Sunday, December 26, 2010

The First National Bank of Chicago

As we lose Daniel Burnham's Architecture piece by piece (whether by demolition or renovation) we fall ever more to the mercy of our architectural "historians" who tell us "this" and "that." There a very few of us left to remember the original column ornament at the Conway. The dual concourses at the Continental and Commercial. Or the Banking Room at the First.

And so, for the most part, we must believe what we are told.

For the most part. Below is photograph of the Banking Room at the First National Bank of Chicago. (Taken from Architectural Record, Volume 38, July 1915 and Digitized by Google) (Thank-you Google). Following the Credit Photograph are Photoshopped enlargements of the original.

It would be a scholarly treat to compare the architecture at the First with its D.H. Burnham contemporary, The Railway Exchange.  To compare column capitals.  Horizontal and vertical emphases.    Dinkelberg vs...Anderson, Bennett, Polk and Robard.  Form and function.  The slow mingle of Chicago School and  Beaux Arts --  and the moment of change.

Wouldn't I like to be photographer for THAT book....

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