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Category Archives: Important People


The Rookery building is the oldest high rise in Chicago that is still standing. It was designed by famous architects Daniel Burnham and John Root. This article explains the name “rookery” is inherited from the previous building on this site, an old city hall which was a favorite roosting spot of pigeons. The interior of the building is very famous. It includes a famous semi-spiral staircase. As well, the lobby was remodeled in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright, who simplified the ironwork and added planters and light fixtures in his characteristic style. The court is filled with light, and it became ver influence design in office building in Chicago. This building represents a transition between masonry and metal construction methods, with the outer walls supported mostly by masonry piers and the inner frame built of steel and iron. Therefore this building was very influencal to the city’s design after the Chicago Fire by setting the foundation for many attributed that is seen throughtout the city today.

– Jeremy



This article describes the Daley center as being an “exceptional example of International Style architecture, based on the revolutionary steel and glass skyscapers of world-famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.” This building is known as being Chicago’s first major public building that was constructed in a modern style of architecture. This was very different then the the previos classical style of architecture. It has huge spans of steel framing, and expetional spatial flexibitlity. The building host a large plaza, which has a fount and a monumental sculpture by Pablo Picasso.

Clearly this building help spread the international style of architecture in the city. This helped advance the Modern movement, which gave Chicago more of an identity. At the same time, the sculpture and fountain in the plaza add to the city’s beauty. Lastly, the building was named after former Mayer Richard M. Daley after his death. Therefore building’s like the Daley Center are great for the city, because they push for innovation, art, and celebrate one of the most important people, former Mayor Daley, to the development of the city.

– Jeremy


Yesterday, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States with a landslide of electoral votes. Obama is the 44th elected president and he will be the first African American President. That alone makes history. The face or image of the United States internationally will forever be change. Although, Barack Obama is also considered to be the President of the people of the United States. He has been able to connects liberals, moderates, blacks, whites, old and young people, democrats, and republicans all over the country. He has been able to change the attitude of the country. His slogan is “Yes We Can”, and last night at Grant Park around 100,000 people were chearing “Yes We Did! Yes We Did!”.

Clearly last night the event was one to be remembered. A quote in the Chicago Tribune this morning said from one person, “I want to get photos that show a sense of the overall feeling here, the moments that make this night,” she said, noting plans to e-mail the photos to friends across the country. “This is a night I’m proud to be a Chicagoan.” The feeling at the park was electric and something that could be seen from watching on TV. On TV the viewers could see to the north of the park, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Tower was lit up to read “USA,” while just west of there, the Smurfit-Stone Building declared “Vote 2008” on its slanted diamond roof. This is exactly the kind of image World Business Chicago and the Olympic committee wants to bring to the city. Having a rally like that with Chicago as the background will be remembered for a long time. It highlights how great Chicago can be, and it can definitely help Chicago’s bid for the Olympics in 2016 because the entire world was watching.

Last night will be remembered for a long time. It took place from what was describe by the tribune as a “crystal-clear sky and a crescent moon, they came from across the country and around the world, stood shoulder to shoulder and cheered joyously for President-elect Barack Obama, each drawn for reasons as diverse as the faces around them.” While the people at Grant Park were inspired by the rally, so many more people were motivated. People around Chicago, people around the whole country, and people around the whole world left their homes to celebrate. At the University of Wisconsin Madison, I was able to witness a incredible unplanned celebration down state street. Around 3000 people packed the streets in a celebration. This type of reaction is probably something very similar to many other cities and towns last night around the world.

Despite what Barack Obama is able to accomplish as president, he has given inspiration to his country and the rest of the world. Hopefully, it will be able to spark all sorts of improvements by the people that were energized by the change Obama has created. For Chicago, there was no better way to have the change be highlighted but in the center of Grant Park.

– Jeremy


Many skyscrapers were created because of an original need for additional office space. Architects decided to build upward to satisfy the demand in urban areas so more people could take advantage of the resources that cities had to offer. One of the original towers created was the Monadnock building in Chicago, which still stands today at 15 stories, not high by today’s standards but was extreme for the time. Designed by Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root, this building was built with solid brick on the outer walls that was measured at six feet thick. Burnham and Root wanted to use metal instead of this thickness of brick but their clients did not trust this method. It was too extreme for the time period.

