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Chicago School


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1 Group of architects working mostly in Chicago in the last quarter of C19.

2 Group of high-rise commercial and office-buildings erected in Chicago from c. 1875 to c. 1910.

It might be claimed that the skyscraper was born in Chicago, exploiting the invention of the elevator (lift) and the metal-framed structure. William Le Baron Jenney's pioneering use of the steel skeleton led to other developments, notably those of Burnham & Root. One of the most important early buildings of the Chicago School was the Marshall Field Wholesale Store (1885–7—demolished) by H. H. Richardson, a massive round-arched building clad in rock-faced rustication, the precedent for a new type of monumental architecture, freed from Classical or Renaissance Historicism. Adler and Sullivan's Auditorium Building (1887–9) clearly owed much stylistically to Richardson's model, but the structure was much more innovative. Burnham & Root's Monadnock Building (1889–91) was the last of the tall buildings with load-bearing outer walls almost devoid of ornament. The metal frame for skyscrapers was first expressed on the elegant exterior in Burnham & Co.'s Reliance Building (1894–5), the designer of which was Atwood. Sullivan's Schlesinger & Mayer Department Store of 1899 and 1903–4 (now Carson, Pirie, & Scott) was probably one of the most important buildings of the Chicago School expressing the underlying skeleton and exploiting the Chicago window to the full.

Charernbhak (1984);Condit (1952, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1968);Peisch (1964);Randall (1949);Tallmadge (1941);Jane Turner (1996)

Subjects: Art — Architecture.


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