Daniel Burnham

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Burnham_bust.gif


Missing image
Chicago_Masonic_Temple_Building.jpg
Masonic Temple Building

Daniel Hudson Burnham (September 4, 1846 - June 1, 1912) was born in Henderson, New York and raised in Chicago, Illinois. His parents brought him up under the teachings of the Swedenborgian Church of New Jerusalem[1] (http://www.newchurch.org/), which ingrained in him the strong belief that man should strive to be of service to others. After failing admissions tests for both Harvard and Yale, and an unsuccessful stint at politics, Burnham apprenticed as a draftsman under William LeBaron Jenney. At age 26, Burnham moved on to the Chicago offices of Carter, Drake, and Wright, where he met future business partner John Wellborn Root (1850-1891). With his new partner, Burnham would become the architect of the one of the first American skyscrapers; the Masonic Temple Building[2] (http://patsabin.com/illinois/masonic.htm) in Chicago. Measuring 21 stories and 302 feet, the Temple held claims as the tallest building of its time, but was torn down in 1939. Under the design influence of Root, the firm had produced modern buildings as part of the Chicago School. Following Root’s premature death at the hands of pneumonia in 1891, the firm became known as D.H. Burnham and Co.


Missing image
Court_of_Honor_and_Grand_Basin.jpg
Court of Honor and Grand Basin - World's Columbian Exposition

Burnham and Root had accepted responsibility to oversee construction of the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago’s then-desolate Jackson Park on the south lakefront. The largest world’s fair to that date, it celebrated the 400-year anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ famous voyage. After Root's death, a team of distinguished American architects, including Burnham, Frederick Law Olmstead, Charles McKim and Louis Sullivan, radically changed Root's modern and colorful style to a Classical Revival style. Under Burnham's direction, the construction of the Fair overcame huge financial and logistical hurdles, including a worldwide financial panic and an extremely tight timeframe, to open on time.

Considered the first example of a comprehensive planning document in the nation, the fairground was complete with grand boulevards, classical building facades, and lush gardens. Often called the "White City", it popularized neoclassical architecture in a monumental and rational Beaux-Arts plan. The remaining population of architects in the U.S. was soon asked by clients to incorporate similar elements into their designs.


In 1909, Burnham and assistant Edward H. Bennett prepared The Plan of Chicago, which laid out plans for the future of the city. It was the first comprehensive plan for the controlled growth of an American city; an outgrowth of the City Beautiful movement. The plan included ambitious proposals for the lakefront and river and declared that every citizen should be within walking distance of a park. Sponsored by the Commercial Club of Chicago[3] (http://www.commercialclubchicago.org/), Burnham donated his services in hopes of furthering his own cause.

Missing image
PBurhamPlan.jpg
Burnham's Plan for central Chicago

Plans and conceptual designs of the south lakefront[4] (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/i?ammem/pan:@field(NUMBER+@band(pan+6a04088)):displayType=1:m856sd=pan:m856sf=6a04088) from the Exposition came in handy, as he envisioned Chicago being a "Paris on the Prairie". French inspired public works constructions, fountains, and boulevards radiating from a central, domed municipal palace became Chicago’s new backdrop. The plan set the standard for urban design, anticipating future need to control unexpected urban growth.

City planning projects did not stop at Chicago though; Burnham helped shape cities such as Cleveland, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Manila in the Philippines. Much of his career work modeled the classical style of Greece and Rome. In his 1924 autobiography, Louis Sullivan, considered by many to be the greatest architect from the Chicago School, chastised the late Burnham for his lack of original expression and dependence on Classicism. Sullivan claimed the neoclassical example of the World's Fair had "set back architecture fifty years" -- corporate America thought differently.


Burnham may not have ever said the most famous quote attributed to him: "Make no little plans. They have no magic to strike man's blood and probably will themselves not be realized." The quote, however, captures Burnham's architectural essence.

A man of influence, Burnham was considered the preeminant architect in America at the turn of the twentieth century. He held many postitions during his lifetime, including two-time president of the American Institute of Architects[5] (http://www.aia.org/). In 1912, when he passed away in Heidelberg, Germany, D.H. Burnham and Co. was the world's largest architectural firm. Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright eulogized, "(Burnham) made masterful use of the methods and men of his time...(as) an enthusiastic promoter of great construction enterprises...his powerful personality was supreme."

Almost as a tribute to his urban planning ethos, Burnham's final resting spot is given special attention, being located on the only island in Uptown's park like Graceland Cemetery.



Notable Commissions

Missing image
Burnham_carbon.jpg


Chicago

Others


References

de:Daniel Hudson Burnham

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools