SULLIVAN, Louis Henry
(b. 1856, Boston, d. 1924, Chicago)

Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company Building

1898-1904
Photo
9 East Madison Street, Chicago

After the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, Sullivan concentrated on producing a series of brilliant 'skyscraper' designs. Of the nineteen such designs conceived between 1890 and 1901, nine were executed. All follow the basic type of the Wainwright Building - base, colonnade, entablature - but with refinements and variations. The Schiller Building (1891-93) in Chicago was powerfully shaped, stepping back from the party walls at the ninth storey to become a free-standing tower. The Guaranty Building (1894-96) in Buffalo, NY, was the most sophisticated, with an unbroken surface of decorative terracotta and an interwoven, curving solution at the cornice. The Carson Pirie Scott Store (1898-1904) in Chicago is the most minimal, with the broad grid of its steel structure frankly exposed. It was his last large urban structure.

The Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company Building (also known as Sullivan Center) was designed by Louis Sullivan for the Schlesinger & Mayer department store. Sullivan's steel frame allowed the store to exhibit much of its merchandise in its windows. George Grant Elmslie, Sullivan's draftsman, designed some of the ornate detailing around the entrance. In 1904, Sullivan built an expansion, and the store was sold to Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company.

The photo shows a view from the north.