Chicago Author Releases New Photography Book Displaying Local Cemeteries

Mike Krauser
May 04, 2018 - 11:50 am

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Chicago author and photographer is out with a new book about the art, architecture and the people in local cemeteries.   

Larry Broutman’s coffee table book, Chicago Eternal, explores Chicago history through 350 photographs of the final resting places of noted Chicagoans and those you’ve never heard of dating to the early 1800's. 

“I was first interested in looking at some of the really interesting monuments that exist in cemeteries, but then I began to look more at the people buried there," he said.

People with interesting stories, Broutman said. There are politicians, crime bosses and captains of industry and the city’s fathers. Disasters are even covered - the Great Chicago fire, the Eastland disaster, the Iroquois Theater Fire. 

Broutman admitted that spending four years in local cemeteries did make him think of his own mortality. 

"Mortality is something we should face and understand. Certainly walking through, for the last four years, 35-4 cemeteries it's hard not to," he said.

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He talks about the peacefulness and the beauty of the cemeteries he visited. He never found them creepy, he said, and note he was there in the daytime.

"I was only there during the day. Some people think nights are creepier, but a lot of people use cemeteries almost like parks for jogging, walking and just enjoying the peace. 

His favorite for beauty is Graceland, on Chicago’s North Side.  

"It is absolutely beautiful. I mean a big lake in the middle of the cemetery," Broutman said.

Proceeds from the book are going to two non-profits, the Chicago Lighthouse and Access Living.