Blair Kamin, a Pulitzer Prize winner, architecture critic of the Chicago Tribune and Red Bank native, has published a new e-book, “The Gates of Harvard Yard,” which uses the latest digital technology to illuminate the historic portals that have become symbols of America’s preeminent university.
The project, the first fully designed e-book published by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, was inspired by a Harvard Wintersession class that Kamin recently co-taught about the 25 gates during a Nieman Fellowship. Drawing upon archival research and in-depth visual analysis, the e-book reveals the art, architecture and history of the exquisite essays in brick, stone and wrought iron.
Born in Red Bank, Kamin is a 1979 graduate of Amherst College and the Yale University School of Architecture from which he received a Master of Environmental Design in 1984. He holds honorary degrees from Monmouth University and North Central College, where he serves as an adjunct professor of art. He has lectured widely and has discussed architecture on programs ranging from ABC’s “Nightline” to WTTW-Ch. 11’s “Chicago Tonight.”
The University of Chicago Press has published two collections of his columns and he also wrote the commentaries for “Tribune Tower: American Landmark,” a guide to the newspaper’s neo-Gothic skyscraper published in 2000.
Kamin is the recipient of more than 30 awards, including the Pulitzer which he received in 1999 for a body of work highlighted by a series of articles about the problems and promise of Chicago’s greatest public space, its lakefront. Among his other honors are the George Polk Award for Criticism (1996), the American Institute of Architects’ Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement (1999) and the AIA’s Presidential Citation, conferred in 2004 in appreciation of the “rhapsodies and scoldings” that have brought architecture to the attention of Chicago’s public. He has twice served as a Pulitzer Prize juror.
Proceeds from the e-book, now available for purchase on iTunes, will go to a fund for journalism innovation at the Nieman Foundation.