This collection of Blair Kamin’s architectural criticism from the Chicago Tribune—illustrated with photographs by Lee Bey, architecture critic for the Chicago Sun-Times—is a great documentation of Chicago’s recent architectural and urban history. Its 55 carefully observed essays range over many topics, from the yet-to-be-completed Obama library by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects to complex issues of urban improvement in an era of rampant inequality. Although the book lacks any clear overall concept, these short texts offer an excellent starting point from which to understand the specifics of recent Chicago architecture and urbanism, at a point where much of this past is now receding into pre-pandemic history.
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