H I C A G O
R I B U T E
John Wellborn Root's
helped to establish Chicago as the
birthplace of modern architecture.
After the Great Fire of 1871, Root came
here from New York City to take part in
the rebuilding of Chicago. He met Daniel
H. Burnham and they formed a partnership
considered one of the most important in
architectural history. During their 18 years
together, Burnham and Root designed more
than 300 buildings, many in Chicago's Loop.
The firm began with
residential commissions, but soon was asked to design commercial buildings.
Their first important downtown building was the Montauk Building, where
Root used a technologically innovative grillage of iron rails that distributed
the building's weight over the entire ground area.
Root's designs often
showed an honest expression of a building's structure and deemphasized exterior
ornament. His work includes two of the finest examples of the Chicago school
of design: the Rookery Building and the Monadnock Block. The sparsely adorned
Monadnock remains the world's tallest office building with load-bearing
Root, who lived at 1310
North Astor Street, died of pneumonia at the age of 41. At the time, Burnham
and Root were working on the site planning and architectural themes for
the World's Columbian Exposition.