Chicago is not typically designated in dream-like terms. If anything, its nostalgia is evoked through a mythology of its icy literalness. It is, after all, the poster-city of American industrial power, sweet home to ruthless gangsters and red-faced politicians. But the heartland capital has proven a more elusive subject than its big-shouldered image allows. Beyond its bricks and mortar, Chicago is a beguiling space. For years, the ‘Second City’ has been overlooked in favor of the more urbane New York and the glitterati of Los Angeles. Yet quietly, the Midwestern “City that Works” has taken the world’s center stage.

Chicagoland is a photographic dream journey through what many term The Most American City. Beyond a hotter hand for the Olympic bid or infrastructural earmarks, Obama’s election to the presidency reflects the straight-thinking values historically associated with Chicago and in doing so, brings the world’s gaze to its lakeshores. Unlike the older east coast cities with their Anglo colonial roots, Chicago has always been the working immigrant’s kind of town. The adage that to understand Chicago is to understand America has perhaps never been so much the case.

Stud Terkel's Chicago.
Regina Waldroup checks her make-up before leaving her house for work during the year 2000.
A day in the life of America Chicago Style.
Stud Terkel's Chicago.
Stud Terkel's Chicago.
Stud Terkel's Chicago.