Dark, raw power built Chicago into an authentic American city. From a world of shanty towns and smokestack factories, a handful of men ruthlessly built vast commercial and industrial enterprises that changed the way Americans shop, eat, and think. Adventurous, civic-minded, and newly rich, Chicago's grandees boldly hired the most progressive architects and savviest art and antiques dealers to design and furnish private houses that ultimately defined the city as a centre of American capitalism, culture, and architecture. Along Prairie Avenue, majestic Lake Shore Drive, and Astor Street, the Armours, McCormicks, Pullmans and Ryersons immortalised their place among Chicago's elite with lavish palaces designed by David Adler, Daniel Burnham, Howard Van Doren Shaw, and Frank Lloyd Wright in styles that ranged from detailed Beaux-Arts eclectic to International Modern."Great Houses of Chicago, 1871-1921" is the first authoritative study of Chicago's grand city houses. Thirty four in-depth profiles, illustrated with restored archival photographs and floor plans, portray a private world of Midwestern splendour.
This masterful volume includes biographical sketches of leading Chicago architects, a comprehensive bibliography, and a portfolio of forty additional, rarely-seen residences.
Susan Benjamin owns a Chicago-area consulting firm, Benjamin Historic Certifications, with a focus on historic preservation. Susan frequently lectures, makes television appearances and has written several books and many articles on Chicago architecture. She is a resident of Highland Park.Stuart Cohen is a practicing architect and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Stuart's firm, Cohen and Hacker Architects, specialises in residential architecture and the restoration and renovation of historic houses. He is the author of two books and numerous articles on architecture.Susan Benjamin and Stuart Cohen are co-authors of North Shore Chicago: Houses of the Lakefront Suburbs, 1890-1940 (Acanthus Press, 2004)