Secret Spaces atop Chicago: A Cultural History of the Urge to Climb Above the City

September 26, 2012

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A view from the Chicago Board of Trade. Photo by Kate Joyce.

Almost since the dawn of urban living, people have constructed spaces for viewing cities from above. This talk explores Chicago’s extraordinary history as a center for creating unique and imaginative functions for “spaces atop the city.” These spaces “above” have served as observation decks open to all to such unanticipated functions as places to pose for photographs above the city, gathering spots for extraordinary clubs, sites for daredevil stunts, pinnacles for conveying power and communication, and eye-catching emblems. In recent years, Chicago has become, once again, a center of innovative ideas for how to use "spaces atop the city" in adventurous new ways. The lecture is a preview of Tony Macaluso’s forthcoming book to be published by Hat and Beard Press in the spring of 2014.

Recorded Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.