Skip to product information
1 of 2

ISBN 9781948742573

Midwest Architecture Journeys

Regular price $40.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $40.00 USD
Sale Sold out


Edited by Zach Mortice, with an introduction by Alexandra Lange
October 15, 2019

“The Midwest finally gets its due through essays penned by architects and critics, who shine a much-deserved spotlight on the region’s architecture, from its celebrated landmarks to its lesser-known projects.” 

Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright may be the Midwest’s (and the nation’s) most famous architects, but the region has always been fertile ground for both master and amateur builders. Through a gorgeous array of photographs and short essays, Midwest Architecture Journeys takes readers on a trip to visit some of the region’s most inventive buildings by architects such as Bertrand Goldberg, Bruce Goff, David Haid, Earl Young, and Lillian Leenhouts. It also includes stops at less obvious but equally daring sites, such as:

  • The Cahokia mounds 
  • Buffalo grain silos
  • Flint parking lots 
  • Dayton flea markets 
  • Fermilab 
  • New Glarus restaurants 
  • Minneapolis underground buildings 
  • Bronzeville churches
  • Pruitt-Igoe public housing 
  • Cleveland’s abandoned warehouses 

This “vital collection of essays,” full of stunning photographs, proves that what might seem flat is actually monumental, and what we assume to be boring is brimming with experimentation. 

The “perfect coffee table book” that’s also perfect for your next road trip.

Zach Mortice is a design journalist who focuses on architecture and landscape architecture. He’s written for Metropolis, CityLab, Architectural Record, Architect Magazine, Places Journal, Chicago Magazine, and is the web editor for Landscape Architecture Magazine. Zach lives in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, and if you listen closely, you can hear the rumble of the red line el train in his interview tapes. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @zachmortice.

Praise for Midwest Architecture Journeys

"The Midwest finally gets its due through essays penned by architects and critics, who shine a much-deserved spotlight on the region’s architecture, from its celebrated landmarks to its lesser-known projects." -- Metropolis Magazine's Gift Guide 2019

"Those who dismiss it as flyover country likely picture wide open spaces — flat and unexciting. Those who know slightly better but haven’t spent any serious time pondering the area probably first think of Frank Lloyd Wright or big glass buildings. But the architecture in the Midwest is so much more: weird, innovative, sophisticated and above all, diverse, ranging from the oddball designs of Bertrand Goldberg (who designed Chicago’s famous Marina Towers) and the socially conscious work of Lillian Leenhouts to unheralded anonymous gems like flea markets, grain silos, rest stops, indigenous mounds and parking lots." -- Bonnie Stiernberg in Inside Hook

"Have you ever discovered a unique building or a special place and asked: why have I never heard of this before? This enthralling collection is a reminder to all of us that art and culture can be what happens when people get up day after day and simply get to work. Together, these essays expand our idea of what American architecture is, and send us out on the road with our eyes wide open." --Michael Bierut, partner, Pentagram Design and co-founder, Design Observer

"There's poetry in these descriptions of our flat, fertile places, and reading them is a meditative way to wallow in Midwesternness. These stories are both a fantastic guide for lazy weekend road trips, and invitations for much deeper study into the Midwest's singular architectural legacy." --Carol Ross Barney, founderRoss Barney Architects


Table of Contents

Alexandra Lange


Out of Earth: The Cahokia Mounds and the Radix of Midwestern Monuments
Jordan Hicks

Silos, Celebrated and Lonesome
Lynn Freehill-Maye

Under the Big Dome: The Modernist Nightmare That Buried Little Harlem
Dante A. Ciampaglia

The Geo-ornithology of Detroit
Bryan Boyer

Flea Market Urbanism
Samantha Sanders


Making Nature Present: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Magazine House in Iowa
Daniel Naegele

Louis Sullivan in Central Ohio
Milenko Budimir

The Flamboyant Futurism of Bruce Goff
Allison C. Meier

Bertrand Goldberg’s Temple to Futures Past
Zach Mortice

David Haid’s Archive
Joe Frank

Lillian Leenhouts’s Milwaukee Eco-Socialism
Monica Obniski

The Packard Presence in Columbus, Ohio
Amanda Page

Stories in the Stones: Earl Young’s Boulder Buildings
Jonathan Rinck

The Architecture of Fermilab: Building a Quirky Science Lab in the Middle of an Illinois Cornfield
Matthew R. Francis

“The Projects”: Lost Public Housing Towers of the Midwest
Michael R. Allen


Finding the Sacred in the Secrets of Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis
Sophie Durbin

Estranged Twin Cities: Gary and Magnitogorsk
Eric Lawler

How the Purcell-Cutts House Defined Modernity, and Me
Jennifer Komar Olivarez

Beneath the Cross in Bronzeville
Mark Clemens

The Flat Lots of Flint: A Liminal State of Mind
Bob Campbell

Please Return Again
Monica Reida

Zion in Lawndale
Asher Kohn

Flex Cleveland
Erik Piepenburg


Amy Elliott Bragg

Iowa Rest Areas as Cultural Landscape: A Journey in Haiku
Randy Brown

Groundscraper City: Touring the Subterranean Structures of Minneapolis-St. Paul, 1978–1983
Andy Sturdevant

Form Follows Values: New Glarus Brewing Company’s Hilltop Brewery
Bill Savage

From Spectacular to Vernacular
David M. Trubek

Yesterday’s Tomorrow: The Afterlife of the Century of Progress Homes of Tomorrow
Lindsay Fullerton

Ruin and Porn
Ryan Scavnicky

An Abridged History of the Tallest Buildings in the Midwest
Corey Smith

See also: 

Urbanism Essentials Bundle


  • Special Offers and Discounts

    Keep up with the newest title, sales, and events (plus the occasional meme) from Belt Publishing by signing up for our newsletter. It’s only once a week—no cluttering up your inbox.