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.

The Big Pajama

cctva cctvb cctvc

The CCTV headquarters is this exotic looking building above. The shape leads to the local name dà kùchǎ (大裤衩) meaning the big pyjama. We wandered around the Beijing central business district, which is full of tall towers, but did not find anything which is as cool as this. A ground level photo misses the two arms of the building on the ground which mirrors the overhang at the top. This may not be among the world’s ten tallest skyscrapers, but certainly takes your breath away when you see it. That overhang seems to defy gravity. How does it stay up without visible struts to take the stress from the upright parts?