Centerstage - Chicago's Original City Guide

Virtual L ®

Virtual L Locations Near Prairie Avenue BookshopWhat's near Prairie Avenue Bookshop?

in South Loop or Library on the Pink line or Jackson on the Red line

Chicago Bookstores
By Styles
Reviews by Patrons
Search for Books
Find an error?
Are you the owner?
Tell Us Here

CRUMB and FestFile is Centerstage Chicago's Weekly E-Newsletter.
Enter your email to get
our weekly newsletter:

Prairie Avenue Bookshop

View Map418 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago
Tel: (312) 922-8311
Fax: (312) 922-5184
View Website
Details Find What Else Is Nearby Prairie Avenue Bookshop User Reviews

Editorial Review of Prairie Avenue Bookshop

Praire Avenue Bookshop
photo: courtesy of Prairie Avenue Bookshop

A Mecca for architecture buffs that's pleasant enough for the blueprint-allergic, the Prairie Avenue Bookshop is the largest architectural bookstore in the world. The mini-museum of sorts features design ornaments and furniture from 20th Century heavyweights like Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe. Even more impressive is its inventory, more than 14,000 titles compiled by prominent historians and professors serving as a standard bibliography for architects, academics and bibliophiles.

Born in the early 1960s as headquarters of the Prairie School Press and subsequent preservation movement, the shop brought together the forefathers of Chicago's indigenous building styles and the historians who loved them. As the press expanded from a small imprint to an industry touchstone, so the shop grew and relocated to Printer's Row and then, in 1995, to its current location. It's become one of the most respected independent book stores in the country, running a worldwide mail order service and hosting frequent book signings.

If you have even a passing interest in aesthetics, the magazine rack and selection of fancy coffee table books will keep you busy. From there you can move up the stairs to the mass-market titles and textbooks, then to the out-of-print titles and signed first editions. Pore over your findings at the reading space's massive Scottish bankers table, which could make anyone feel like a master builder.

Centerstage Reviewer: Justin Sondak

Styles Tagged To Prairie Avenue Bookshop

none found.

User Reviews

Read other people's reviews and post your own opinion about Prairie Avenue Bookshop too!


10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday

Directions to Prairie Avenue Bookshop

Our directions are included with our maps of Prairie Avenue Bookshop
Prairie Avenue Bookshop was mentioned in these articles...

Text Support, 1/1/09
Whether you're in school or not, these tome-filled shops will make you want to hit the books.


chicago, metromix