1.12. MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE EAST…

McKim, Mead, & White, Boston Public Library, 1887. (Online)

Precisely at this moment, however, Eastern American architects had also consciously diverged from the American omnipresent Romanesque Revival (Richardson had died on April 27, 1886, only a week before the Haymarket Square bombing, a very eventful week for Chicago’ architecture, indeed!). However, rather than looking to the problem for the solution, these architects chose to repurpose (positive)/ imitate (negative) the Classical architecture from the past. The best example of this sea change in Eastern architectural style was the new Boston Public Library designed in 1887 by McKim, Mead, and White, that poignantly sat facing the great Richardson’s Trinity Church. I will (need to) discuss the reasons for this change of style in depth prior to discussing the 1893 Columbian World’s Exposition and will do so in Chapter 8.  For now, it must  suffice to state that as Chicago’s architects, led by Burnham and Root, had diverged from their East Coast contemporaries in terms of professional practice with the formation of the W.A.A. in November 1884, it should not surprise us that they would also take their own architectural path into the future.  These divergent paths will converge in January 1891…

(If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to eMail me at: thearchitectureprofessor@gmail.com)

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