First and foremost, when analyzing PEOPLE'S GAS, the FIELD MUSEUM, or UNION STATION, we must remember that these structures are Twentieth Century Building Types, using state of the art technology. The reason they exist today is that they were all soundly planned and constructed. These buildings are not just outdated antiques -- although at 100 years, they qualify as such. All these, incidentally, were designed by Peirce Anderson. In addition to an Engineer's mentality, (Harvard. Electrical Engineering. 1894) Peirce Anderson, Design Partner at Graham Anderson Probst and White had the uncanny ability of applying the elements of Classic Architecture to Modern Building Types in such a way as to truly recall the "Glory of Rome." He did this so well (and with such huge popularity) that Louis Sullivan published his famous Banker's-Toga-Rant in Kindergarten Chats. Architects love the "rant" to this day, but it did nothing to stop those Bankers from hiring Anderson to design the Fed and the almost astonishing interior banking space at the Bank of America. (If you ever have the opportunity to take a look at the great banking room at this LaSalle Street Institution- you should take it.) The combination of Anderson's training as an engineer combined with his later Beaux-Arts education in Paris was unstoppable. Carrying the Architectural Legacy of Daniel Burnham didn't hurt either.
The best way to enumerate classic elements is, simply to look at them. (Listed below are multiple Posts with some interesting views - looking at the Field Museum, in particular, helps with Union Station) (I'll recommend here, too, a copy of Sir Bannister Fletcher) Columns, of course. Coffers, Arches, Keystones. Plinths. Acroterion. Caryatids. Eagles. Symbols and themes (note prevalence of the backward Swastika.) Barrel Vaults. (Be careful here - the Barrel is truly Roman but the application of steel frame and glass is completely "modern") More complete constructs include the loggias (steel columns and beams allow them to overlook the City some 20 floor up) and colonnades (punctured with plate glass and bay windows ala John Root). You can also see clear references to the Erectheum, the Baths of Diocletion, the Agora and even the Temple of Mausolaus (Credit George Beersman for carrying this to completion).
Although there are many classic references and reinterpretations (Anderson was a fan of Latrobe) in all these buildings, my particular favorites are the Classic Allegorical sculptures that flank the concourse entry at Union Station. No Goddess Janus here, seeing past and future, it is Henry Hering's interpretation of "Day" and "Night." With binoculars you can see that in addition to the owl/rooster reference, Day's eyes are wide open. Night's are closed. This level of subtlety is not isolated. It is repeated again and again in a perfectly detailed architrave, the turn of a corner that would earn the respect of Mies, and in those little squirrels, hiding among the grapes on the light fixtures that glow perfectly at dusk in a skylit hall.
UNION STATION. Another Question of Scale.
UNION STATION. Waiting Room Access.
UNION STATION. Brass.
UNION STATION. Survives
UNION STATION. Facade
FIELD MUSEUM. Site. Symmetry. Scale. Size
FIELD MUSEUM A Few Quiet Surprises
FIELD MUSEUM And Style.
FIELD MUSEUM A Look Inside
FIELD MUSEUM Unexpected Vaults, Arches, Modified Pendentives
FIELD MUSEUM Coffers. Keystones. Acroterion.
FIELD MUSEUM Ornament
FIELDMUSEUM The NorthPortico
Credits are given to Salla A. Kitt Chappell's ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING OF GRAHAM ANDERSON PROBST AND WHITE, and to Thomas S. Hines BURNHAM OF CHICAGO.