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Chicago's impressive industrial expansion in the late nineteenth century convinced most observers that the city was defined by the crass pursuit of wealth and that its architecture was, as described by Lewis Mumford, "a brutal network of industrial necessities." In a major new book, Daniel Bluestone disputes this vision of the city. Combining architectural history and cult ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published July 28th 1993 by Yale University Press
(first published October 23rd 1991)
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A fascinating history of 19th century Chicago architecture that challenges the traditional view that the city was obsessed only with commerce and lucre. In fact Bluestone surprisingly and convincingly argues almost the exact opposite, that Chicago's upper classes were peculiarly concerned to minimize the dominance of commerce, and worked hard to construct worlds that could be free from its clutches. From its parks to its churches to even its skyscrapers, much of the particular world of Chicago w ...more
Constructing Chicago, Daniel Bluestone. 1991. Author Daniel Bluestone contends that an elite class of benevolent aristocrats embellished Chicago with parks, boulevards and conservatories for altruistic purposes, intentionally creating a democratic place for which both the lower and highly cultivated social classes could mix. The entire book has the trappings of a weak, verbose doctoral thesis. Chicago's early history, a subject that has been been told many times before, coupled with a faulted pr ...more