Friday, December 16, 2005

Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago

Author Denis R. McNamara and photographer James Morris have created a visually stunning and carefully researched book that encompasses some of the most significant Catholic churches of Chicago, addressing both their architectural and theological significance. Color photographs beautifully illustrate the insightful text. It is a book suitable for those interested in local history, architectural achievement, theological awareness, or those who simply desire to glory in the visual beauty of Chicago's historic churches.

Features over 200 striking color photographs of more than 60 churches and chapels
Addresses church buildings as both examples of architectural movements and sacramental images of the Heavenly City of Jerusalem (Rv. 21:1)
Has broad appeal for pilgrims, architects, and historians, both casual observers and serious students.

Heavenly City is available through the publisher, Liturgy Training Publications, at 800-933-1800 or You may also buy a copy at local bookstores. For a list of stores, visit

Author Denis R. McNamara, an architectural historian who specializes in American church architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He has written and lectured widely on the history and theology of ecclesiastical architecture, and had served on the Art and Architecture Commission of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is currently Assistant Director and faculty member at the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, and serves as a liturgical design consultant.

Photographer James Morris specializes in architectural and cultural subjects from around the world, working with publishers, magazines and architects, including his recent book published in 2000, Churches of London (Contemporary Books). In 2004 he published the monograph Butabu: Adobe Architecture of West Africa, of which The New York Times commented, "The British photographer James Morris easily takes the palm for the year's most haunting architectural images." His work is exhibited in both Europe and the United States and has been awarded prizes by, among others, Chicago's Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the United Kingdom's Design and Art Directors Guild. He currently lives in Wales.

To speak of Chicago architecture is to call to mind the names of Daniel Burnham, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and Mies van der Rohe. But Chicago's rich array of architectural offerings includes other names as well, architects whose work Chicagoans have come to live with like old friends and which still inspires visitors to the city. The spires and domes of Chicago's Catholic churches seen while driving on the expressways or walking through South Shore, Lincoln Park, Old Town, or Garfield Park neighborhoods are not only familiar landmarks for the passerby, but comfortable second homes for millions of Chicagoans. This book is intended to put these city-wide architectural treasures on display, a source of pride for those who know them well and think of them as their own, and a source of information for those drawn to them by their history and beauty. -- from the Preface

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