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Posted November 15, 2007

Book celebrating Garfield Centennial, Inspired by Nature, released


For the past year and a half, Jell Creative has been working closely with authors Julia Bachrach (historian for the Chicago Park District) and Jo Ann Nathan (director of the Jens Jensen Legacy Project) to produce a book celebrating the centennial of the Garfield Conservatory. Julia and Jo Ann have produced an amazing history.

Inspired by Nature: The Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago’s West Side, with a wonderful foreword by Alex Kotlowitz, explores the relationship between this oasis of nature and the surrounding community, and features the reflections of both young and old residents of the neighborhood. The book is rich in names, dates, and anecdotes, but it is also a stunning photo album capturing nearly 140 years of urban society, development, and nature.

In addition to design and proofreading, Jell scanned and painstakingly restored over 135 archival photos of Garfield Park, the Conservatory, and the surrounding West Side community. We also worked with photographer Brook Collins to select 47 full-color contemporary photos.

Inspired by Nature, published by the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance and distributed by The University of Chicago Press, is now widely available in Chicago stores and online at Amazon. We hope you’ll pick up a copy and learn about Chicago’s West Side and early visionaries like William Le Baron Jenney and Jens Jensen.

And yes, between readings, this book will look great on your coffee table. Let us know what you think.

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