Sullivanesque, or Lost on Ontario Street

One evening I walked down Ontario Street in Chicago looking at the buildings around me. Some seemed to belong to an earlier generation of skyscrapers. The one in the featured photo seemed to be special. Unfortunately, I did not mark the crossing it was on, so now I find it hard to figure out its name or research its history.

There are many reasons it stands out. First, it is only fifteen stories high, a dwarf amongst today’s buildings. But more than that, it has a red-brick and plaster exterior, the kind that I associate with Louis Sullivan, the originator of modern skyscraper architecture. Is this building by Sullivan or his firm? I can’t check, since I didn’t note the address, but I guess it is not likely. But notice that the bottom two stories are plaster clad. This is certainly a deep homage to Sullivan’s style. So are the decorations around the windows on the top floor. The white vertical lines emphasizing the height of the building are also typical elements of his style.

I am a little distressed at not being able to place this building, and would appreciate hearing from you if you know more about it, or are able to identify it.

Foggy Nights in the Loop

It is interesting to walk through the Loop area of Chicago with its lovely skyscrapers. If I remember correctly, it was in Chicago that the first skyscapers were built in the late 19th century. Sullivan then branched out into a new style of architecture called the Chicago School. Later developments in the construction of these buildings also came from Chicago. I think this is also the correct season to emphasize the role of Fazlur Khan in the structural engineering fundamentals of all modern skyscrapers: he worked in the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.


I liked walking through the fog on Michigan Avenue. The best thing about fog in Chicago at this time of the year is that it keeps the city warm. On a night without fog the temperature dropped almost to 10 Celsius below zero. With the fog the temperature is a mild 2 degrees above. The second is that you get lovely photos of the city: from the view of Michigan Avenue above, to the riverside skyscrapers in the featured photo. Chicago is beautiful at this time.