Architectural photographer and historical preservationist Richard Nickel would have turned 90 years old on May 31, 2018. To commemorate this significant date and to discuss the relevance of Richard Nickel and current preservation efforts, we are organizing an event as part of MAS Context’s 2018 Spring Talks series with Tim Samuelson, John Vinci, and Bianca Bova.
Photographer and activist Richard Nickel dedicated much of his life documenting and battling to preserve Chicago’s diverse architecture, most notably the work of architect Louis Sullivan. He died on April 13, 1972, when a portion of the Old Chicago Stock Exchange building collapsed on him while trying to salvage a spandrel panel. As noted by the Chicago Landmarks Commission, “After Nickel’s tragic death, his role in bringing attention to Chicago’s historic architecture was widely recognized. His reputation and importance have continued to grow with the publication of [Richard] Cahan’s biography, the display of architectural ornament he salvaged, and as many of his photographs have become iconic images of the city’s historic architecture”