At City's Edge: Photographs of Chicago's Lakefront

Overview


An iron-gray slate on a cold and blustery day, a respite from the summer heat, the engine of the city's notorious blizzards: Lake Michigan is an integral part of the landscape of Chicago. Bob Thall has been photographing the skyline and streets of Chicago for over thirty years, and here in At City's Edge he chronicles the twenty-five-mile shoreline where the asphalt meets the inland sea.

Thall's stark yet rich images take viewers from the Evanston border on the North Shore down...

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Overview


An iron-gray slate on a cold and blustery day, a respite from the summer heat, the engine of the city's notorious blizzards: Lake Michigan is an integral part of the landscape of Chicago. Bob Thall has been photographing the skyline and streets of Chicago for over thirty years, and here in At City's Edge he chronicles the twenty-five-mile shoreline where the asphalt meets the inland sea.

Thall's stark yet rich images take viewers from the Evanston border on the North Shore down to 100th Street on the South Side, documenting the natural scenery, architectural structures, and people that populate the coastline. From the lakefront parks to summer beaches to the Air and Water Show, Chicago enfolds Lake Michigan into its urban character, but Thall's images make clear that the lake remains a dynamic and powerful force, with nature and civilization clashing at its rim. At City's Edge brings the lakefront to life in all its complexity, chronicling in its elegant visual sequence the sand-covered city beaches, the rock-studded shoreline, the running paths, and the buildings built along this unique intersection.

Thall writes, "Since the age of five or six, I've spent much of my life at the beach, not only in the summer, but throughout the year. I can't imagine my life in this city without Lake Michigan nearby." At City's Edge redefines the shores of Lake Michigan as a vital element in the urban landscape of Chicago and reveals the complex forces that shape the lakefront as one of Chicago's most public communal spaces.

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Editorial Reviews

Peter Bacon Hales

Over the past four decades, Bob Thall has turned the view camera on the American city with increasing sophistication and adventurousness.  In the process, he has earned a place within the rich tradition of America’s critical landscapists, a lineage that stretches back to Timothy O’Sullivan and Carlton Watkins.  From the sublime topographics of Chicago’s skyscraper Rockies to the obsessively attentive micro-ecologies of urban alleys and the bland expanses of exurban townsites, Thall has staked a claim as one of the most rigorous of cultural analysts.  Now he has turned to the edge of things, to Chicago’s lakefront, the boundary line where the everyday meets the absolute, in pictures at turns bafflingly graceful, religiously quiet, and sternly austere.  This is masterful work by an artist still enamored with the possibilities of his time, his place, and his medium.”
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Product Details

Meet the Author


Bob Thall is professor in and chairman of the Department of Photography at Columbia College Chicago. He is also the author of The Perfect City, The New American Village, and City Spaces: Photographs of Chicago Alleys. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Museum of Modern Art, among others.
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Table of Contents


List of Plates:  All photographs were taken in 2000-2004
 
Page 1.  Near Lawrence Avenue
Page 2.  Near Montrose Avenue
Page 3.  Near Montrose Avenue
Page 6.  Near Albion Avenue
Page 9.  Montrose Pier
Page 10.  View east at the Chicago River
Page 11.  Near Thorndale Avenue
Page 12.  Near 14th Street
Page 13.  Near Ohio Street
Page 15.  Near Wilson Avenue
Page 16.  Near Montrose Avenue
Page 17.  Near 14th Street
Page 18.  Near Ohio Street
Page 19.  Near Addison Street
Page 20.  Near Granville Avenue
Page 21.  Near Thorndale Avenue
Page 23.  Near Wilson Avenue
Page 24.  Near 14th Street
Page 25.  Montrose Pier
Page 26.  Near Hollywood Avenue
Page 27.  Near Foster Avenue
Page 29.  View south from Columbia Avenue
Page 30.  Near Albion Avenue
Page 31.  Near Howard Street
Page 33.  Near Rogers Avenue
Page 34.  Near Touhy Avenue
Page 35.  Near Howard Street
Page 36.  Near Columbia Avenue
Page 37.  Near Touhy Avenue
Page 39.  Near 73rd Street
Page 40.  Sherwin Avenue
Page 41.  Near Lawrence Avenue
Page 42.  Near Pratt Boulevard
Page 43.  Near Greenleaf Avenue
Page 45.  Near 65th Street
Page 46.  Montrose Pier
Page 47.  Jackson Park Harbor
Page 48.  Near Touhy Avenue
Page 49.  Near 65th Street
Page 51.  Montrose Pier
Page 52.  Near Montrose Harbor entrance
Page 53.  Near 35th Street
Page 55.  Near Addison Street
Page 56.  Near Erie Street
Page 57.  Near Columbia Avenue
Page 58.  Near Hollywood Avenue
Page 59.  Foster Avenue Beach
Page 61.  Near Addison Street
Page 62.  South Shore Country Club
Page 63.  Near Howard Street
Page 64.  Near Albion Avenue
Page 65.  Near 100th Street
Page 66.  Near Jackson Park
Page 67.  Near North Shore Avenue
Page 69.  Foster Pier
Page 70.  Near Eastlake Terrace
Page 71.  Hollywood Avenue Beach
Page 72.  Near Greenleaf Avenue
Page 73.  Near 100th Street
Page 74.  Near Montrose Avenue
Page 75.  Near Montrose Avenue
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