cast plaster cove molding from louis sullivan-designed albert sullivan residence joins bldg. 51 museum collection

three sections of cove molding were salvaged from albert sullivan's residence (1891) shortly before or during the house was deconstructed/demolished in 1970 (portions of the facade were removed by richard nickel and his brother donald for southern illinois university with the hope that the facade would someday be reconstructed). interior ornament was salvaged by nickel, john vinci, and robert furhoff. 

floor plans by john vinci.

the house was built for sullivan's mother during the time the transportation building was being erected for the 1893's chicago world's fair. the molds used for ornament in adler and sullivan's polychromed transportation building (over 40 colors were applied by the interior design firm of healy & millet) were also used throughout his home.  


the cove molding was used in both the inner and outer vestibules leading directly to the staircase. the existing red paint is original (the inner vestibule was painted brown) and quite possibly, was chosen based on its use in the transportation building's color scheme. further research is needed to determine what factors led to the final finishes used throughout the house.

when sullivan's mother died around the time the house was completed, he moved in, where he spent the next four years living there (between 1892-1896). he was kicked out when his brother albert and his family chose to move there where they resided until 1905.

the partially exposed red paint is original - what sullivan saw during the time he lived there (1892-1895). the panel was likely modeled by kristian schneider. fabricator not known.

a variation of this design first appeared on the facade of the transportation building (1893 chicago world's fair). only three sections are known to exist. images of house interior shot by richard nickel beginning in 1959. the house was demolished in 1970. 


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