July 03, 1844 – The Day An Architect Was Born To Rebuild Chicago

Dankmar Adler was born on July 03, 1844. He was the architect who helped in rebuilding Chicago after the Great Fire of October 1871 destroyed 17,000 buildings. Adler is remembered in Jewish history because with his partner Louis Sullivan, they were able to replace at least 100 of the damaged structures. Adler and Sullivan also ushered in the era of steel-supported skyscrapers.

While Sullivan was the design genius whose name became a legend, Adler was remembered for his engineering prowess. Adler was unusually good with acoustic design although he was never able to explain the methods used. Even before his partnership with Sullivan, Adler was able to design the iconic Auditorium Building in 1889. Adler’s first prominent building was a 10-story skyscraper that contained a 4,300-seat theater on the lower floors. The building also contained offices including a hotel.

The partnership of Adler and Sullivan resulted into the Chicago Stock Exchange Building (1894) and St. Louis Wainwright Building (1891) including the massive new home for Kehilath Anshe Ma’ariv that later became the Pilgrim Baptist Church. What was originally constructed as a synagogue has become a landmark in Chicago, Illinois. However, the partnership between Adler and Sullivan was dissolved 1895 due to the Great Depression.

The engineering skills of Adler were surprising because he was not a particularly good student. In fact, he was not able to pass the entrance exams to the University of Michigan. Adler took private lessons in drawing and worked as a drafting apprentice for a Detroit architect. He also studied privately with architect E. Willard Smith who taught him the fundamentals of the profession. In 1879, Adler opened his own firm and hired Sullivan as a draftsman. Sullivan acted as designer and artist to Adler’s engineering and administration skills. Sullivan became famous for his intricate decorative details.

Architect in Brentwood has 30 years’ experience is designing homes and business offices for Brentwood, Nashville and Franklin Ave. Projects include construction of new homes and office buildings, renovation and remodeling of single family homes and apartment complexes as well as condos and duplexes. Design is made from an aesthetically pleasing standpoint without compromising function.

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