Monday, August 16, 2010

2010 Chicago Air and Water Show

Above images of Aeroshell Aerobatic Team..

2010 Chicago Air and Water Show..
August 14 & 15.. [10 am - 4pm]

Well I could only make to the Sunday, Air Show...
And late, reached at about 12 noon..
Couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day - It was perfect!

Highlight of the day was, of course Blue Angles!!!
How many charactar traits are required to achieve this level of perfection?

Check out more images from the gorgeous day, on my Facebook Photo Album, click here..
There are images of..
- Blue Angles [U.S.Navy]
- C-130 Hercules [U.S.Air Force]
- F-16 Fighting Falcon [U.S.Air Force]
- U.H. -60 Black Hawk [U.S. Army]
- Aeroshell Aerobatic Team [Civilian Aircraft]
- Lima Lima Flight Team [Civilian Aircraft.].
From, 2010 Chicago Air and Water Show, Sunday, August 15, 2010..

Above images of Lima Lima Flight Team..

Check out more images on my Facebook Photo Album, click here..

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Louis Sullivan's Idea

Two special exhibits on Louis Sullivan's works..
- "Louis Sullivan's Idea" ..
at Chicago Cultural Center..
June 26–November 28, 2010..
Chicago artist Chris Ware and cultural historian Tim Samuelson present an installation of photographs, drawings, documents, and artifacts that portrays Sullivan's life, writings, and architectural works.. And planned in concert with this exhibition is
- "Looking after Louis Sullivan: Photographs, Drawings and Fragments"..
at the Art Institute of Chicago..
June 19–December 12, 2010..
where photographers John Szarkowski, Aaron Siskind, and Richard Nickel are on display. It explores how these photographers employed the camera to document and interpret Sullivan’s architecture and, in the process, helped shape his legacy. The exhibition is drawn from the permanent collections of the Department of Photography and the Department of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago..

Next few posts are on based on the special exhibit, "Louis Sullivan's Idea" at the Chicago Cultural Center...

To me, one of the most interesting feature of the exhibit was to see how his early blocky ornamentation evolved into more lacy foliate patterns.. See the difference within a span of about 20 years.
Left image: Rothschild Store [1881, demolished]
Right image: Schlesinger & Mayer Store / Carson Pirie Scott Bldg. [1899, external terracotta ornamentation now removed]..

Also of great interest to me was the display of his works that he created between 1922 and 1923, for the Art Institute's Burnham library illustrating his philosophy of architectural ornamentation, which was later published by the American School of Architects in the form of a book, "A System of Architectural Ornamentation According with the Philosophy of Man's Powers", published posthumously in 1924..

This post is on the special exhibit, "Louis Sullivan Ideas", and, as usual, my coverage is divided into several posts..

Early years [1870s to 1880s]..
Many of his commissions in the early years, where of residential buildings. His foliate ornamentation were rather blocky then [beautiful anyways!].. Auditorium Building, in 1889, was perhaps Adler and Dankmar's first project that landed their name to the national fame. the exhibit has many architectural fragments from Sullivan's early residential buildings, most of them demolished now..
# For more, click here..

By this time, the firm of Adler and Sullivan started getting many commissions for commercial buildings. One of the most famous being the Chicago Stock Exchange Building. And looking at the fragments, one cannot help but regret that this masterpiece was demolished..
There are also photographs and fragments from other gems like..
- Condict Building, New York [1898]
- St. Nicholas Hotel [1893, demolished]
- Schiller Building/later Garrick Theater [1892, demolished]..
# For more, click here..

- Schlesinger & Mayer Store [1899]
- Holy Trinity Cathedral [1903]
- Krause Music Store [1922]
All of these buildings survive!!!
# For more.. click here..

Krause Music Store [facade ornamentation], was Louis Sullivan's last executed project...
The exhibit then throws light on some moments of his private life, his interest in rose cultivation, how he helped his [then-seperated] wife publish her book, The Goddess of Dawn, his liking for cigarettes and so on..

