildings selected for inclusion in this edition: Geoffrey Baer; Lee Bey; Lisa DiChiera; T. Gunny Harboe, FAIA; Blair Kamin; and Mary Woolever.
Praise for the Third Edition
“A many-voiced celebration of the rich flavors of Chicago architecture, the delights on the side streets as well as the landmarks that make the history books.”–Chicago Sun-Times
“If you’ve ever needed a good excuse to take a walk around a Chicago neighborhood or study a particularly noteworthy building, this should provide the perfect push out the door.”–Chicago Tribune
About the AIA Guide to Chicago 4th Edition
Author:American Institute of Architects Chicago, Edited by Laurie McGovern Petersen. Paper – $42.95; 978-0-252-08673-1; eBook – $14.95. 648 pages. Illustrations: 82 color photographs, 498 black & white photographs, 1 chart, 1 table.
About AIA Chicago
The American Institute of Architects Chicago (AIA Chicago) serves nearly 4,000 licensed architects, emerging professionals, architecture students, and allied professional members in Chicago and is the second largest AIA chapter in the country. AIA Chicago’s mission builds on the city’s architectural legacy by advocating for the profession, sharing knowledge among members, and partnering with communities. It fosters a culture of design excellence for equitable, sustainable places and spaces.
AIA Chicago offers lectures and continuing education courses; specialized, issue-specific Knowledge Communities; advocacy for architects; and help for consumers looking for an architect.
AIA Chicago is the local Chicago chapter of The American Institute of Architects. Based in Washington, D.C., the AIA has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners since 1857. Learn more by visiting www.aiachicago.org.