Tag Archives: architecture

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

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

Palmolive Building, 919 N. Michigan Avenue.  Holabird and Root, 1929.  Night view from south.  (Contemporary post card, collection of Thomas Leslie) The Palmolive’s exterior skin was utterly flat between its setbacks, with no projections on its solid, Bedford stone verticals. … Continue reading

Bowen Building, 62-74 E. Randolph.  W. W. Boyington, 1872.  (Photo Thomas Leslie) Chicago came to be known as a city of steel, but well into the 1880s it remained a city of brick, which eliminated some of stone’s drawbacks but … Continue reading

Chicago Savings Bank, corner of State and Madison Streets. Holabird and Roche, 1905. View from northeast. (Photograph Thomas Leslie) In addition to limiting height, the 1893 code carries stringent new mandates for construction. Particularly influential was Section 111, which limited … Continue reading

Civic Opera, 20 N. Wacker Drive.  Graham, Anderson, Probst, and White, 1929.  View from southwest.  (Contemporary post card, collection of Thomas Leslie) Powered construction, advanced structural engineering, and rapid elevators found their ultimate expression in four record-breaking Chicago projects built … Continue reading

Schlesinger and Meyer Department Store.  Detail of Madison Street elevation.  (Photograph by Thomas Leslie) It was the eventual expansion of Schlesinger & Mayer’s operations that produced the refined statement of function, structure, and construction for which the building became better … Continue reading

Wrigley Building, 510 N. Michigan Avenue, Graham, Anderson, Probst, and White, 1921, view from southeast. (Contemporary postcard, collection of Thomas Leslie) The Wrigley Building’s most striking features, however, were the two hundred high-powered incandescent projectors mounted on adjacent buildings, throwing … Continue reading