About Giants in the Park

“'Giants in the Park' is an essential item for any Chicago lover’s bookshelf.” ​​
-- Rick Kogan, WGN

Giants in the Park https://www.amazon.com/Giants-Park-Portrait-Statues-Chicagos/dp/0996432302/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1523152452&sr=8-1&keywords=giants+in+the+park&dpID=51iK4WeuWHL&preST=_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

An Art and History Guidebook

2011 Book of the Year Chicago Writers Association
2014 Certificate of Excellence Illinois State Historical Society
Giants in the Park is a history guide for the monuments in Lincoln Park, Chicago's largest and, historically, most important park. Monumental art encountered with this walking tour guidebook include "Lincoln the Man," La Salle, Grant, Sheridan, Schiller, Goethe, Altgeld ... seventeen portrait statues in all. Missing monuments and salient park history are documented as well.
     'Lincoln the Man' is the most important statue on the tour and is a masterpiece of Augustus Saint Gaudens, the ranking American sculptor of his era.
     The bronze of the French explorer La Salle is the most significant to Chicago's history. At it's unveiling in 1889, La Salle was celebrated as the man "to whose geographical discoveries American civilization owes a heavy debt."
     The history behind each and every statue is unique and exciting. Throughout the book, connections exist to a wide variety of topics:
  • the 1893 World's Fair
  • the Haymarket Riot
  • the Chicago Fire
  • the Civil War and Camp Douglas
  • early Chicago ethnic groups
  • the Chicago City Cemetery
  • Charles Yerkes
  • the WCTU and the temperance movement
  • Mayor Carter Harrison and much more!
     Lincoln Park's monumental art invites us to explore the old, to study the heroes of our Chicago forefathers, and through examining the realization of their likenesses, to glimpse moments and ideals from our great city's youth. 


Great Book!


Hi Krista, I just finished reading Giants in the Park, and I wanted to pass along my praise. The book struck an excellent balance between being well-researched, thorough, concise, and entertaining. In each chapter, you did a really good job of selecting material that would interest readers. I really enjoyed reading it. 

Little book, big story

Giants in the Park brings the statues of Lincoln Park to life.  It includes a collection of crisp, clear and well-researched stories about the people depicted by these bronze figures as well as the people who funded and sculpted these historical treasurers.

Who knew that the park is home to 16 portrait statues, depicting giants from LaSalle to Lincoln and Shakespeare to Sheridan? With this book in hand, one could visit them all over a day or two – as well as the sites of seven statues that have gone missing!

But Giants in the Park is more than a guidebook. It’s an important contribution to our understanding of the times and events, donors and artists, social movements and political forces that not only account for these precious works of public art but also contributed to Chicago’s growth and development. As these statues tell their stories through Krista August, we learn more about our remarkable city.

As a docent for the Chicago History Museum who used to give tours of Lincoln Park, I wish this book had been published long ago.
This lovely book, which is accented by the author’s watercolors of the statues, belongs on everyone’s Chicago-history bookshelf.

- Greg Borzo, author of The Chicago “L” and Where to Bike Chicago: Best Biking in City and Suburbs”


Activity Book for Growing Giants

2017 Certificate of Excellence Illinois State Historical Society

Giants in the Park ACTIVITY BOOK is designed to engage students with coloring pages, primary source material, text highlighting notable history, multidisciplinary activities and 36 mini statue and park-themed stickers. 
Students will explore online:
  • National Park Service
  • National Gallery of Art
  • ​Friends of the Chicago Portage
  • Hidden Truths: The Chicago City Cemetery and Lincoln Park
  • Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory
  • National Museum of American History
  • Chicago Public Library's online collection of the Chicago Tribune Historical Archives
  • Library of Congress
  • Westegg Inflation Calculator

      The statues and their histories determined the learning opportunities, so the exercises vary with respect to age level. 
     Eight of the park’s seventeen portrait statues are featured with learning activities, and an additional five monuments are highlighted with coloring pages. Less common words are introduced in the text to help young readers grow their vocabularies, while a glossary is provided to support student understanding.​

... bought for my two nieces that live in Chicago and they loved it. Very interesting, creative and educational way to see Chicago from a very unique perspective.  Highly recommend. 
-- Amazon review

A beautifully written, engaging work book for young students. A must buy! ... fun, and engaging workbook for young students. It is also a "Reader's Digest" version for adults! 
-- Amazon review

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