The City in a Garden: A Photographic History of Chicago's Parks (Center for American Places - Center Books on Chicago and Environs)

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9781930066021: The City in a Garden: A Photographic History of Chicago's Parks (Center for American Places - Center Books on Chicago and Environs)
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Most people, specialists or not, typically think of New York City or Boston when considering the early development of parks and open spaces in American cities. Despite the size and importance of the Chicago park system, its history is less well known-even to many of those Chicagoans who regularly enjoy its facilities.

City in a Garden, developed in association with the Chicago Park District itself, changes that: its 184 large—format pages, packed with 140 images and a closely integrated text, provide the first official documentary chronicle of Chicago's parks. Thirty-one of the city's finest spaces are profiled, using photographs—both contemporary and historical-along with detailed vignettes and captions to trace their development. The visual treat of the book's fine-art duotones combines with its emphasis on narrative history to create a rich and magnificent exploration of a city's most beautiful sites.

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About the Author:

Julia Sniderman Bachrach serves as a historian for the Chicago Park District.

Bill Kurtis, author of Bill Kurtis on Assignment, has worked as a journalist, a television news anchor, and the host of A&E Network series such as American Justice and The New Explorers

Review:

“An impressive new photographic history written by Julia Sniderman Bachrach. . . . The author opens with an inspiring historical essay, followed by profiles of 22 of Chicago’s 555 (!) parks.  The profiles describe the social, political, and design history of each park, documenting the influence of politicians, patrons, landscape architects, and architects who were responsible for their initial creation or later improvements. . . . Well-written and beautifully illustrated.”--Scott Mehaffey, Landscape Architecture (Scott Mehaffey Landscape Architecture)

City in a Garden traces the story from the early 1800s when officials believed in keeping lakefront property open, to revolutionary parks emerging on the South Side, through the years when Grant Park served as a dumping ground for garbage and squatters’ shacks, to the late 1800s when A. Montgomery Ward fought to keep Chicago’s lakefront forever open, clear, and free.  By 1934, Chicago had 22 independent park districts, all of them poor because of the Depression.  In World War II, parks and recreation staff received Red Cross training.  After the war, a period of park expansion set in.  During the 1960s and ‘70s, recreation became the focus.  In the early 1980s, the Park District was sued over inequitable distribution of resources and settled with a consent decree.”--Friends of the Park (Friends of the Park)

“A lovely chronicle.”--Chicago Magazine (Chicago Magazine)

The City in a Gardern is a beautifully produced book with historical and contemporary photography that can only be classified as fine art. The historical information is fascinating. . . . This is an appropriate gift book for anyone interested in Chicago history or landscape design.”--Ann Kepler, Midwest Engineer (Ann Kepler Midwest Engineer)

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Bachrach, Julia Sniderman
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