Individual Author Record
Name: Richard NickelPen Name: None Genre: Non-Fiction Other Born: 1928 in Chicago, Il Sites:
Illinois ConnectionRichard was born and raised in the Humbolt Park area of Chicago, Il.
Biographical and Professional InformationDuring the urban regeneration of the 1960s and 1970s, scores of 19th century buildings in Chicago were being demolished. Among these were the works of Louis Sullivan and members of the Prairie School. By this time many of the buildings were neglected, with little public interest in their retention. Nickel encountered Sullivan's work while photographing the architect's buildings for a school project at the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago under Aaron Siskind. Studying and photographing Sullivan's buildings quickly became an obsession for him. Ultimately, he devoted much of his life to photographing them, hoping to produce a comprehensive photographic compendium.Nickel was killed on April 13, 1972, while attempting to obtain more items, when a portion of the Chicago Stock Exchange building collapsed on him. He is buried in Chicago's Graceland Cemetery, not very far from where Sullivan is buried. He was just 44 years old.In 2010 the archives of Richard Nickel were donated to the Art Institute of Chicago.
- Architectural photographs by Richard Nickel, University of Illinois, 1973
- They All Fall Down: Richard Nickel's Struggle to Save America's Architecture (Richard Cahan), Wiley, 1995
- Richard Nickel's Chicago: Photographs of a Lost City(Richard Cahan and Michael Williams), City Files Press, 2008
- The Complete Architecture of Adler & Sullivan(withAaron Siskind, John Vinci and Ward Miller) , Richard Nickel Committee;, 2010
Titles At Your Library
Architectural photographs by Richard Nickel
ISBN: B0006WDKTK University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. 1973
They All Fall Down: Richard Nickel's Struggle to Save America's Architecture
ISBN: 0471144266 Wiley. 1994
"Richard Nickel, whom I had the delight of knowing during his all too brief life, is one of the unsung heroes of Chicago architecture. He was not an architect himself, nor a designer. He simply took pictures, but what pictures! He was, for want of a better description, one of the most sensitive of architectural photographers. More than that, his life—and ironically, tragically and poetically, his death—were fused to Chicago architecture. How he died tells us how he lived: for the beauty in the works of Sullivan, Wright and the others. His story is one that must be told."
"He was completely understanding of architecture and genius and of the quality of the work he was dealing with. He was single-minded in his pursuit and dedication to quality in history, art and architecture. That is an increasingly rare quality."
"Richard was an excellent photographer—sensitive and intelligent, and a very good craftsman".
"Richard Nickel was one of those who saw architecture, and who passionately and skillfully pursued its portrayal. He was one of a very small number, and to make his work known would be a fundamental service to architects, students, and teachers as well as to the art of architecture."
Richard Nickel's Chicago: Photographs of a Lost City
ISBN: 0978545028 CityFiles Press. 2008
Richard Nickel is an urban legend of sorts. He is remembered for his brave and lonely stand to protect Chicago's great architecture, and for his dramatic death in the rubble of the Stock Exchange Building. He is remembered, too, for the photographs he left behind. This is a book about one man's relationship with his city, a remarkably personal story told through compelling photographs. Richard Nickel's Chicago is for people who love the city, and for people all over the world who value city life.
The Complete Architecture of Adler & Sullivan
ISBN: 0966027329 Richard Nickel Committee. 2010 Louis Sullivan (1856–1924) was a giant of architecture, the father of architectural modernism, and one of the earliest builders of the skyscraper. Along with Dankmar Adler (1844–1900) he designed many of the buildings that defined nineteenth-century architecture not only in Chicago but in cities across America—and continue to be admired today. Among their iconic designs are the former Chicago Stock Exchange, Chicago’s Auditorium Building and Carson Pirie Scott flagship store, the Wainwright Building in St. Louis, and the Guaranty Building in Buffalo. This first-of-its-kind catalogue raisonné of the work of Adler and Sullivan—both as a team and individual architects—is a lavish celebration of the designs of these two seminal architects who paved the way for the modern skylines that continue to inspire city dwellers today.
The quest to pull together a complete catalogue of their work was first undertaken in 1952 by photographer Aaron Siskind and Richard Nickel, one of his graduate students at what is now the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. This intense, decades-long labor of love has resulted in an extensive and unique resource that includes a complete listing of all of the buildings and projects undertaken by Adler and Sullivan. Each listing contains historic photographs, architectural plans (when available), and a description of each project. Alongside over two and hundred fifty essays are eight hundred photographs of their buildings—many of which have since been demolished—including images by Nickel, Siskind, and other noted photographers.
This rich, incomparable reference will be treasured by readers interested in architecture, photography, and Chicago’s rich history as an architectural mecca.