On this month’s episode of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, we welcome writer Patrick T. Reardon to discuss his recent book The Loop: The “L” Tracks that Shaped and Saved Chicago

The Loop argues that the rectangular loop of elevated train tracks in downtown Chicago is the single most important structure in Chicago’s history. The book traces the development of the physical structure, but also the effect of the idea–bringing a diverse and divided city together in one concentrated, shared area of commerce, government, culture, and recreation. Though derided over the years as a nuisance–and often threatened to be razed–the loop tracks have become so important and identified with the city, that they lent downtown its name. 

Reardon was the urban affairs writer and a feature writer at the Chicago Tribune during a 33-year career at the newspaper. He is also an essayist, poet, literary critic, and Chicago history expert and brings many disciplines together for a fascinating study that invites you to consider what makes Chicago a unique world city. 

You can check out The Loop: The “L” Tracks that Shaped and Saved Chicago here at the Library. Or learn more about our guest on his website patricktreardon.com

Thank you for listening to our 46th episode! Each month we release an episode featuring conversations with notable guests, including authors, artists, and leaders from Deerfield, Chicagoland, and around the world. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page.

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