Friday, October 30, 2009

PEOPLES GAS. A Personal Context

A Building can be viewed in Historic Context and Perspective. In terms of Symbolism. Or Current Condition. Technology. Style. Detail. Mass. Scale. Proportion. Or Client Aspirations.

But as important as all of these is the Context of the Architect.

In 1908 Daniel Burnham re-organized his firm. And Designer Peirce Anderson came out on top. After years of collaboration or compromise design decisions after 1908 were largely assigned to Anderson. People's Gas "belonged to him." This must have been a period of great optimism for Anderson. His contributions to D. H. Burnham and Company were substantial.

1905 The Plan of Manila
1907 Union Station. Washington DC
1909 Wanamaker's Department Store. Philadelphia
1910 People's Gas Light and Coke. Chicago
1911 The Insurance Exchange. Chicago
1912 80 Maiden Lane. New York

And another career awaited with Graham Anderson Probst and White. .... delayed only shortly by The Great War.

Credits are due to Sally A. Kitt Chappell's "Architecture and Planning of Graham Anderson Probst and White"page 173: it is a rare and highly recommended biography of Anderson.

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