demolition of adler & sullivan's 1892 meyer lofts building documented and salvaged by richard nickel


richard nickel images documenting the demolition of adler & sullivan's meyer building or commercial lofts (1892). the 7-story structure was commissioned by the estate of m.a. meyer, a former partner in selz, schwab, & company.

 the heavily fortified masonry and terra cotta m.a. meyer lofts or commercial building was designed by the firm of adler & sullivan in 1892. located in the heart of chicago's garment district at 301-311 w. van buren st. and 400-412 S. franklin st., the seven-story structure was built for the estate of m.a. meyer and originally occupied by wholesale clothiers, kuh, nathan, & fischer.

the timber-framed masonry building featured several bands of strongly geometric ornament and massive corner medallions comprised of buff-colored glazed ornamental terra cotta fabricated by the northwestern terra cotta company. the ornament was designed in part by frank lloyd wright.


the building's rear elevation contained a vertical system comprised of perforated cast iron girders (similar to adler & sullivan's dexter building built in 1887).


 
several fragments of terra cotta, including a complete medallion, and gothic style wrought iron fire escapes (possibly designed by wright were salvaged by nickel before the building was demolished in 1968.

images and ornament courtesy of the bldg. 51 museum archive, john vinci collection,  and ryerson and burnham library, art institute of chicago.

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