ARCHITECT LOUIS SULLIVAN Louis Henry Sullivan (September3, 1856 – April 14, 1924) An American architect Called the ―FATHER OFSKYSCRAPERS‖ An influential architect andcritic of the Chicago School A mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright,and an inspiration to theChicago group of architectswho have come to be knownas the Prairie School. Sullivan is one of "therecognized trinity of Americanarchitecture― He posthumously receivedthe AIA Gold Medal in 1944.
born to Irish and Swedish immigrants in 1856 grew up at grandparent’s farm learning things aboutnature spent a lot of time around Boston exploring and looking at buildings studied architecture at Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology entered at the age of 16 he left MIT in a year to live in Pennsylvania then he went to Chicago, where he worked with the fatherof the skyscraper, William Le Baron went to Paris in 1874 studied at Ecole des Beaux-Arts returned to Chicago in 1875 got a job as a draftsman in theoffice of Joseph S. Johnson & John Edelman left Johnson in 1879 worked in the office of Dankmar Adler the firm of Adler & Sullivan designed over 180 buildingsduring its existence
Sullivan and the steel high-rise The taller the building, the more strain this placed onthe lower sections of the building; since there wereclear engineering limits to the weight such "load-bearing" walls could sustain, large designs meantmassively thick walls on the ground floors, anddefinite limits on the buildings height. The development of cheap, versatile steel in thesecond half of the 19th century changed those rules. A much more urbanized society was forming and thesociety called out for new, larger buildings. The mass production of steel was the main drivingforce behind the ability to build skyscrapers duringthe mid-1880s. Louis Sullivan coined the phrase "form ever followsfunction", which, shortened to "form follows function,"would become the great battle-cry of modernistarchitects.
Philosophy Louis Sullivan coined the phrase "form ever followsfunction", This credo, which placed the demands of practical useabove aesthetics, would later be taken by influentialdesigners to imply that decorative elements, whicharchitects call "ornament," were superfluous in modernbuildings. But Sullivan himself neither thought nor designed alongsuch dogmatic lines during the peak of his career. Indeed, while his buildings could be spare and crisp in theirprincipal masses, he often punctuated their plain surfaceswith eruptions of lush Art Nouveau and something likeCeltic Revival decorations, usually cast in iron or terracotta, and ranging from organic forms like vines and ivy, tomore geometric designs, and interlace, inspired by his Irishdesign heritage. Terra cotta is lighter and easier to work with than stonemasonry. Sullivan used it in his architecture because it hada malleability that was appropriate for his ornament.
Probably the most famous example is the writhing greenironwork that covers the entrance canopies of the CarsonPirie Scott store on South State Street. These ornaments,often executed by the talented younger draftsman inSullivans employ, would eventually become Sullivanstrademark; to students of architecture, they are hisinstantly-recognizable signature. Another signature element of Sullivans work is the massive,semi-circular arch. Sullivan employed such archesthroughout his career—in shaping entrances, in framingwindows, or as interior design. All of these elements can be found in Sullivans widely-admired Guaranty Building, which he designed whilepartnered with Adler. this office building in Buffalo, New York is in the Palazzostyle, visibly divided into three "zones" of design: a plain,wide-windowed base for the ground-level shops; the mainoffice block, with vertical ribbons of masonry risingunimpeded across nine upper floors to emphasize thebuildings height; and an ornamented cornice perforatedby round windows at the roof level, where the buildingsmechanical units (like the elevator motors) were housed.
