Saturday, May 7, 2011



343 South Dearborn Street
The Chicago Loop

Lucius Fisher

ARCHITECT (Original Structure)  1896   
D.H. Burnham and Company
Charles Atwood, Partner-in-Charge of Design
E.C. Shankland, Engineer

ARCHITECT (Addition)  1907                        
Peter Weber with E.C. and R.M. Shankland Engineers

ARCHITECT (Lobby Renovation) 1920 (unconfirmed) 

Pioneer Fireproof Construction Company
Northwestern Terra Cotta Company
Rittenhouse & Embree Company
Evans Marble Comopany
Frank L. Davis
Winslow Brothers Company
L.H. Prentice Company
Grimshaw Company and General Electric
Alfred Barker
P. F. Corbin

Chicago Landmarks
Historic American Buildings Survey.
Charles Bowler Atwood
Village Green

The Village Green


The credits are just the beginning.  Each has a story.  Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the Fisher's structural innovations, its fireproofing, elevators, and interior finishes.  It's expression of the Chicago School of Architecture.  And its personal stories.  But today, we celebrate the FISH.....


Lucius Fisher, I think,  must have had quite a sense of humor.  Fish... Fisher....  Get it ??


For more photographs of CHARLES ATWOOD's work in Chicago,

Monday, May 2, 2011


Summarizing Daniel Burnham's move toward, and education in Architecture --1) At Chicago's Central High he learns he can draw (thank you Miss Starr for noticing). 2) At the New Church Academy in Waltham, Mass, he is taught by  young Swedenborgian Harvard graduate Joseph Worcester (who, later, becomes central to the Arts and Crafts Movement in San Fransisco. 3) In Cambridge, he is tutored by Hayward Brown Tilley who introduces him to the philosophies of William Morris, John Ruskin and WPP Longfellow. 4) In Chicago, he works for Sanford Loring (terra cotta expert and later, president of Chicago Terra Cotta) and William LeBaron Jenney (structural innovator and classmate at the Ecole Centrale of Gustave Eiffel. 5) He works for John van Osdel (Chicago's first architect) and W.B. Wheelock (Chicago old school architect and sometime partner of W. W. Boyington). 6) He works for Asher Carter (architect of Old St. Pat's) William Drake and Peter B. Wight (inventor of multiple advanced fire proofing systems.)

Art. Inspiration. Philosphy.  Building Materials. Structural Engineering.  A grounding in Chicago's Culture of Architecture.  And a course in advanced Fire Proofing. 

If this is attributable to his luck, Daniel Burnham was a lucky man. And if to his Faith, its time to learn to spell (correctly) Emanuel Swedenborg!  And there was more good fortune to follow:  Margaret Sherman and John Wellborn Root --- and that elusive Harvard Degree.


I've spent some weeks researching Daniel Burnham's early life and education --   Next week I'll begin again with his Architecture -- and a discussion of the FISHER BUILDING. 
Chicago School vs. a Classic renovaton.  Structural Innovations and Fireproofing Systems.  Elevators.  Handcrafted ornament.  The amazing kindness of Daniel Burnham.  Lucius Fisher. Misplaced credits.....and rumors of a Hookah Pipe. 

So, what's not to like?