It is like no other book about Chicago’s past and present—exploring the dynamic
changes that have continuously shaped the greater Loop district from the late nineteenth
century to the present time. Downtown’s evolution is vividly portrayed through historical
photos interlaced with a tapestry of memories, experiences and thoughts related
by interviewees such as Josephine Baskin Minow, Gary Johnson, Jerome R. Butler,
James McDonough, Ann Roth, James O’Connor, Kay Mayer, Michael Demetrio, Bernard
Judge, Paul Meincke, Potter Palmer IV and Marshall Field V.
The book is brimming with a rich variety of subjects including architecture and
urban planning, department stores, restaurants, movie palaces, public transportation,
parks, and remembrances of a cross-section of influential current and former Chicagoans.
Highlighting its 250+ pages is a remarkable assemblage of more than 250 photographs
ranging from seldom-seen views found in local archives to previously untapped collections.
Unique and obscure subjects are featured together with some of downtown’s more familiar
and enduring icons. The most alluring images are enhanced to full-page size or reproduced
in color, while photographs separated by decades invite spirited comparison. A descriptive
narrative introduces each section of the book, tying all the elements together.
This book is co-authored by Chicago historians Eric Bronsky and Neal Samors. The
authors have created a virtual time machine trip through downtown Chicago’s whirlwind
past, one that is sure to evoke pleasant memories and encourage sharing with family
Eric, a transit enthusiast and freelance writer, worked as an architectural modelbuilder
and historian for the City of Chicago under several mayors. Neal has authored or
co-authored seven books about Chicago’s neighborhoods and eras. His recent book,
Chicago in the Sixties: Remembering a Time of Change, won the 2007 Independent Publisher
Book Award in the History Books category.
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