Chicago is known the world over for its architecture and theater, as well as a myriad of other tourist sights. Visitors, however, usually only see the “nice” parts of the city, mostly the heavily gentrified corridor between the Loop’s business district and the baseball shrine of Wrigley Field.
But every city has its dark and dirty side, and Chicago is no exception. Economic upheaval and racial segregation, as well as the more mundane ravages of time, have created pockets of blight and abandonment. The strange transformations brought on by years of decay can be both tragic and beautiful.
This effect is all the more poignant when it happens a stone’s throw from the opulence of the Magnificent Mile. The photos within showcase the area’s neglected, sometimes forgotten places, from shuttered industrial areas to churches whose congregations have moved on.
This book presents portraits of the old, abandoned and off-the-beaten-path places across all of Chicagoland. See what happens when the doors close, nature takes over, and the din of humanity fades away.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Jerry Olejniczak has been awed by places abandoned, forgotten, or otherwise on the sidelines of society since he was a kid. On trips to his family’s native Poland, he would thrill at the post-WWII ruins or empty construction sites he could visit in the then Eastern-Bloc country. As an adult, he began to cautiously try his hand at exploring the abandoned buildings he would pass occasionally at work. Soon, he bought a camera to document the unique beauty of the places he was finding. Jerry has lived most of his life in or around Chicago. He currently resides in Oak Park, Illinois, with his wife and two cats.