New Book Celebrates Classic Images of Chicago

Richard Cahan and Michael Williams spend a lot of time digging through old photos of Chicago. 

Together they have created 14 stunning books that highlight street photography, architecture and even 1970s South Side nightclubs.

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Their latest is “Chicago: Classic Photographs,” was inspired by a single photo. In 1969, Jonas Dovydenas photographed an ironworker on the job at the John Hancock Center, more than a thousand feet above the city.

(Photo: Jonas Dovydenas)(Photo: Jonas Dovydenas)

Cahan and Williams say they agreed that this was the most classic photo ever taken of Chicago and they wondered, remembers Cahan, “what other photographs would be considered classic? What other photographs would reach that same standard?”

The resulting book includes more than 200 images by nearly 100 photographers. 

Cahan, a former Sun-Times photo editor, and Williams, a photographer himself, join host Phil Ponce in discussion.    

  • (Photo: Art Shay)

    (Photo: Art Shay)

  • (Photo: Barbara Crane)

    (Photo: Barbara Crane)

  • (Photo: Diane Joy Schmidt)

    (Photo: Diane Joy Schmidt)

  • (Photo: Robert C. Florian)

    (Photo: Robert C. Florian)

  • (Photo: Jonas Dovydenas)

    (Photo: Jonas Dovydenas)

  • (Photo: Bill Sturm)

    (Photo: Bill Sturm)

  • (Photo: Dave Mann)

    (Photo: Dave Mann)

  • (Photo: Mickey Rito)

    (Photo: Mickey Rito)

  • (Photo: James Blair)

    (Photo: James Blair)

  • (Photo: Bill Sturm)

    (Photo: Bill Sturm)

  • (Photo: Gordon Coster)

    (Photo: Gordon Coster)

  • (Photo: Robert C. Florian)

    (Photo: Robert C. Florian)

  • (Photo: Bill Sturm)

    (Photo: Bill Sturm)

  • (Photo: Richard Nickel)

    (Photo: Richard Nickel)

  • (Photo: Russell Lee)

    (Photo: Russell Lee)

  • (Photo: Danny Lyon)

    (Photo: Danny Lyon)

  • (Photo: Ron Gordon)

    (Photo: Ron Gordon)

  • (Photo: Harold Allen)

    (Photo: Harold Allen)

  • (Photo: Aaron Siskind)

    (Photo: Aaron Siskind)

  • (Photo: Scott Strazzante)

    (Photo: Scott Strazzante)

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