Friday, August 6, 2010
Louis Sullivan Idea - II
As any good exhibit would do, it takes one through the different phases of the architects growth, how his works became increasingly more intricate and fluid.. and leaves you with wanting to see more and with a massive regret over demolished buildings.. and Yes makes a very strong case for preservation of what's beautiful..
The exhibit traces the growth of Sullivan's works, since the time of his arrival in Chicago..
The marker reads....
One day before Thanksgiving in 1873, 17 year-old Louis Sullivan saw the city of Chicago, for the very first time. Standing on the platform of a railroad station, he raised his hand, stomped his foot and said to himself, "This is the place for me".
To an aspiring architect, Chicago was indeed the place to be. The Gem of Prairie, largely destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire two years earlier, was being rebuilt at lightning speed. With a short history and no defined tardition, Chicago was a perfect home to learn and to try new ideas...
Soon after arriving in Chicago, Sullivan acquired a book describing Chicago and surrounding suburban communities. The text and attached map have annotations reflecting his travels in the area..
The fragments of some of his works in the early years ..
The above fragments are from Sullivan's early works, between 1870s-1880s..
Troescher Building [1884, demolished]
Marker for the above image..
Louis Sullivan found architectural terra cotta to be a versatile material that could play a significant role in giving life to a building. Starting as pliable clay and then fired into string durable blocks, Sullivan took advantage of it's moldability, such as in this rhythmic march of spirals that once went between the windows of a Chicago mercantile building...
Troescher Bldg. 
19 S Wacker Drive, Chicago..
Rothschild Building [1881, demolished]
The marker reads..
To the pedestrian, this row of morphing organic forms at the top of Rothschild store appeared in perfect scale and harmony with the finer details of the first floor, demonstrating Sullivan's mastery of proportion and detail at the early stage of his career.
E Rothschild & Brothers Store ..
212 W Monroe Street, Chicago ..
Auditorium Building ..
Adler and Sullivan firms first masterpiece..
In 1886, Ferdinand Peck hired Adler and Sullivan for his dream opera house, to highlight Chicago's potential as a place of art and culture. Nearly four years in construction, the combined theater, hotel and office buildings cast Adler and Sullivan into a national limelight. Adler and Sullivan proudly moved the offices to just below the top of the tower, with accommodation for 25 employees, including the young Frank Llyod Wright.
Transportation Building, at the World's Fair, 1893..
Polychromed in 44 hues, Transportation Building richly stood out in otherwise bleached city..
Long after the fair ended, Sullivan had said..
The damage wrought by the World's Fair, will last for half a century from it's date, if not longer. It has penetrated deep into the constitution of American mind, effecting their lesions, significant of dementia..
Albert W. Sullivan House 
None of the original ornamentation of the Transportation Buiklding is known to survive, but Sullivan used some of the moulds to provide interior details for a home he and his brother built for their mother during the same period. Originally created as the corner edging at the base of the Transportation Building, the example was used in the second floor bedroom, and salvaged when the house was demolished in 1970.