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Art Deco in chicago

Deco Chicago

Original design drawings and blueprints of Chicago's most flamboyant Deco tower, the Carbide and Carbon Building, also including Midwest designs for fountains, monuments and public buildings by Iannelli Studios; Chicago's 1933 World's Fair, A Century of Progress.

Chicago's Jazz Age architecture was simply called Modernistic when it was created in the 1920s, and Modern as it evolved into the Swing era of the 1930s. Whether starkly cubistic or smoothly streamlined, the new office and apartment buildings that redefined the skyline embodied the new language of building until the 1950s.


When Daniel Burnham's sons assumed control of their father's firm, they built some of the most flamboyant skyscrapers in the Loop, rivaling Manhattan's towers and creating instant landmarks. Their Carbide & Carbon Building on Michigan Avenue is often equated with New York's Chrysler Building in its exuberant use of ziggurat massing, deep sculptural reliefs and polychromatic coloring.

Burnham Brothers, as the firm was later named, also designed the muscular Engineering Building at Wells and Wacker, The Medical Arts Building at Randolph and Wabash, and the never-built 60 story Cuneo Building overlooking Grant Park that fell victim to the 1929 Stock Market Crash. 1933's great World's Fair, A Century of Progress, displayed a fantastic new city of the future that became an icon decades later of the new term Art Deco.

For the fair, Alfonso Iannelli designed pavilions for Goodyear, Havoline Oil, Elgin Watches, and Electricity that boldly declared the new modern forms in soaring curves or zig zag radio waves. Iannelli's streamlined renderings for the Goodyear Pavilion figured in a corporate tug of war between the tire manufacturer and its chief rival, Firestone.

Chicago also demonstrated the new stylistic flourishes in countless small, commercial buildings around the city. Their terra cotta and stone details, cornices and ornamental friezes were captured by photographers hungry for new still-life subjects.

On September 15th ArchiTech presents an exhibition and sale of original design drawings, blueprints and vintage photographs of all these spectacular creations. Deco Chicago will continue at ArchiTech through Saturday, November 25th, 2000.

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century of progress,  A George Miller
A. George Miller
Hall of Science, A Century of Progress
vintage Gelatin-Silver Print, 1933
9 x12 inches


A. George Miller,  Palmolive building
A. George Miller
Palmolive Building, Chicago
Vintage gelatin-silver print, Circa 1931
14 x 11 in


.goodyear pavilion, alfonso iannelli
Alfonso Iannelli
Proposed Pavilion for Goodyear,1933
26 x 39 inches


Click here for a link to the separate Carbide and Carbon Building Page

scyscraper art, Burnham
Burnham Brothers
Carbide and Carbon Building, Chicago 1928-29
230 North Michigan Avenue
original master working drawings
ink on linen with gold wash

David Jameson
ArchiTech Gallery
730 North Franklin suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654

architectural art for sale

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