Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DANIEL BURNHAM. Cincinnati, Ohio

In 1885, a young Daniel Burnham and an even younger John Root attempted to build their architectural practice by entering Design Competitions.  It was not so long from then that Cincinnati really was the "Queen City of the West."   Winning a competition in Cincy would be good for prestige and business. 

Burnham and Root Competition Entry
Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce
Credit  Donald Hoffman's Architecture of John Wellborn Root

Unfortunately they lost.  Henry Hobson Richardson "took the cake."  (No pun  intended)

Henry Hobson Richardson Competition Winner
Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

Burnham, though, was by no means done in Cincinnati.  The Fourth National Bank, Fifth National Bank, Union Trust, and Shillito's were , major commissions.  My favorite later Burnham work in Cincinnati is Peirce Anderson's Schmidlapp Memorial Library, now the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Schmidlapp Memorial Libray
Eden Park, Mount Adams, Cincinnati, Ohio

The Schmidlapps and the Burnhams remained lifelong friends.

Researching this article I came across some excellent source material written by my History of Architecture Professor at the University of Cincinnati, J. William Rudd  ((You may not remember me, Mr. Rudd.  I was the one in the back row (in the tie-dyed t-shirt) trying to finish my calculus homework while you fumbled with the overhead projector --- never mind the year.))  Thinking back on it, I'm amazed at how much of the course "stuck".  A belated thank-you is very much in order. Very much.

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