Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 4 - Daniel H. Burnham

Architect and city planner Daniel H. Burnham was born on September 4, 1846, near Watertown, NY, and raised in Chicago. He apprenticed as a draftsman with noted architect William LeBaron Jenney, who in Chicago designed and built the first skyscraper (1884-5). He partnered with John Wellborn Root, forming Burnham and Root, which prospered after the Great Chicago Fire (1871). By 1891 the firm had designed nearly 300 structures, including railroad stations, warehouses, office buildings, schools, churches and many private homes. The 21-story, steel-framed Masonic Temple (1892) was the world’s tallest office building in occupied floors. After Root’s death, Burnham was the chief coordinating architect for the World Columbian Exposition (1893) and its vast Beaux-Arts plan. He also designed New York’s Flatiron Building (1902) and Union Station (1907) in Washington, DC, which was part of his replanning and expansion of the National Mall. His masterwork was the “Plan of Chicago” (1909), which is considered a landmark in the history of urban planning.

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