The Architecture of Louis Sullivan: A Photo Gallery


In the 1880s and '90s, architect Louis Sullivan rose to prominence, designing and building (together with his partner Dankmar Adler) some of the most innovative and important buildings of the era. As Benjamin Schwarz writes in the March 2011 Atlantic, "He arguably invented and indisputably defined the aesthetic and purpose of the skyscraper." But as the nineteenth century drew to a close, a faltering economy, changing aesthetic tastes, and the dissolution of his partnership with Adler hampered Sullivan's career. By the time he died in 1924—alcoholic, depressed, and impoverished—his work had fallen out of favor, and in the years to come, many of his buildings fell into disrepair and were demolished.

In the early 1950s, architectural photographer Richard Nickel set out to rescue Sullivan from obscurity by systematically finding and photographing all of Sullivan's extant buildings. Some of the buildings he documented were well maintained and still in use, but many were dilapidated and neglected. Nickel spent twenty years on the project and collected 15,000 photographs. In 1972 he was killed by a falling stairwell while photographing Adler & Sullivan's Chicago Stock Exchange, which was in the process of demolition.

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The non-profit Richard Nickel Committee was formed in 1973 to move forward with Nickel's project. In November 2010, the group published the culmination of their efforts, The Complete Architecture of Adler & Sullivan (University of Chicago Press), a catalogue raisonné of the works of Adler & Sullivan, featuring historic photographs, architectural plans, project descriptions, and essays. The images and text in this slideshow are drawn from that work and are reproduced here courtesy of the Richard Nickel Committee, Chicago, Illinois.

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Sage Stossel is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and draws the cartoon feature "Sage, Ink." She is author/illustrator of the graphic novel Starling, and of the children's books  On the Loose in Boston and On the Loose in Washington, DC. More

On Election Day in 1996, launched a weekly editorial cartoon feature drawn by Sage Stossel and named (aptly enough) "Sage, Ink." Since then, Stossel's whimsical work has been featured by the New York Times Week in Review, CNN Headline News, Cartoon Arts International/The New York Times Syndicate, The Boston Globe, Nieman Reports, Editorial Humor, The Provincetown Banner (for which she received a 2009 New England Press Association Award), and elsewhere. Her work has also been included in Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year, (2005, 2006, 2009, and 2010 editions) and Attack of the Political Cartoonists. Her children's book, On the Loose in Boston, was published in June 2009.

Sage Stossel grew up in a suburb of Boston and attended Harvard University, where she majored in English and American Literature and Languages and did a weekly cartoon strip about college life, called "Jody," for the Harvard Crimson. From 2004 to 2007, she served as Books Editor of the Radcliffe Quarterly

After college she took what was intended to be a temporary summer position securing electronic rights to articles from The Atlantic's archive for use online. Intrigued by The Atlantic's rich history and the creative possibilities in helping to launch a digital edition of the magazine on the Web, she soon joined The Atlantic full time. As the site's former executive editor, she was involved in everything from contributing reviews, author interviews, and illustrations, to hosting message boards and producing a digital edition of The Atlantic for the Web.

Stossel lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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