Chicago is the greatest of American cities when it comes to architecture from the decades around the turn of the century. Burnham, Sullivan, Wright, van der Rohe--the list goes on and on. But it was also at the center of the Art Deco mania that took over the world for a time. As Robert Breugmann makes clear in one of my favorite coffee table books of the year, Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America, everything from household objects to trains to buildings were affected. More than just a history, Breugmann's book is also a rich guide to the city's overlooked corners filled with absolute gems from the Art Deco period. Pictured here is the theater of the Civic Opera Building, 20 North Wacker Drive, which was completed in 1929 by the architects Graham, Anderson, Probst & White.