Southern Exposure (Paperback)

The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago's South Side (Second to None: Chicago Stories)

By Lee Bey, Amanda Williams (Foreword by)

Northwestern University Press, 9780810140981, 192pp.

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

List Price: 30.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago’s South Side is the first book devoted to the South Side’s rich and unfairly ignored architectural heritage. With lively, insightful text and gallery-quality color photographs
by noted Chicago architecture expert Lee Bey, Southern Exposure documents the remarkable and largely unsung architecture of the South Side. The book features an array of landmarks—from a Space Age dry cleaner to a nineteenth-century lagoon that meanders down the middle of a working-class neighborhood street—that are largely absent from arts discourse, in no small part because they sit in a predominantly African American and Latino
section of town better known as a place of disinvestment, abandonment, and violence. 

Inspired by Bey’s 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial exhibition, Southern Exposure visits sixty sites, including lesser-known but important work by luminaries such as Jeanne Gang, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Eero Saarinen, as well as buildings by pioneering black architects such as Walter T. Bailey, John Moutoussamy, and Roger Margerum. 

Pushing against the popular  narrative that depicts Chicago’s South Side as an architectural wasteland, Bey shows beautiful and intact buildings and neighborhoods  that reflect the value—and potential—of the area. Southern Exposure offers much to delight architecture aficionados and writers, native Chicagoans and guests to the city alike.

About the Author

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 ArchitectChicago magazine, Architectural Record, and many news outlets. His photography has appeared in Chicago Architect, Old-House JournalCITE, 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 a visual artist who trained as an architect. Her works have been exhibited widely and are included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She lives and works on the South Side of Chicago.

Praise For Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago's South Side (Second to None: Chicago Stories)

“Southern Exposure is a 35mm love story. Just like relationships, the buildings that Bey photographs reflect our affection and our neglect, and remind us of why we are so devoted to Chicago’s South Side. Through these truly awe-some images, we are inspired to stop, behold, and not take these treasures for granted.” —Mary Pattillo, author of Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City