I was in Chicago yesterday. It was a gorgeous fall day to take a stroll in the city and I visited some of my favorite places. While walking past the Prairie Avenue Bookshop (they are closed on Sunday) I just happened to notice a book in the window. Joy of joys, it was titled, The Book of the Fine Arts Building. As any reader of this blog knows, the Fine Arts Building, (located at 410 S. Michigan Ave.) is at the top of the list of my special Chicago locals. There is so much history packed into that comparatively modest structure, that it is almost overwhelming. I never tire of the 10th floor murals. (Read my post: The Fine Arts Building: Living History), and have often lamented that there is no significant history of this significant landmark building. Well, Architect David Swan has given us at least a beginning. According to the description:
This is a facsimile edition of a book that was originally issued by the Studebaker Corporation in 1911 as an advertisement for the building and a celebration of its successful conversion in 1897-98 by Solon S. Beman (who originally designed in it 1885). It shows the building in its prime during the years when it dominated the world of art, literature, theater, and musical education in Chicago.It's a thin paperback book; only 40 pages, but contains 60 duotone illustrations. It goes without saying that I am ordering a copy today.
Let's hope a complete history of the Fine Arts Building will be coming in the future.