Listen to the fascinating long-format radio interview by Studs Terkel of Lois Wille regarding her historical examination of the brave Chicagoans who worked for over a century to protect the Chicago Lakefront from waves of powerful political and financial forces that sought to control it. Lois Wille was a Chicago reporter, editorial writer and author who won two Pulitzer Prizes for her investigative reporting.
“Forever Open, Clear, and Free: The Struggle for Chicago’s Lakefront” was published in 1972 and it remains an must read for anyone interested in protecting the Chicago Lakefront.
“Of the thirty miles of Lake Michigan shoreline within the city limits of Chicago, twenty-four miles is public park land. The crown jewels of its park system, the lakefront parks bewitch natives and visitors alike with their brisk winds, shady trees, sandy beaches, and rolling waves. Like most good things, the protection of the lakefront parks didn’t come easy, and this book chronicles the hard-fought and never-ending battles Chicago citizens have waged to keep them ‘forever open, clear, and free.’
“Illustrated with historic and contemporary photographs, Wille’s book tells how Chicago’s lakefront has survived a century of development. The story serves as a warning to anyone who thinks the struggle for the lakefront is over, or who takes for granted the beauty of its public beaches and parks. (University of Chicago Press Book Review)
“‘A thoroughly fascinating and well-documented narrative which draws the reader into the sights, smells and sounds of Chicago’s story. . . . Everyone who cares about the development of land and its conservation will benefit from reading Miss Wille’s book.’—Daniel J. Shannon, Architectural Forum
“‘Not only good reading, it is also a splendid example of how to equip concerned citizens for their necessary participation in the politics of planning and a more livable environment.’—Library Journal