German-born American architect and engineer. He gained experience under Augustus Bauer (1827–94), in Chicago, IL, and after the disastrous fire there of 1871 collaborated with Edward Burling (1818–92) in the design of numerous buildings including the First National Bank (1871) and the Methodist Church block (1872). He and Burling parted company in 1879, and Adler designed the Central Music Hall (1879— destroyed 1900), which combined an office-block, a multi-purpose auditorium, and shops. Many private houses and commercial buildings followed, and by 1881 Adler's staff included Louis Sullivan, who designed the ornament on the Borden Block (1881—destroyed 1916). Sullivan became Adler's partner in 1883, and the firm designed the Auditorium Building, Chicago, IL (1886–9), although the overall conception was Adler's. After the partnership (which had briefly employed the young Frank Lloyd Wright) dissolved in 1895, Adler took his son, Abraham Adler (1876–1914), into partnership, and designed Morgan Park Academy Dormitories (1896, destroyed c.1970) and the Isaiah Temple (1898), both in Chicago.
Adler devoted many of the later years of his life to promoting architecture as a learned profession. His approach to design was pragmatic and creative, and he encouraged a multi-disciplinary approach.
Adler (1983);Doumato (1985);Jane Turner (1996);Twombly (1986);Wisconsin Architect (1967), xxxviii (July), 15–19; (September), 10–14; (November), 16–19
Subjects: Architecture — Art.