rarely seen richard nickel photographic images of the victor a. falkenau flats

i hope to devote a day or two a week for the next few years, carefully combing through the richard nickel archive at the ryerson and burnham library, where i'm finding immense satisfaction in discovering and resurrecting long-forgotten historically important images of nickel's unrelenting commitment to documenting and/or salvaging chicago's architectural past as it was being wiped from the cityscape at the peak of urban renewal or "slum clearance" between 1950 and 1970.

this blog entry was inspired by the discovery of a single nickel contact print containing images of adler & sullivan's 1888 falkenau flats, which was documented inside and out shortly before it was demolished in 1958.

the victor a. falkenau flats (completed, 1888) building was one of the first residential structures designed in part by frank lloyd wright shortly after he joined the firm of adler and sullivan in 1888. ornament, including carved ornamental bedford limestone panels (e.g., winged cherub) and "stock" fireplace majolica tiles (see images), was salvaged by john vinci and richard nickel during its demolition in 1958.

images courtesy of the richard nickel archive, ryerson and burnham archives, art institute of chicago. falkenau majolica tiles courtesy of bldg. 51 museum collection.

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