Auditorium Building Location: 430 S. MichiganAvenueChicago Illinois 60605United States Coordinates:41°52′34″N 87°37′31″WCoordinates: 41°52′34″N 87°37′31″W Built: 1889 Architect: DankmarAdler; Louis Sullivan Architectural style: Late19th and Early 20thCentury AmericanMovements Governing body: PrivateSignificant dates Added to NRHP: April 17,1970 Designated NHL: May 15,1975[ Designated CL:September 15, 1976
The Auditorium Building in Chicago is one ofthe best-known designs of DankmarAdler and Louis Sullivan. It was added to the National Register of HistoricPlaces on April 17, 1970. It was declaredaNational Historic Landmark in 1975, and wasdesignated a Chicago Landmark onSeptember 15, 1976. In addition, it is a historic district contributingproperty for the Chicago Landmark HistoricMichigan Boulevard District. Since 1947, the Auditorium Building has beenthe home of Roosevelt University. The Auditorium Theatre is part of the AuditoriumBuilding and is located at 50 East CongressParkway. The theater was the first home ofthe Chicago Civic Opera and theChicagoSymphony Orchestra.
Origin and purpose Ferdinand Peck, a Chicago businessman, incorporated theChicago Auditorium Association in December 1886 to developwhat he wanted to be the worlds largest, grandest, mostexpensive theater that would rival such institutions asthe Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. He was said tohave wanted to make high culture accessible to the workingclasses of Chicago. The building was to include an office block and a first class hotel. "The Auditorium was built for a syndicate of businessmen tohouse a large civic opera house; to provide an economic base itwas decided to wrap the auditorium with a hotel and officeblock. The entrance to the auditorium is on the south side beneath thetall blocky eighteen-story tower. The rest of the building is a uniform ten stories, organized in thesame way as Richardsons Marshall Field Wholesale Store. Theinterior embellishment, however, is wholly Sullivans, and some ofthe details, because of their continuous curvilinear foliate motifs,are among the nearest equivalents to European ArtNouveau architecture."
WAINWRIGHT BUILDING Location:St.Louis, Missouri Date: 1890 to1891 Building Type:early skyscraper,commercialoffice tower Construction System: steel frameclad in masonry Climate:temperate Context: urban Style: EarlyModern Notes: An earlytall building (10stories) with an allsteel frame. TheChicago School.
"The eleven-storey WainwrightBuilding represents Sullivans firstattempt at a truly multi-storeyformat, in which the device of thesuppressed transom taken fromthe fa•ade of RichardsonsMarshall Field Store, Chicago of1888, is used to impart a decidedlyvertical emphasis to the buildingsoverall form. The two-storey base of theclassical tripartite composition isfaced in fine red sandstone set ona two-foot-high string course of redMissouri granite. While the middle section consistsof red brick pilasters withdecorated terra cotta spandrels,the top is rendered as a deepoverhanging cornice faced in anornamented terra cotta skin tomatch the enrichment of thespandrels and the pilasters below."
GUARANTY BUILDING Year(s) ofconstruction:1895-1896 Height:46 m Floors:13 Location:28 ChurchStreet, Buffalo, NewYork, United States Coordinates:42° 5259" N, 78° 52 36" W
NATIONAL FARMER’S BANK Location:Owatonna, Minnesota Date :1907 to1908 timeline Building Type :bank Construction System: bearingmasonry Climate:temperate Context: urban,small city Style :Early Modern Notes: large arch inmain facadeCorner view, from southwestMain facade, from west
Interior, east wall Interior, east entrance wall South windowsInterior, ceiling/northwestcornerInterior, ceiling/southeast corner CeilingPhoto, exterior overview, historical
The Carson Pirie Scott Building Location:Chicago, Illinois Coordinates:41°52′54.16″N87°37′39.18″W Built:1899 Architect:Louis Sullivan;Burnham, Daniel H., & Co. Architectural style:Late 19thand Early 20th CenturyAmerican Movements Governing body:Private NRHP Reference#:70000231 Significant datesAdded toNRHP:April 17, 1970 Designated NHL:May 15,1975 Designated CL:November 5,1970
