American Architecture

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Louis Henry Sullivan (September 3, 1856-April 14, 1924) was one of the most famous modern American architects, the founding father of modernism in architecture. Born in Boston, in 1856 to an Irish Father and a Swiss-French mother, Sullivan spent most of his childhood and juvenility with his grandparents in South Reading, Massachusetts.


In 1879, after four years of studies spent under the tutelage of another famous architect of that time John Edelmann, Sullivan was hired as a junior partner by the famous structural engineer Dankmar Adler. Their partnership lasted until the year of 1896 when Sullivan started to experiment with new materials such as steel girders that made possible construction of much taller buildings than before. Sullivan had certain creative differences and disputed intensively about style issues with Daniel Burnham, the author of the Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park in 1893 and with one of his students, Frank Lloyd Wright. Sullivan insisted that 'form should follow function' thus proclaiming the primary importance of the purpose of a building as compared to the design1.
Sullivan's legacy is an important element of modern Chicago. The Jewler's Building at 17 S. Ashland Avenue designed and built by Adler and Sullivan in 1882 was designated as one of Chicago landmarks a century later. Together with Adler he also built the Kaufman Store and Flats at 2312-2314 N. Lincoln Avenue designated a city's landmark in 1996. Another famous masterpieces of Sullivan which became Chicago landmarks are the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral and Rectory located at 1121 N. ...
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