'Chicago from the Sky'

June 7, 2011

The photo book contains more than 250 aerial or rooftop shots of the city from various neighborhoods and shows how the city has evolved over the years. Since the early 1980s, Lawrence Okrent, an urban planner, has taken to the sky to document sites he's working on and their surroundings. The book is drawn from his archive of more than 25,000 photos. This large format (11 x 11) book offers a 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. 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.

The book is available in most local independent and chain bookstores, museum bookstores, Chicago Architectural Foundation bookstore, and on-line at Barnes & Noble.com, and Amazon.com.

Retail price is $49.50.

Randolph Street
The sector of Randolph Street east of Michigan Avenue has always been an elevated roadway. Originally constructed on a viaduct to provide lakefront access across the Illinois Central Railroad classification yards, the elevated configuration has survived to the present day as an essential component of the three-level road system serving the immediate area. Development along Randolph Street's frontage did not reach maturity until the 2009 completion of the 22-floor addition to Blue Cross/Blue Shield building, which arrived on the site in 1997.

Steel has been made on this Far South Side site since 1882. At its peak, the US Steel Corporation employed 70,000 workers. Much of the plant's product is embedded in the steel structures of the city's high-rise office buildings. US Steel became USX in 1991. The complex closed permanently in 1992 and the remaining 700 workers lost their jobs. The Chicago Plan Commission approved a redevelopment plan for the 573-acre site in April 2010.

Glenview Naval Air Station
An active airfield from 1923 until 1995, Glenview Naval Air Station became the property of the United States Navy in 1940. The most famous alumni of its training programs include Neil Armstrong, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush. The Department of Defense closed the field in 1993 and designated the Village of Glenview as the Local Redevelopment Authority. The 1,121-acre site has since been redeveloped as a mixed-use community known as The Glen.

McCormick Place
Constructed in four phases between 1971 and 2006, the McCormick Place complex, with 2.67 million square feet (61.3 acres) of exhibition space and 173 meeting rooms encompassing 600,000 square feet (13.8 acres) of additional floor area, is the world's largest convention center. The east building, completed in 1971, replaced the original McCormick Place, destroyed by a calamitous fire in 1967 after only seven years of service.

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