Lost in America: Photographing the Last Days of Our Architectural Treasures By Richard Cahan and Michael Williams

Thoughts about Lost in America: Photographing the Last Days of Our Architectural Treasures by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams. Tweet credit: @Lady Topham Catt

“‘In this arresting collection, historians Cahan and Williams spotlight architectural jewels of America’s yesteryear in photographs taken between 1933 and the present by the government-run Historic American Buildings Survey… While a dignified beauty suffuses these pages, a looming sense of tragedy is inescapable as well: ‘a number of these structures were fought for… most slipped away unnoticed.’ It’s a bittersweet record that gives worthy due to the spaces that shaped a bygone era.” — Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)

“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, a Works Progress Administration project that still documents the nation’s most important buildings.

“Lost in America focuses on 100 buildings that have been torn down over the past 90 years. 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 razed for Denver’s International Airport―were modest. But they all reflected America’s story. Using haunting black-and-white images by the nation’s top architectural photographers, the book presents a timely look at what we’ve lost.”

Hardcover
208 pages
Online price $40.00

Also available: a special slipcase with a Richard Nickel photo of Chicago’s Republic Building signed by the authors in a limited edition of 100.
Online Price: $100.00

Link to purchase Lost in America: Photographing the Last Days of Our Architectural Treasures by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams at CityFiles Press

Before the Wrecking Ball Swung, A new volume of photographs taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey captures the program’s wide influence on architectural culture, Martin Filler, The New York Review, 11/9/23

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