Daniel Burnham is arguably one of the most impactful figures
in Chicago's history. Considered one of the founding fathers of the Chicago
School of Architecture, Burnham formed the architectural firm Burnham &
Root with his partner John Wellborn Root in 1873. After Root's death in 1891
the firm became D.H. Burnham & Co. and continued to design impressive structures
throughout the city.
As chief director of the World's Columbian Exposition of
1893, Burnham envisioned the fair as an assembly of beautifully arranged
structures woven into a landscape design. Burnham's design of the fair has been
credited for inspiring the City Beautiful movement and the development of the
modern American city. Burnham's vision of the modern American city culminated
with the Plan of Chicago in 1909, a groundbreaking urban plan for Chicago.
Much of the way Chicago looks today can be
traced back to Burnham's Plan of Chicago.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Burnham (1 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL)
Hotel Burnham is located in the old Reliance Building, a
National Historic Landmark building that was originally designed by John Root
and finished by D.H. Burnham & Co. after Root's death. The building is a great example of the
Chicago School of Architecture with its steel frame, terra-cotta façade and the
use of Chicago windows. While staying at
the hotel, check to see if the Chicago
Architecture Foundation has a tour of the building scheduled to learn about
the building's history, early tenants and the massive restoration process that
brought this landmark back to life.
JW Marriott Chicago (151 W. Adams St., Chicago, IL)
The JW Marriott Chicago, formerly the Continental &
Commercial National Bank Building, was originally designed by Graham, Burnham &
Co., a firm set up by Daniel Burnham's sons and Ernest Graham to succeed D.H.
Burnham & Co. after Burnham's death in 1912. The building features
exquisite neo-classical design and offers travelers a one-of-a-kind authentic
destination in Chicago's downtown Loop district. After a full restoration, the
building maintains many of the original design features by Burnham's firm. While
staying at the hotel, make sure you walk across the street to see one of Burnham
& Root's masterpieces, the Rookery Building.
EXPLORING BURNHAM BUILDINGSChicago Architecture Foundation (224 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL)
The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is the leading
organization devoted to celebrating and promoting Chicago as a center of
architectural innovation and as such CAF highlights Daniel Burnham's legacy in
Chicago on multiple tours. Their Daniel
Burnham: Architect, Planner, Leader tour explores some of Burnham's
best-known landmarks as well as lesser-known designs on this tour that examines
all facets of Burnham's legacy. The Devil
in the White City tour will take a look at Burnham as the chief director of
the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Two walking tours that explore multiple
Burnham buildings include Historic
Downtown (North Loop): Treasures of Culture and Commerce, which explores
the Reliance Building (Hotel Burnham) and Macy's on State, and the Historic Downtown (South Loop): Rise of the
Skyscraper, which focuses on the Monadnock Building and the Rookery, among others.
To take an in-depth look at some of Burnham's most influential
buildings, the Chicago Architecture Foundation offers individual buildings
tours as well. The Macy's on State: The
Legacy of Marshall Field's explores the massive building in detail
including the Tiffany ceiling. To see the world's tallest commercial building
with load-bearing masonry walls check out the Monadnock Building tour. The Railway
Exchange (Santa Fe) Building tour examines the 1904 D.H. Burnham & Co.
building where Burnham himself had an office and where the 1909 Plan of Chicago
was produced. The Rookery Building
tour explores both the interior and exterior of one of Chicago's most famous
and beloved historic buildings by Burnham & Root. Venture to the 11th floor
for a visit to the architects' private library-rarely open to visitors.
Visit the 1894 Reliance
Building (Hotel Burnham) and explore the exterior, interior lobbies and two
upper floors of this Daniel Burnham-designed building where much of the
original marble, mahogany doors and decorative wrought iron work are still in
Visit www.architecture.org to find out dates, times and meeting locations of the
For group tour bookings
contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312.922.3432 ext. 226
MUSEUMS BY D.H. BURNHAM & CO.
of Science & Industry (5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL)
Originally designed by Charles Atwood of D.H. Burnham
& Co. as the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition,
the Museum of Science & Industry (MSI) was reconstructed by Burnham's
successor firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst and White. MSI is the largest science center in the
Western Hemisphere, is home to more than 35,000 artifacts and nearly 14 acres
of hands-on experiences designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity.
Since opening its doors in 1933, MSI has welcomed more than 180 million guests
from around the world.
Museum of Natural History
(1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL)
The Field Museum's current building was designed by D.H.
Burnham & Co. in a neo-classical style and later finished by Burnham's
successor firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White. The Field Museum's
founding purpose was the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge, and the
preservation and exhibition of objects illustrating art, archaeology, science
and history. With 4.6 billion years under one roof, The Field Museum is your
passport to travel around the world and back in time. Start discovering now!
