Staying with the Chicago School of Architecture this week let’s explore one of it’s architect: Louis Sullivan.
Though there were at least nine prominent architects associated with the style – Louis Sullivan was the most prolific. In fact going back to the Daly Building I remember first hearing it was in the style of Louis Sullivan as opposed to saying it was in the Chicago School Architecture. I suppose in reality both statements are true.
Louis Sullivan was the mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright – if that were his only claim to fame it would be a good one.
He was born in 1856 of a Swiss-born mother and Irish-born father, he coined the phrase “Form follows function”
Prior to the late nineteenth century exterior walls were load bearing. Then came steel structures “column-frame” and the ability to go up was enabled. Though other architects had built tall buildings Sullivan became known as the father of of Skyscrappers.
Also known as the father of modernism being of the Victorian Era embellishments were added to his buildings sometimes in the Art Nouveau style sometimes in the Celtic Revival style (we’ll have to explore that sometime soon (Molly will like that))
Sullivan’s signature element (and my favourite) was his semi-circular arches, a roman style arch adapted to a more modern setting.