From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
In They All Fall Down: Richard Nickel's Struggle to Save America's Architecture (1994), Cahan presented an eloquent biography of Chicago photographer and pioneering architectural preservationist Richard Nickel (1928-72). Nickel devoted himself to photographing the works of world-renowned architect Louis Sullivan, a mission that turned macabre as one revolutionary building after another was wantonly demolished, and Nickel died in the wreckage of Sullivan's once-magnificent Stock Exchange Building. Cahan and coauthor Williams now present a stunning and heart-wrenching collection of 200 never-before-seen photographs by a man of vision and conviction. A student of Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, Nickel shot covertly prayerful street scenes and portraits. These unexpected gems are followed by a unique and disquieting collection: Nickel's brilliantly composed, extraordinarily detailed, and grandly dimensional photographs of what should have been landmark buildings, pictured both whole and in ruins. Thanks to Cahan and Williams, the losses Nickel so precisely documented are balanced by Nickel's recovered and profoundly evocative photographs, works that testify to the need for preservation, and stand as works of art embodying an elegiac beauty. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2006 Booklist