I remain fascinated by the aerial view of
, 1950. A time capsule of Chicago , 1935. The " Chicago "
rising from the City. Buildings that,
though today are dwarfed, remain Landmarks. The Board of Trade. The Civic Opera
Block. The Gray Towers . The Pittsfield .
The Bankers and Field Building . Carbide and
Carbon. Foreman Bank. Engineering
Buildings . They are the work of a very few men. Visionaries,
I would say. Alfred Shaw and Charles G. Beersman at Graham Anderson Probst
and White. The younger Holabird and the
younger Root. Hubert Burnham and Dan
Jr. Karl Vitzthum. Frederick
Thielbar. Walter Ahshlager. Their fathers were classicists, inventors. But these were the architects of DECO. And a
vertical scale without limits. Roanoke
I physically ache when I see a photograph of the now demolished
Diana Court. Or stand in the lobby of the Board of Trade.
Or the Field Building. (And re-imagine the mirrored elegance of
Queen Azura's .) Such confident optimism! Who can pass beyond the elevator doors at One
North LaSalle and NOT know they are on the way to some very great height? And I
have the sense that this - might have been - just a beginning. But it was not. It was lost on October 29,
Instead, these architects simply died or retired. To Boca or
La Jolla. The few who survived Depression and War,
though successful, were clearly diminished. The dream had died with the Century
But their few buildings still, remarkably, live. And so should their creators.
This is the man who imagined a gold champagne cork on a green bottle - at the 40 storey Carbide and Carbon. Who proved he understood the essence of vertical statement at the
Very special thanks to SBK.
Fine Art Photographs of Chicago Landmark Architecture and Sculpture