Monday, March 2, 2009


The phased construction undertaken by Marshall Field & Company between 1902 and 1907 was both enormous and consistent. The State Street Facade and the grand first floor Arcade are almost seamless. Two large, stacked interior spaces, built in 1907, The Walnut Room and a 6 story space topped with a Tiffany favrile mosaic, perfectly balance the 13 story skylit atrium near Randolph Street built in 1902. Who can say which space is most loved? Below is the Walnut Room, whose Circassian paneling and Austrian chandeliers overcome extensive modifications through the years - including ductwork for an unforeseen invention - air conditioning.

Above: A view of the Walnut Room from the 8th floor.

Below: A view to the Walnut Room fountain. This space was "practice" for Peirce Anderson, who went on to give us more fine public spaces. The Field Museum and Union Station are among many to his credit.

How does architecture become an icon?

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