mahogany and marble fixtures . new combination arc and incandescent lights the] largest and finest display windows in the world reading, writing and rest rooms . . . telephone booths . . .[an] emergency medical aid room . . . [an] exposition oforiental rugs . . . and 10,000 chrysanthemums The Carson Pirie Scott building had the most clearlyexpressed steel frame of any building in Chicago. The frame, sheathed in glazed white terra cotta, allowedfor some of the largest windows ever seen and flexible,wide-open spaces. Both of these features were key to a successfuldepartment store and examples of Sullivan’s famousdesign philosophy, ―Form follows Function.‖ But what really makes Sullivan’s design stand out is thebuilding’s lavish foliate ornamentation. Every inch of theframework surrounding Carson’s bottom story windows iscovered in entirely original cast-iron, nature-inspiredembellishments
Schlesinger and Mayer Department Store Location:Chicago, Illinois Date:1899 to 1904 Building Type:department store Construction System: cast iron groundfloor storefront Climate: temperate Context: urban Style: Early Modern
Instead of a stack of undifferentiated office rooms, thedepartment store required broad horizontal openspaces where goods could be displayed; at theground floor the windows were to be showcaseshighlighting selected wares. Thus in the finished building, constructed in two phasesin 1899 and 1903-4, the horizontal line, rather than thevertical, is dominant, with the broad spandrel panelsbrought up flush with the narrow vertical piers. Nevertheless the tripartite division is present with (a)ground floor windows richly encrusted with cast ironframes by Sullivan and his assistant Elmslie, (b)midsection, and (c) the terminating attic and corniceslab. As in Burnham and Roots Reliance Building, thereis a change in color, away from the reds and browns,to glazed white terra cotta. "Originally built for the established firm of Schlesingerand Meyer, the first three-bay, nine-storey phase of thisdepartment store was erected in 1899, and thesecond, twelve-storey increment on the corner ofMadison and State Streets between 1903 and 1904
ST. PAULS CHURCH•Location: CedarRapids, Iowa•Date:1910 to 1914•Building Type:church• Construction System: brick bearingmasonry•Climate: temperate•Context: suburban•Style: Early Modern
A building quite devoid of ornament mayconvey a noble and dignified sentiment byvirtue of mass and proportion That which exists in spirit ever seeks and findsits visible counterpart in form, its visibleimage...a living thought, a living form "...the architect who combines in his beingthe powers of vision , of imagination, ofintellect, of sympathy with human needand the power to interpret them in alanguage vernacular and true—is he whoshall create poems in stone...
The church was commissioned by the growingRussian congregation of Chicago ... Constructionwork, partly financed by Tsar St. Nicholas II of Russia,lasted from 1899 to 1903. The church retains many features of the Russianprovincial architecture, including an octagonaldome and a frontal bell tower. It is believed that the emigrants wished the churchto be "remindful of the small, intimate, ruralbuildings they left behind in the Old World . The cathedrals interior is based on the StVolodymyrs Cathedral in Kiev. The church waselevated to a cathedral in 1923, and stands todaya proud member of the Orthodox community inChicago. The walls of the church are load-bearing brickcovered with stucco; the detailing of the two-storyrectory repeats the same sinuous curve found inthe roofline of the church.
Babson House Location:Riverside, Illinois Date:1907 Building Type:house Construction System: brick bearingmasonry Climate:temperate Context:suburban Style: EclecticRomanesqueRevival, Richardsonian Notes: Plan withmain and crossingaxes
One quality consistent in the spaces of Sullivanshouses from the Charnley House to the Babson Houseis their insertion in an embracing rectangular prismthrough which the major and minor axes struggle. Beginning in 1909, Sullivans interior spaces finallyfreed themselves from this restraining carapace,emerging in a series of cross-shaped plans in the twoBradley House projects and the Bennett Housedesign. These compositions are no less processional,centering on a space just beyond the entrance point,enclosed in thickened poched walls, projectingdramatic axes forward and to each side, manifestedexternally as juxtaposed volumes. Sullivans walls are thick, the windows deeply inset,and his masses can be marked with cantilevers likethose over the porches of the erected Bradley HouseÑnot floating in the manner of Wrights Prairie Style butlaboring with elaborate brackets to express the workof opening the interior space outward."