Urban Architecture and Ornamentation
Author: Ronald E. Schmitt
A visual and historical tour of a unique facet of modern American architecture
Paper – $35.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 10/14/2007
Buy the Book Request Desk/Examination Copy Request Review Copy Request Rights or Permissions Request Alternate Format Preview

About the Book

Highly regarded in architecture for inspiring the Chicago School and the Prairie School, Louis Sullivan was an unwilling instigator of the method of facade composition--later influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, William Gray Purcell, and George G. Elmslie--that came to be known as Sullivanesque. Decorative enhancements with botanical and animal themes, Sullivan's distinctive ornamentation mitigated the hard geometries of the buildings he designed, coinciding with his "form follows function" aesthetic.

Masterfully framed by the author's photographs of Sullivanesque buildings in Chicago and throughout the Midwest, Ronald E. Schmitt's in-depth exploration of the Sullivanesque tells the story of its evolution from Sullivan's intellectual and aesthetic foundations to its place as a form of commercial vernacular. The book also includes an inventory of Sullivanesque buildings.

About the Author

Ronald E. Schmitt is a professor emeritus in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



"Louis Sullivan, strangely enough, is still being discovered. As important as he was, most of the earlier books concentrated on the high points, the popular dramatic photos, and were less rigorously scholarly. Ronald E. Schmitt's documentation in breadth and depth is highly effective. The diaspora of Sullivan's work is finally being addressed."--Ben Weese, Weese Langley Weese Architects, Chicago

"This book is the first of its kind and fills a wide gap in our understanding of the architecture of the early twentieth century. It is time to recognize that Louis Sullivan had an even greater influence over a wider area than anyone previously realized. Not only has Ronald E. Schmitt written an interesting book, he has written an important one."--Wilbert R. Hasbrouck, architect and restoration consultant, Chicago

"Sullivanesque: Urban Architecture and Ornamentation is a beautifully written and illustrated book, offering a wide variety of new insights. It reveals the extent of Sullivan's influence on American architecture, one that reached far beyond his superb buildings. . . . Effusive praise is due to the author for his wonderful addition to the steadily growing body of terra-cotta literature."--Susan Tunick, author of Terra- Cotta Skyline


Honorable Mention, PSP Awards for Excellence in Professional/Scholarly Publishing, 2002