John Vinci: Life and Landmarks is the first authoritative survey of the life and work of one of Chicago’s most acclaimed architects and preservationists. Long awaited by scholars as well as by architecture aficionados, John Vinci provides an intimate look at an architect whose portfolio spans half a century and includes the restoration of some of the city’s most important historic structures as well as numerous award-winning original projects.
This illustrated biography traces Vinci’s origins as a child of Italian immigrants on Chicago’s South Side and his coming of age at the Illinois Institute of Technology, which was then under the direction of the legendary Modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It follows his career through his subsequent immersion in the historic preservation movement and the work of such early Chicago architects as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and John Wellborn Root.
Vinci’s pioneering restoration projects include Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House and Home Studio, Sullivan’s Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room and the Carson Pirie Scott Building, and Root’s Monadnock Building. His original work, meanwhile, includes notable buildings such as the Arts Club of Chicago, numerous award-winning residences, and more than fifty major exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago and other museums.
John Vinci: Life and Landmarks also features portraits and profiles of Vinci’s friends and mentors over the years, including the architectural photographer Richard Nickel, the landscape designer Alfred Caldwell, the Art Institute curators James Speyer and Anne Rorimer, the architects Crombie Taylor and Myron Goldsmith, and the City of Chicago’s cultural historian Tim Samuelson.
The book includes new photos of twenty projects by noted architectural photographer William Zbaren as well as more than one hundred vintage photos and floorplans from Vinci’s personal archives, many never before published. A comprehensive catalogue raisonné rounds out this handsome and definitive work.