Eventually, Chicago architects began using office blocks with a skeleton entirely comprised of metal. Using metal for buildings faced a minor setback due to its expense at the time. Once steel became less expensive to produce and more widely available in the 1880’s, office towers began to grow taller and taller. The first architects to accept and visually accentuate this vertical character were Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan in Chicago. They began constructing 10 story buildings, which eventually grew larger. Later, Sullivan designed the Carson Pirie Scott department store building in Chicago which is now one of the most famous buildings in the city.

This type of architecture with the vertical character became known as the Chicago School. The main characteristic is the innovative steel-frame construction. Chicago School buildings have been praised as important precursors to 20th-century steel and glass skyscrapers. This construction made Chicago known as the birthplace of the first skyscraper. Therefore, this style of architecture that was invented in Chicago advanced the Modernism movement by aiding many of the skyscrapers designs created around the world.

– Jeremy

the white city

The Chicago Worlds Fair used Modernism to construct its site. Modernism was crucial to the cities development. It brought about new thinking that was able to aid in city planning. Many architects and leaders found at the end of the 19th century that new office skyscrapers were individually very impressive but they did not connect with the city as a whole. This look led to the belief that city designs occurred randomly and not planned out. Confusion was the result and few important people attempted to come up with a solution. The solution to eliminating the chaos in cities was largely influenced by the Columbian Exposition in 1893.

The Columbian Exposition helped change the confusion in the layout of cities. The Columbian Exposition was part of a World’s Fair held in Chicago that marked the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Western Hemisphere. Landscape architects such as Frederick Law Olmstead and Daniel Burnham planned the Exposition. Their goal was to showcase a design that made a cohesive group through the layout of their buildings. The work from Olmstead and Burnham caused Chicago be renamed as the “White City”.  It was given this name because of the shimmering white colored buildings that were used and because the Fair was incredibly well run and planned out. The “White City” gave people an impression of the city of having no poverty or crime. The “White City” gave Chicago a positive image, which was very different from previous years before the Great Chicago Fire. Before the fire, Chicago had the impression of being gloomy and dark. The great planning and execution of the Exposition changed that image forever.

The “White City” buildings were all designed with a classical Roman Style. This style of architecture sparked construction of large-scale classical public buildings. City halls, art museums, and public libraries started to be made using the Roman Style. This became a new form of public building construction as architects and governments found that this classical architecture was very appropriate and appealing. The Supreme Court building became a good example of this style.  From a distance the classical temple of the building is obvious, but up close it shows a degree of simplification that connects it with the art deco modernism movement.

Besides the World’s Fair having an impact on public buildings, it also sparked the idea for many cities to start to strategically planning the layout of their urban landscape. Many cities installed permanent urban planning boards or committees to make certain the land was being maximized as efficiently as possible. City leaders for the first time realized there was a need to be sensible and systematic plan because there seemed to be chaos in too many urban areas prior to this realization. This made the urban cities so much better, and aided many cities in becoming part of the global community. Establishing a planning committee for cities became known as the City Beautiful movement and lasted from 1893 until the great depression in 1930’s. The goal of the City Beautiful advocates was to improve the city through beautification. They thought this would lead to several positive effects on the city. The planners thought city beauty would inspire civic loyalty and moral rectitude in the impoverished. They also thought by bringing beauty to the American cities it would bring more culture similar to their European competitor’s cities. The last thing the planners hoped would happen was that the upper class would want to live in the urban centers, or at least spend money and work in them. Through these three effects planners thought American cities would be able to play a more important role in the global community.

Therefore the Expostion sparked innovation that was clearly used throughout the city and the rest of the world. The fair aided Chicago into allowing it turn into a Global City by using planners and the unique style of architecture. Thanks to the Worlds Fair, Chicago is a city that can play a big role in the global community.

– Jeremy

Louis Sullivan was an archirect that helped set the stage for chicago architecture. This article states, “he produced some of the most important–and influential–structures in the history of American architecture”. His firm created was initially just residence and small commericial buildings but in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s his work expanded to starting to build skyscapers.

