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Lost in America

Photographing the Last Days of our Architectural Treasures

208 pages
Cityfiles Press

Lost in America documents the life and death of America's architectural and historic treasures. The book is based on a remarkable archive created by the Historic American Building Survey (HABS), a Works Progress Administration project that still documents the nation's most important buildings. This book focuses on buildings that have been torn down over the past 90 years.

Lost in America tells the story of 100 structures. Some—like New York's Penn Station and Chicago's Stock Exchange—were majestic. Others—like a tiny bridge in rural Montana and a small farmstead torn down for Denver's International Airport—were modest. But they all reflected America's story before they were razed. Lost in America also tells the story of this country's love-hate relationship with historic architecture. We Americans talk about the importance of saving our past, but we are a nation compelled to change.

The photos and words in Lost in America are meant to be a soundless supplication for the need to embrace and save our past. We hope the book will open the eyes of people who don't think seriously about the importance of historic preservation. We also hope it will be cherished by others who do.

Author Bio
Richard Cahan is the author of twelve books including an acclaimed history of the federal court in Chicago, A Court That Shaped America. Cahan was the director of CITY 2000 and also served as the picture editor of the Chicago Sun-Times for 16 years.Michael Williams is a writer, designer, and publisher who has produced more than a twenty-five books. He is the coauthor of sixteen books, including River of Blood: American Slavery From the People Who Lived it, Chicago Exposed, Richard Nickel's Chicago, Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows, Barack Obama: Uncommon Grace, and Who We Were: A Snapshot History of America. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.