D. H. Burnham and Company's 1897 Silversmith Building (at 10 South Wabash) is divided into two sections: green glazed terra cotta tiles for the lower portion (see previous post) and a combination of red brick and red terra cotta for the upper stories. The masonry of the upper floors is both ornate and orderly. Steel frame construction (buried inside that masonry) exhibits technical advance and the underlying geometries. The applied masonry and terra cotta, however, state that the building remains solidly Victorian.
1897 was a year of relative stylistic calm in Chicago. The Chicago School, local and beloved remained ascendent in its home City. Schlesinger and Mayer was two years in the future. And Atwood's Reliance and Fisher Buildings were new in the skyline.
Very few could have guessed the coming effect of financial boomtimes and the Ecole des Beaux Arts on the very fabric of the City. The 1909 Plan of Chicago wasn't even yet a gleam in Daniel Burnham's eye.
FOR MORE CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE, SCULPTURE AND PHOTOGRAPHY