After his firm split up he built one of chicago’s most famous buildings that still stands today in the Carson Pirie Scott department store. This building was influenced by the movement known as Art Nouveau. In the corner there is a elaborately decorative cast iron which is to show people Sullivan’s love of detail. Above the first two floors, the design of the remaining twelve is a contrast in simplicity, with geometric windows evenly spaced within the structural steel skeleton.  This building is a considered a Chicago masterpience.

Sullivan ended up being the architect for many more buidlings inside the city. As a result he set a foundation for the city in the way the buildings in his era were constructed inside the city. His buildings took a basic format for how buildings were allowed to be constructed but added in a very creative component of art, which is seen through the detail inside of his buildings. In 1887 Frank Lloyd Wright, another very famous Chicago Architect, joined his firm. Sullivan immediately became Wright’s mentor as this article describes. It is known that having Sullivan around allowed Wright to form the basis of the Prairie School of Architecture. Sullivan’s philosophy was, “form follows function” which became on of the basic principles practiced by the Prairie School architects. Therefore, Louis Sullivan played a huge role in shaping the city of Chicago’s architecture.

– Jeremy

The Ferris Wheel was invented by George Washington Gale Ferris for the World’s Columbian Exposition, which was a huge fair in Chicago in 1893 to commemorate Christopher Columbus. He was a senior partner in a firm specializing in building steel and bridges, and it said that one day at dinner he came up with the idea to build the Ferris Wheel. This article explains how the Ferris Wheel was constructed and the history behind it. It explains that the wheel was ready to run on June 9th, 1893 for the Exposition in Chicago for the first time, but was not ready for the public till November 6th, 1893. It was something that was described as giving a new life to the city.

Today there is a Ferris Wheel that stands and runs at Navy Pier. The Ferris Wheel is a Chicago symbol for innovation. At the time when it was constructed, the idea was mind boggling and thought to be a insane idea that will never happen. Now it is a common and simple ride at many Ammusment parks around the world.

George Washing Gale Ferris was another innovater that helped shape Chicago. His idea most likely sparked many more ideas for ammusment parks while at the same time he created a classic design that will forever be used.

– Jeremy

Frank Lloyd Wright has effected Chicago with his unique style of housing that is seen throughout Chicago. It was said in this article, “Wright’s houses embodied a flowing, human-scaled complexity that reflected ideal living conditions rather than rigid enclosures.” He created these houses at a time when most American homes were made as box-like shells. Over a 100 of his innovative houses are in the chicagoland area. Many aspects of the house resemble a Japanese Shinto temple. These features were descibed in this article. The article mentioned that the houses include small divided light windows reminiscent of a shoji screen, clay tiles on a low-hipped roof, and open sleeping porches on the second floor. These types of houses were constucted to blend in and exmplify the nature around it. Thanks to Wright’s innovation the chicago metropolitain area was able to expand and become more appealing. As a result of the suburbs being more appealing the urban sprawl occured, which in turn allowed the Chicagoland areas population started to grow. With the population growing around Chicago, it has allowed Chicago to become a more prominant Global City.

– Jeremy



This month, september 14 2008, chicago Tribune posted in article that talked about how to make chicago better. Currently Chicago Metropolitan Agency for planning is beginning to draft a blueprint for the future of the seven counties that surround Chicago. This has been sparked by the 100th year anniversary of the legendary Burnham Plan that change the face of Chicago. The plan is often referred to as the most important document in the Cities history, which was writtten by Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett. The plan created the breathtaking lakefront, Navy Pier, North Michigan Avenue, and framed the growth of the suburbs. Now the new generations leaders in the city want to finish what the Plan started. For example, Mayor Daley wants to extend the lakefront for new miles. 

The original Plan was art. It created a scene that changed the culture of the city. The people were able to have a place to enjoy the lakefront, and businesses thrived because Chicago became a better place to be. This current development will be another form of art. The plan will add another dimension to Chicago layout.

A new wave of innovation in the city is exactly what is needed. This comes at a perfect time when there is a current push to get the Summer 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago. The Olympic committee could view Chicago as a even better place to be to showcase to the entire world. Hopefully Chicago finds a way to raise enough money to accomplish there goals with this new plan because it will add another dimension to “global city” of Chicago.

– Jeremy