Category Archives: architecture

Rookery Building.  View from northwest (contemporary post card, collection of the author). The Rookery became Chicago’s center of architectural, contracting, engineering, and subcontracting expertise. It was intended to be the most luxurious commercial structure in Chicago and its size along … Continue reading

Vincent Michael, author of The Architecture of Barry Byrne, recently appeared on WTTW-TV’s Chicago Tonight program to discuss the apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright who brought the Prairie School of Architecture to Europe. Byrne’s influence is widely present in Chicago as … Continue reading

Masonic Temple, corner of Randolph and State Streets.  Burnham and Root, 1892 (demolished, 1939).  (120 Photographic View of Chicago, Rand McNally, 1912) Buildings braced by sway-rods typically had two or mote dedicated vertical planes on which, at every level, rods … Continue reading

Reliance Building.  View from northeast.   (120 Photographic View of Chicago, Rand McNally, 1909) The Reliance emerged from unpromising circumstances.  Elevator engineer and contractor William E. Hale hired Burnham & Root to design a fourteen-story tower for the southwest corner of … Continue reading

Tacoma Building, corner of La Salle and Madison Streets.  Holabird and Roche, 1889 (demolished, 1929).  (contemporary postcard, collection of the author) Masonry veneers began to appear on Chicago skyscrapers in the late 1880s as the metal frame became commonplace.  While … Continue reading

Tribune Tower, 435 N. Michigan.  Hood and Howells, 1925.  View from southwest.  (Contemporary post card, collection of the author) . . . . the paper announced an open competition in May 1922 to design a new headquarters on the recently … Continue reading

  Chicago Temple, corner of Clark and Washington Streets.  Holabird and Roche, 1923.  View from northwest.  (Contemporary post card, collection of the author) The most provocative challenge to the outdated height limit was the Chicago Temple, designed by Holabird & … Continue reading

Stewart Building, corner of State and Washington Streets.  D. H. Burnham & Co., 1897.  (120 Photographic Views of Chicago, Rand McNally, 1909) The Stewart represents the burgeoning idea in Burnham’s office that the structural frame could serve as a substrate for … Continue reading

Revell Block, corner of Wabash and Adams.  Adler and Sullivan, 1883 (demolished, 1960).  (Art Institute of Chicago) Further experiments in the potential for hybrid structures of iron and brick came in the early work of Adler & Sullivan. Often seen … Continue reading

This upcoming Thursday and Saturday (September 19 and 21) Vincent L. Michael will sign copies of his new book The Architecture of Barry Byrne at St. Thomas Apostle Church, Hyde Park, Chicago, IL. St. Thomas the Apostle was the first modern … Continue reading