Sullivan's Longest Standing...

Louis Sullivan (born 1856) is one of the most important architects from the latter 19th century, and Chicago is blessed to have many of his buildings. He took architecture to a new level with regards to expression of structure, and ornamentation (think Carson Pirie Scott).

The Jewelers building is perhaps his least known, and the oldest Sullivan design standing in the Loop. At the time he designed this building with structural engineer Dankmar Adler (completed in 1882), he was in his mid twenties, and just at the beginning of his long career of greatness.

Close up of window. Interesting to see the ancient (by today's standards) flat panel monitor through the glass.

Today this building at 15 S Wabash is quite ignored. When this jewelry mall updated their facade last year the covered over the National Register (listed in 1974) plaque mounted on the front of the building. I find this a bit disturbing, in that it concerns me that things may happen to the building by a careless owner/lessee. There are plans to do a "facadectomy" including facade restoration to the three buildings to the south of the Jewelers building which may push the owner of this one to do some restoration work him/herself.

I took advantage of a rare moment of sunshine in the small alley along side the building, and found the remnants of a sign for the Harmony Cafeteria.

This is an image collage of the only visible column on the building, and I am pretty certain the only remaining column that is completely intact. It is only intact because it is on the side of the building, and not on the front where the other columns have had a hatchet job to flatten the facade for more modern signage.

This is the end of your architectural history lecture today. There will be a quiz next Friday. Any questions?


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