Chicago doesn’t have an inordinate concentration of Brutalist buildings. Cities that came up or had a boom during Brutalism’s heyday doubtless have many more. But I’m in Chicago, and I know the buildings are here…somewhere. I’m trying to find them all and post them here.
If you’re unfamiliar with “Brutalism”, it’s a style of Modernist architecture that flourished in the 1960s and 70s, characterized by heavy, geometric forms. The unappealing (but in some ways apt) moniker comes from the French béton brut, which means “raw concrete”—concrete construction being another common characteristic of the style. Brutalist buildings can be minimal and functional or take on daring and experimental forms.
I was surprised not to find any sites on Brutalism in Chicago, since this town takes it’s architecture pretty seriously. I hope to get this site packed full, so please email me if you know of places I should visit. These are all my own photos now, though I may have some other contributors eventually.
Speaking of, please don’t use any image from this site without asking first. I’ll almost certainly say o.k.
— Shawn Hazen