Collaboration with friend and consultant, Louis J. Millet..
Sullivan worked in close collaboration with Louis J. Millet [in at least two projects two projects that I know of]..
- Stencil decorations in the interior of Schiller Building's theater ..
- Stencil patterns at the Stock Exchange Trading room, where 52 colors were used to give depth, movement and dimension to the walls of the ceiling..

I think his biggest contribution was his uniquely American architectural style, rather than continue to adapt classical, Gothic or even historical elements..

A lot more needs to be written, some of which I know but have the time-constraint, some of which I am not aware of.. I'll add a few more texts and images, as I get time.. Although not absolutely comprehensive, I hope it gives a rough idea of the wonderful exhibit that is..

Also check out some images in my album, the "Legacy of Louis Sullivan" ..

And, if you havent already, then probably this sketch, by Louis Sullivan, should be motivation enough to visit, the special exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, "Looking after Louis Sullivan: Photographs, Drawings and Fragments"..

Check out.. Chicago - Architecture and Cityscape.. click here..

Related Links..
# Louis Sullivan buildings, extant in Chicago..

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]
Architectural fragment..
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. [1884]
19 S Wacker Drive, Chicago..
Now demolished..

Rothschild Building [1881, demolished]
Architectural fragment..
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 [1881]..
212 W Monroe Street, Chicago ..
Now demolished..

Auditorium Building [1889]..
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 [1892]
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.

Louis Sullivan's Idea - III

- The Stock Exchange Building [1894, demolished]
- Condict Building, New York [1898]
- St. Nicholas Hotel [1893, demolished]
- Schiller Building/later Garrick Theater [1892, demolished]..

The Chicago Stock Exchange Building..
Marker reads..
As architects working in a city known for it's skyscrapers, Adler & Sullivan received few commissions to actually design them. One of the few was the Chicago Stock Exchange, which arrived from the previous client Ferdinand Peck, the developer of the Auditorium Building.. Not as delicate and lyrical as the upwardly springling Wainwright Building in St. Louis, the Chicago Stock Exchange Building was hunkered down on the corner and was "all Business" with it's taut and extensive terra cotta skin.

Condict Building, New York [1899]..
Louis Sullivan's only New York skyscraper, the Condict Building..
Behold the angels with outstretched wings..

Schiller Building/later Garrick Theater [1892, demolished]..
Check out the fragments from the Schiller Building..

The interior of Schiller Building's theater included stenciled decorations that were complex in form and color, giving the flat wall surfaces the effect of rhythm and depth. The colors and patterns were created by Sullivan's friend and decorative collaborator Louis J. Millet..

A reflection of Sullivan's favourite pastime, the cultivation of roses at his winter home in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.. at Schiller Building..

St. Nicholas Hotel [1893, demolished].. ..

The decorative terracotta panels of the St. Nicholas Hotel bay windows had geometric motifs that appeared almost as giant snowflakes suspended in the air.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Louis Sullivan's Idea - IV

- Schlesinger & Mayer Store [1899]
- Holy Trinity Cathedral [1903]
- Krause Music Store [1922]

Schlesinger & Mayer Store [1899]..

Balustrade removed after a fire in 1968..
The single screw that attached the balustrade to the stringer was celebrated - not hiidden - as organic forms flowed around it and visually embraced its important point of connection.

Holy Trinity Cathedral [1903]..
It is one of only two churches designed by Louis Sullivan..

Krause Music Store [1922]..
Krause Music Store [1922]
Louis Sullivan's last executed architecural projects was creating the terracotta facade for a small music store designed by one of his former draftsman, William C. Presto. Initially fearing that Sullivan will reject the project, Presto found him pleased and grateful to have the work. To help insure that the project will be built, the terra cotta company supplied the material without markups, at the cost of $3,770.