Shedd Aquarium (1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL)
The Shedd Aquarium was designed by Ernest Graham of the
firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, which was the successor firm to Graham,
Burnham & Co. Daniel Burnham was
Ernest Graham's mentor at D.H Burnham & Co. and it was Graham who decided
on the Beaux-Arts style of the building in order to make a better structural
match with Shedd's neighbor, the Field Museum of Natural History. Strap a mask
and flippers onto your imagination and chart a course to Shedd Aquarium. Have
you ever gotten eye-to-eye with a dolphin? Or met a penguin on a stroll to the
South Pole? Or immersed yourself in an Amazon flooded forest? At Shedd, it's
DuSable Museum of African American History (740 E.
56th Place, Chicago, IL)
The DuSable Museum of African American History was
founded in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Burroughs and is housed in a 1910 building designed
by D.H. Burnham & Co. The DuSable Museum is one of the few independent
institutions of its kind in the U.S. Developed to preserve and interpret the
experiences and achievements of people of African descent, it is dedicated to
the collection, documentation, preservation and study of the history and
culture of Africans and African Americans. The DuSable Museum is proud of its
diverse holdings that number more than 15,000 pieces and include paintings,
sculpture, print works and historical memorabilia. Special exhibitions,
workshops and lectures are featured to highlight works by specific artists,
historic events or collections on loan from individuals or institutions. The
museum will continue to be connected to Daniel Burnham when it expands into the
Washington Park Stable building designed by Burnham & Root in 1880.
EXPLORING PLACES TO PLAY AND SHOP
Symphony Orchestra (220 S.
Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL)
Chicago's Symphony Center was designed by D.H Burnham
& Co. in 1905 as Orchestra Hall. The
Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) was looking to acquire a permanent home to perform
and since Burnham was on the orchestra's board it was determined that the
Symphony Center would be designed by Burnham and built on land that he owned. The
Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of today's leading
orchestras. Performances by the CSO are much in demand at home and in the most
prestigious music capitals of the world. For a full list of scheduled
performances and to buy tickets visit www.cso.org.
Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.,
Navy Pier was built in 1916 as part of the 1909 Plan of
Chicago developed by architect and city planner Daniel Burnham and his
associates. Daniel Burnham envisioned
two piers jutting out into Lake Michigan as business and leisure areas for
Chicagoans but only was built and was originally named Municipal Pier #2. The
pier was officially named Navy Pier in 1927 to honor the Naval personnel that
served there during WWI. Today, Navy Pier is the Midwest's No. 1 tourist and
leisure destination, attracting more than 8.6 million visitors a year. From
rides to restaurants, exhibitions to entertainment, shopping to dining cruises
and tour boats, and fireworks, Navy Pier has it all - in a location unlike any
Macy's on State (111 N. State St., Chicago, IL)
The massive Macy's department store, formerly Marshall
Field's, on State Street was designed by D.H. Burnham & Co. between 1892
and 1914 in four different sections. Some of the main features not to be missed
while you shop or dine are: the Great Clocks, known as the "Sentinels of
State Street," with their ornamental ironwork and timeless beauty, still
remain a popular meeting place for Chicagoans and visitors alike; the Tiffany
Ceiling, which was installed in 1907, contains over 1.6 million pieces and is
the largest unbroken example of Tiffany Favrile glass in the world; and the three-tiered
Burnham Fountain. Macy's on State Street
is the second largest department store in the world, recognized as a National
Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Customers can shop and dine their way through the 12-floor building that has
been a tradition for generations of Chicagoans.
Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL)
Proudly referred to as Chicago's "front yard,"
Grant Park is a 319-acre public park located in the Loop. Grant Park's most notable features include
Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the
Museum Campus, made up of the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and the Adler
Planetarium. Daniel Burnham envisioned Grant Park as a formal landscape with
museums and civic buildings and the park takes on many of those characteristics
today. Grant Park is home to many of Chicago's celebrations throughout the
summer including Taste of Chicago, Blues Fest, Jazz Fest, Summer Dance, and
numerous parades. Enjoy a walk through the park to discover beautiful gardens,
amazing public art or to visit one of Chicago's premier cultural attractions.
Burnham Park (5491
S. Shore Drive, Chicago, IL )
Burnham Park, totaling 600 acres, sits on Chicago's lakefront
just south of Grant Park. This park was named for Chicago's famous Burnham who
envisioned a south lakefront park with a series of manmade islands, linear
boating harbor, beaches, meadows and play fields. Burnham Park today features
the naturalistic Promontory Point designed by Alfred Caldwell; Northerly Island;
a popular skate park at 31st Street; beaches located at 12th Street, 31st
Street and Oakwood & 57th Street; bird sanctuaries; and beautiful natural
Graceland Cemetery (4001 N. Clark St., Chicago IL)
Daniel H Burnham died in 1912 and is buried in Graceland
Cemetery along with many other influential architects who contributed to
Chicago's architectural legacy, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Louis
Sullivan, John Wellborn Root, William Holabird, Dwight Perkins, David Adler and
Ernest Graham. Both the Chicago
Architecture Foundation and the Chicago
History Museum offer walking tours of Graceland Cemetery, which is on the
National Register of Historic Places. On
the tour, hear the stories of how these architects and other prominent
Chicagoans shaped this great city.