Saturday, February 20, 2010

DANIEL BURNHAM. The Railway Exchange. Angels. With Pigtails.

Daniel Burnham must have given some personal thought to the design of the cornice at the 1904 Railway Exchange Building. 224 South Michigan Avenue. His new offices. D.H. Burnham and Company was about to leave the Rookery and enter the Twentieth Century.   

The motif he chose was a row of round windows.  

Punctuated with Angels. Angels with pigtails.

Not seen in Chicago since these (below) by Philip Martiny (assisted by Henry Hering) on Charles Atwood's Fine Arts Building at the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

The Fair would become Chicago's inspiration in ways large and small, for the next 25 years. And Burnham's "launch" to successes unimaginable just five years previous. 

Two blocks north "Progress Lighting the Way of Commerce"  inspired by Saint Gaudens "Diana" (from the Fair's Agriculture Building) already "spun" above Aaron Montgomery Ward's headquarters at 6 North Michigan Avenue.


Round windows at the cornice were not without precedent.  Take a look of Louis Sullivan's Guaranty Building in Buffalo, New York.


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