Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Staircase from Chicago Stock Exchange Building, Chicago

Maker:
Louis Henry Sullivan (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1856–1924 Chicago, Illinois)
Maker:
Dankmar Adler (American, 1844–1900)
Date:
1893
Geography:
Made in Chicago, Illinois, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Cast iron, electroplate copper finish, mahogany railing
Dimensions:
144 x 92 x 156 in. (365.8 x 233.7 x 396.2 cm)
Classification:
Architecture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. James Biddle Gift, 1972
Accession Number:
1972.50.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 701
During the building boom following the famous fire of 1871, the Chicago-school architects, led by Sullivan, invented a new building type: the skyscraper. One of the masterpieces of the form was the Chicago Stock Exchange Building, completed in 1894. The staircases installed here were removed from the building when it was demolished in 1972. The copper-plated ironwork exemplifies Sullivan’s mature ornamental style—a combination of two-dimensional geometric shapes and naturalistic plantlike forms. Sullivan used similar motifs throughout the building, executing them in a variety of media, from stenciled canvas to molded plaster and terracotta.
Chicago Stock Exchange Building, Chicago; Three Oaks Wrecking and Lumber Company, Chicago, until 1972
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