Chicago’s Famous Architects, curated by Carol Ross Barney


Where Chicago’s famous architects worked and met! Curated by AIA Gold Medal award winning architect Carol Ross Barney. Start at The Fine Arts Building. Built as the showroom for Studebaker carriages, the building was converted in 1896 to serve the flood of young artists coming to Chicago at the end of the 19th Century. Many Prairie School architects, including Wright had offices here. Next, the Cliff Dwellers Club. Founded in 1907, early members included Daniel Burnham, Frank Lloyd Wright, Howard Van Doren Shaw and Jens Jensen. This is where architects and artists continue to meet. Look for the Louis Sullivan desk where he worked daily after closing his office. When Sullivan died, he was a penniless alcoholic, his burial and funeral paid for by Frank Lloyd Wright. Continue to the Railway Exchange Building. The building was originally built for the Santa Fe Railroad in 1904. Burnham & Company had offices on the 14th floor. The building has been popular with architects through the years. C F Murphy and Graham Anderson Probst and White officed here. Currently, Skidmore Owings and Merrill and Goettsch Partners have offices in the Railway Exchange. After seeing the working spaces of the Prairie School and the Chicago School architects, move up in time by visiting the Inland Steel Building. Designed by SOM, it was their home until the 1980’s. A remarkable mid modern building completed in 1957, it featured many innovations. Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill have offices in Inland Steel today. Chicago was home to many other important modernists. For a last stop, visit 10 West Hubbard, formerly the offices of Chicago maverick architect Harry Weese. Currently the building contains the studio of Ross Barney Architects. Maybe Chicago Architects are just hermit crabs at heart.

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Sites in this tour (6)