Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago’s South Side by Lee Bey
Paperback, 192 pp
The notion of this book began as a photography exhibit, Chicago: A Southern Exposure, created for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
“Chicago’s South Side is usually viewed as a place to flee or avoid. It’s been that way since the early 1900s when the rich traded their South Side mansions on Prairie Avenue and the former Grand Boulevard for even swankier digs on the North Side’s Gold Coast. And when thousands of whites left the South Side during the racial change of the 1960s and 1970s. The exodus continues now as nearly 200,000 residents–most of them black–have left the South Side since 2000, chased out by crime, disinvestment and perennially troubled public schools. The South Side’s remarkable contributions to art and design have been lost in this stampede. In America’s leading city of architecture, most of Chicago’s best place and spaces outside of downtown are on the South Side. Unfortunately, while a relative few have been individually celebrated, the architectural press, tourists, and many Chicagoans and architecture aficionados have overlooked the idea of the South Side as home of a significant architecture. “Southern Exposure: The Architecture of Chicago’s South Side” is the first book devoted to this rich vein of quality architecture and urban design. Spotlighting more than 60 significant places and spaces across the South Side, the book features the work by world famous luminaries such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, Eero Saarinen, and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead–designs largely unseen because they are on the South Side. Pioneering architects such as W.T. Bailey, John Moutoussamy and the firm Ryder Morrison & Margerum–black designers whose has been ignored because it is on the South Side and because of outright racism–will be profiled as well, alongside dozens of remarkable examples of design that are largely absent from the city’s story”–Provided by publisher.
LEE BEY is a photographer, writer, lecturer, and consultant who documents and interprets the built environment–and the often complex political, social, and racial forces that shape spaces and places. His writing on architecture
and urban design has been featured in Architect, Chicago magazine, Architectural Record, and many news outlets. His photography has appeared in Chicago Architect, Old-House Journal, CITE, and in international design publications, including Bauwelt and Modulør. A former Chicago Sun-Times architecture critic, Bey is also a senior lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and served as deputy chief of staff for urban planning under former
Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley.
AMANDA WILLIAMS is a visual artist who trained as an architect. Her works have been exhibited widely and are included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She lives and works on the South Side of Chicago.
“Southern Exposure is a 35mm love story. Just like relationships, the buildings that Bey photographs reflect our affection and our neglect, and remind us of why we are so devoted to Chicago’s South Side. Through these truly awe-some images, we are inspired to stop, behold, and not take these treasures for granted.” –Mary Pattillo, author of Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City
Table of Contents:
Chapter One: Saving Bronzeville
Chapter Two:142 Square Miles: Life, History and Architecture on Chicago’s South Side
Chapter Three: “A Curious Mix of the Ordinary and Extraordinary
Chapter Four: Come Together Now: Schools, Churches and Public Buildings
Chapter Five: To Live and Buy on the South Side: Residential and Commercial Architecture
Chapter Six: The South Side at Rest and Play: Parks and Open Space
Chapter Seven: The Lost South Side