Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Carson Pirie Scott Building as a City Target Store

Designer, Louis H. Sullivan (1856-1924)
This is a interesting comparison between the ornamentation of the Carson Pirie Scott building (top) in Chicago and a similar artifact/panel (bottom) that’s displayed in the Art Institute of Chicago. The museum artifact shows the original color and surface of Sullivan’s architectural ornamentation. Notice the reddish patina and matte finish. The Carson Pirie Scott building, which will become a City Target store later this year was originally designed as the Schlesinger & Mayer Store in 1899.

Here’s information from an Art Institute of Chicago museum didactic:
Spandrel panel from the façade of the Gage building, 1898-99 (remodeled 1952), painted cast iron.  The Gage group of buildings were constructed to house wholesale millinery firms. The buildings at 18, 24, and 30 South Michigan were engineered by Holabird and Roche, and Sullivan was commissioned to design the façade of number 18. Originally, the base of the building featured decorative cast-iron panels, such as this one. The panels were covered with rich, foliate ornament that was first given a coat of red paint followed by a rubbing of green so that a flickering surface resulted. The exterior ornament of Carson Pirie Scott and Company (1899), 1902-04), also designed by Sullivan, was treated in the same.

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