Staircase from Chicago Stock Exchange Building, Chicago

Louis Henry Sullivan American
Dankmar Adler American

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.

Staircase from Chicago Stock Exchange Building, Chicago, Louis Henry Sullivan (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1856–1924 Chicago, Illinois), Cast iron, electroplate copper finish, mahogany railing, American

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