In the late nineteenth century, Chicago -- the birthplace of modern architecture in the United States -- was a magnet for aspiring architects. The city was forced to rebuild after the destruction wrought by the Great Fire of 1871 and also to expand to accommodate a surge in the population. The seemingly endless demand for taller and more sophisticated buildings offered young draftsmen an unprecedented opportunity to influence the design of the American skyscraper. The Chicago Architecture Club: Prelude to the Modern documents the history of these draftsmen, the organization they founded, and its role in shaping architectural education and modern architectural practice.
Founded in 1885, when architecture was an emerging profession and formal architectural education was in its infancy, the Club provided a setting where aspiring draftsmen could develop their skills by creating a professional network and participating in a lively program of lectures, design competitions, and social events. Wilbert R. Hasbrouck documents the personalities and politics of this impressive group, offering an in-depth look at the lesser-known men often largely responsible for the designs credited to their more famous employers. This comprehensive volume includes hundreds of drawings and photographs depicting a wide range of buildings that laid the groundwork for a uniquely American modern architecture.