The City in a Garden: A Photographic History of Chicago's Parks

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Most people, specialists or not, typically think of New York City or Boston when considering the early development of parks and open spaces in American cities. Despite the size and importance of the Chicago park system, its history is less well known-even to many of those Chicagoans who regularly enjoy its facilities.

City in a Garden, developed in association with the Chicago Park District itself, changes that: its 184 large—format pages, packed with 140 images and a closely integrated text, provide the first official documentary chronicle of Chicago's parks. Thirty-one of the city's finest spaces are profiled, using photographs—both contemporary and historical-along with detailed vignettes and captions to trace their development. The visual treat of the book's fine-art duotones combines with its emphasis on narrative history to create a rich and magnificent exploration of a city's most beautiful sites.

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Editorial Reviews

Friends of the Park
City in a Garden traces the story from the early 1800s when officials believed in keeping lakefront property open, to revolutionary parks emerging on the South Side, through the years when Grant Park served as a dumping ground for garbage and squatters’ shacks, to the late 1800s when A. Montgomery Ward fought to keep Chicago’s lakefront forever open, clear, and free.  By 1934, Chicago had 22 independent park districts, all of them poor because of the Depression.  In World War II, parks and recreation staff received Red Cross training.  After the war, a period of park expansion set in.  During the 1960s and ‘70s, recreation became the focus.  In the early 1980s, the Park District was sued over inequitable distribution of resources and settled with a consent decree.”--Friends of the Park
Chicago Magazine
“A lovely chronicle.”--Chicago Magazine
Midwest Engineer

The City in a Gardern is a beautifully produced book with historical and contemporary photography that can only be classified as fine art. The historical information is fascinating. . . . This is an appropriate gift book for anyone interested in Chicago history or landscape design.”--Ann Kepler, Midwest Engineer

— Ann Kepler

Midwest Engineer - Ann Kepler
The City in a Gardern is a beautifully produced book with historical and contemporary photography that can only be classified as fine art. The historical information is fascinating. . . . This is an appropriate gift book for anyone interested in Chicago history or landscape design.”--Ann Kepler, Midwest Engineer
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Julia Sniderman Bachrach serves as a historian for the Chicago Park District.

Bill Kurtis, author of Bill Kurtis on Assignment, has worked as a journalist, a television news anchor, and the host of A&E Network series such as American Justice and The New Explorers

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Table of Contents

Foreword, by Bill Kurtis A History of Chicago's Parks, by Julia Sniderman Bachrach Notes to the Essay Park Profiles   Auburn   Burnham   Calumet   Douglas   Fuller   Garfield   Gompers   Grant   Hamilton   Humboldt   Indian Boundary   Jackson   La Follette   Lincoln   Marquette   McKinley   Ogden   Oz   Ping Tom Memorial   Portage   Pulaski   Pullman and Arcade   Rainbow Beach   Riis   Sherman   South Shore Cultural Center   Trumbull   Union   Washington   Washington Square Glossary of Key Figures, Terms, and OrganizationsSuggested ReadingsAcknowledgmentsAbout the Author and Photographers
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