• Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago's South Side
    Lee Bey
    Amanda Williams
    Northwestern University Press, 2019
    Northwestern University Press

Lee Bey, Pride Cleaners, 558 East Seventy-Ninth Street, Chicago, IL, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago's South Side, by Lee Bey, is the first book devoted to the South Side's rich vein of architecture and urban design. Through lively text and gallery-worthy photography, Southern Exposure spotlights more than 60 architecturally significant sites across an area of Chicago that has faced intense disinvestment. The book features works by luminaries such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, Eero Saarinen, and Frederick Law Olmsted—designs largely unseen because of their marginalized geography. Other architects profiled, such as W.T. Bailey, John Moutoussamy, and the firm Ryder Morrison & Margerum, are black designers doubly ignored because of their buildings’ locations and outright racism. Dozens of other vernacular designs are largely absent from Chicago’s dominant branding as an architectural city, from the spectacular Space-Age dry cleaners on 79th Street, to more than a mile of historic greystones on Martin Luther King Drive in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

Lee Bey is a photographer, writer, lecturer, and consultant who documents and interprets the built environment—and the often complex political, social, and racial forces that shape spaces and places. His writing on architecture and urban design has been featured in Architect, Chicago magazine, Architectural Record, and many news outlets. His photography has appeared in Chicago Architect, Old-House Journal, CITE, and in international design publications, including Bauwelt and Modulør. A former Chicago Sun-Times architecture critic, Bey is also a senior lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and served as deputy chief of staff for urban planning under former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley.

Amanda Williams is an artist and architect whose installations, paintings, video, and other works draw attention to complexities of race, place, and value in American cities. She has had a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and exhibited at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale and the Art Institute of Chicago, among other venues. In addition to winning numerous fellowships, Williams is a member of the design team for the Obama Presidential Center and is the Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives and works on Chicago’s South Side.

Northwestern University Press is dedicated to publishing works of enduring scholarly and cultural value, extending the university's mission to a community of readers throughout the world.