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Theatre Architects

Theatre Architects

Here you can find out about the architect firms and individual architects associated with the theatres featured on this website.

To view all architect firms and individual architects featured on this website click here.

Adler and Sullivan Adler and Sullivan

Adler & Sullivan was an architectural firm founded by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. It is known for designing the Auditorium Building in Chicago and the Wainwright Building in St Louis. In 1883 Louis Sullivan was added to Adler’s architectural firm, creating the Adler & Sullivan partnership.

Dankmar Adler was born in Stadt Lengfeld, Saxony on 3rd July 1844. At the age of 17 he emigrated to Chicago. After serving in the Civil War, he apprenticed with Augustus Bauer, and Ozias Kinney. He then associated with Edward Burling before practicing Architecture under his own name. Successful in his own right, Adler hired young Louis Sullivan during the building boom following the Great Chicago Fire. Sullivan served as Adler’s chief draughtsman for the Borden Block. By 1893 Sullivan was Adler’s full partner.

Louis Henri Sullivan was born on 3rd September 1856 in Boston. At the age of 16, he spent a year at MIT and then travelled to work with Frank Furness in Philadelphia. He moved to Chicago in 1873, working briefly with William LeBaron Jenney. Sullivan then spent three months at the Ecole des Beaux Arts before returning to Chicago in 1875, where he worked for Johnston and Edelman before joining Dankmar Adler.

Adler was German and Jewish with strong ethnic ties in Chicago and an interest in acoustics. French-trained Sullivan, arriving from Boston, was the artist. Together from 1880 until 1895 Adler & Sullivan produced more than 180 buildings and some of Chicago’s most important and most loved Architecture.

Adler left the partnership in 1895, a victim of the financial depression that followed the World’s Columbian Exposition. Adler & Sullivan continued to collaborate, but were never again partners. Adler died of a stroke in 1900. Sullivan survived until 14th April 1924, when he died penniless, alcoholic, and alone in a hotel room.

Information in part sourced from The Chicago Loop Link opens in new window.

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