Louis Sullivan Biography
Birthday: September 3, 1856 (Virgo)
Born In: Boston
The American architect Louis Sullivan is referred to as the "father of skyscrapers". He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Beaux-Arts in Paris. His career reached its zenith during his partnership with Dankman Adler. At first, the partners designed many theatres, the most famous example of their work being the Auditorium Building in Chicago. The Wainwright Tomb, the mausoleum designed by Sullivan is regarded as a masterpiece. These buildings came at a time when steel was used to give strength to buildings, unlike before when the buildings were constructed with very thick “load-bearing” walls. Sullivan adapted by creating high-rises very different from the ones that were being constructed along historical styles. He emphasized the height, keeping in mind the purpose of the construction. He believed in the Roman architect, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio’s credo "form ever follows function", stressing on use rather than utility. But, he also used ornamentations as seen in the Carson Pirie Scott store, and the semi-circular arch was his favorite feature. His design of the polychrome modern Transportation Building earned him accolades for originality. After his partnership with Adler broke, he did not do well. He became erratic, undependable, impersonal, and an alcoholic. He became an inspiration for other Chicago architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Nickel and Crombie Taylor.