Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Lawrence Okrent  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1943 in Detroit, Michigan

-- Website --
-- Lawrence Okrent on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

An Illinois resident since enrolling as a graduate student at Northwestern University in 1966, in his professional career Mr. Okrent has created a portfolio of more than 25,000 aerial photographs of the Chicago and the surrounding region.

Biographical and Professional Information

Lawrence Okrent is a Chicago-based urban planning and zoning consultant. After a ten-year affiliation with the Architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, he established his own practice, Okrent Associares, Inc., in 1979. In addition to its planning and zoning work, Okrent Associates provides services in aerial photography, mapping and graphic design.Most of Okrent's consulting assignments have been in the City of Chicago, where he assisted in securing approval for numerous prominent planned developments, including the Museum of Contemporary Art and Michigan Avenue's Park Tower; and he expansions of the Adler Planetarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Musuem of Natural History.Mr. Okrent has served as the professional affiliate member of the American Institute of Architects Chicago Chapter Board of Directors; and is currently a member of the Planning and Advocacy Committee of the Chicago Loop Alliance, the honorary land economics society Lambda Alpha, the Realty Club of Chicago and the Cliff Dwellers Club.A 1966 graduate of the University of Michigan and recipient of a Master's degree from Northwestern University (1968), Mr. Okrent is a long time resident of Evanston, where he has served on the City's Plan Commission, and as a member of the board of the Evanston Art Center.Mr. Okrent is the brother of Daniel Okrent, author of "Great Fortune: The Saga of Rockefeller Center" and "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition." He is also the father of Arika Okrent, author of "In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers and the Mad Dreamers who tried to Build a Perfect Language."

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Chicago From The Sky: A Region Transformed
ISBN: 097886638X

Chicago's Books Press. 2012

This large format (11 x 11) book offers a 248-page pictorial history--from an aerial perspective--of the far-reaching change that has occurred in Chicago and its region in the span of a single generation, between 1985 and 2010. This history is presented through more than 250 color photographs by Mr. Okrent, and a complementary selection of maps and historic images drawn from his personal collections. Spare, highly informative text and picture captions serve to broaden the reader's understanding of the period covered. The book includes 92 illustrated articles on subjects as diverse as the creation of the Museum Campus, the demise of a bygone era of public housing, the evolution of the city's signature sports venues, and the revival of historic city neighborhoods, such as Chinatown, Wicker Park and the Near South Side. Suburban Chicago is covered, as well, with articles that dramatically illustrate the character of the change that has occurred, largely unnoticed, beyond the city limits. Indeed, the story of change chronicled in these pages is perhaps more dramatic than that of any other era of comparable duration, probably even including the period immediately following the great fire of 1871. For those who recall the 1980s, this work will evoke recollections of a truly bygone era. For those who did not experience it first hand, it will serve as a reminder that Chicago, among all cities, welcomes change, celebrates change, and regards change as one of its distinguishing features.

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