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Has Chicago lost the

A rt of the D oor?

The old doors and gates of Europe are surviving silent story tellers of the good, bad, interesting, and frightful, some dating back to the 13th century. The craftsmanship and materials of metal and wood have passed the test of time and usage.  Doorway designs, a lost art, waits to emerge as a part of the architectural design, dating centuries back, with ornamentations to sometimes serve as messages and other times portraying a family crest. 

Chicago has adopted many architectural styles since the World's Columbian Exposition also known as The Chicago World's Fair in 1893. The fair had a profound effect on architecture, the arts, Chicago's self-image, and American industrial optimism.

Where is the modern day Louis Sullivan ready to emerge to punctuate plain surfaces with eruptions of lush Art Nouveau and something like Celtic Revival decorations, casted in modern 

materials and ranging from organic forms like vines and ivy, to more geometric design, and interlace. 

Probably the most famous example is the writhing green ironwork that covers the entrance canopies of the Carson Pirie Scott store on South State Street. These 

ornaments, often executed by the talented younger draftsman in Louis Sullivan's employ, would eventually become Sullivan's trademark; to students of architecture, they are his instantly 

recognizable signature.

house door from 18th century 

Photos by: Peter Jezioro jeziorop@gmail.com

Page 18 - Vigore AUGUST 2012 copy

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