Jan 27, 2022 - Things to Do

New book is a house snooper's delight

Book cover with a house on it
New book gives you a peek inside 75 Chicago homes. Photo courtesy of James Caulfield

If you're a fan of open houses or peering into apartments as you ride the L, you'll probably dig "At Home in Chicago: A Living History of Domestic Architecture."

  • The new book by Patrick F. Cannon and photographer James Caulfield presents 350 images of incredible Chicago digs.

Driving the news: The new book takes you inside 75 significant local homes, from an early log cabin to Jeanne Gang's Aqua Tower.

  • Buildings include bungalows, two-flats and mid-century houses, but also the Clarke House (Chicago's oldest surviving residence), Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House and Mies van der Rohe's groundbreaking 860-880 Lake Shore Drive.
Old interior of house
Interiors of the 1836 Clarke House on South Indiana Avenue. Photo courtesy of James Caulfield

The inspiration: While researching the duo's five other books, Cannon said he realized that there were few other books on Chicago homes.

  • "And even most of those had only black and white photos," he tells Axios. "We had done books on Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School architects, but they hadn't come close to exposing the richness of the way people lived in the Chicago area."
Interior of old home
Pullman workers home from "At Home in Chicago." Photo courtesy of James Caulfield

Cannon's favorites: "Wright's Robie House in Hyde Park; Howard Van Doren Shaw's Ragdale in Lake Forest; and Solon Spencer Beman's Pullman complex on Chicago's Far South side. All, as it happens, are available to the public."

Big surprise: "When the late Richard Driehaus spent several hours taking us around his home and explaining its history, furnishings and decorative arts. Oh, and his foundation was responsible for making the book possible!"

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