This large format (11 x 11) book offers a 240-page pictorial history—from an aerial perspective—of the far-reaching change that has occurred in Chicago and its region in the span of a single generation, between 1985 and 2010. This history is presented through more than 250 color photographs by Mr. Okrent, and a complementary selection of maps and historic images drawn from his personal collections. Spare, highly informative text and picture captions serve to broaden the reader’s understanding of the period covered.
The book includes 92 illustrated articles on subjects as diverse as the creation of the Museum Campus, the demise of a bygone era of public housing, the evolution of the city’s signature sports venues, and the revival of historic city neighborhoods, such as Chinatown, Wicker Park and the Near South Side. Suburban Chicago is covered, as well, with articles that dramatically illustrate the character of the change that has occurred, largely unnoticed, beyond the city limits.
Indeed, the story of change chronicled in these pages is perhaps more dramatic than that of any other era of comparable duration, probably even including the period immediately following the great fire of 1871.
For those who recall the 1980’s, this work will evoke recollections of a truly bygone era. For those who did not experience it first hand, it will serve as a reminder that Chicago, among all cities, welcomes change, celebrates change, and regards change as one of its distinguishing features.
Lawrence Okrent has been a Chicago-based urban planning and zoning consultant for more than 40 years, with direct professional involvement in many of the projects and communities featured in the book. His firm, Okrent Associates, Inc., provides services in aerial photography, mapping and graphic design
in addition to its core planning and zoning work. (www.okrentassociates.com)