"Siry's book is not about a store per se. Rather, it is a vehicle for examining how one man's ideas at once expressed and informed defining aspects of material life in his immediate milieu and beyond.... Carson Pirie Scott transcends the confines of ordinary case studies to become a formidable work of cultural history." (Journal of American History)"From the Publisher:
Long recognized as a Chicago landmark, the Carson Pirie Scott Building also represents a milestone in the development of architecture. The last large commercial structure designed by Louis Sullivan, the Carson building reflected the culmination of the famed architect's career as a creator of tall steel buildings. In this study, Joseph M. Siry traces the origins of the building's design and analyzes its role in commercial, urban, and architectural history. Originally constructed to house the Schlesinger and Mayer Store, Sullivan's building was one of a number of large department stores built at the turn of the century along State Street in Chicago's burgeoning retail district. Replacing a generation of commercial architecture that had grown out of the Great Fire of 1871, these new buildings were tall and steel-framed, a construction that posed new aesthetic problems for designers. Handsomely illustrated with more than one hundred photographs and drawings, Carson Pirie Scott provides an illuminating history of a pivotal architectural work and offers an original, revealing assessment of how Sullivan, responding to the commercial culture of his time, created a fresh, distinctive American building.
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