a photographic study of limestone ornament salvaged in 1953 from adler & sullivan's walker warehouse

images of a single bedford limestone walker warehouse (adler and sullivan, 1888-1889) impost block on display in the graham foundation's building fragment garden are presented below. 

the hand-carved block was one of six that supported the building's the enormous arches. there were two designs - the one in the graham garden faced wacker drive. the other - featuring interlocking circles and seed pods - faced adams street.

the other block as photographed by aaron siskind in 1953. image courtesy of the bldg. 51 museum collection.

two slabs bearing the same designed were rescued by ralph marlowe line. the other four ended up as rubble stone used along lake michigan when the building was demolished in 1953. walker warehouse limestone fragments have since been discovered along the shores of lake michigan with efforts being made to pull them from the water and move them to a publicly accessible area. although i haven't seen the fragments in person, i was fortunate to see images taken of the rubble with large slabs bearing the interlocking circle design. 

seldom seen image of adler & sullivan's walker warehouse (1889) undergoing demolition in 1953. unidentified photographer. richard nickel later documented a bedford limestone walker warehouse cornice segment that survived demolition. the cornice segment was ultimately destroyed in 1985. images courtesy of the richard nickel archive, ryerson and burnham archives, art institute of chicago.

seldom seen image of adler & sullivan's walker warehouse (1889) undergoing demolition in 1953. unidentified photographer. richard nickel later documented a bedford limestone walker warehouse cornice segment that survived demolition. the cornice segment was ultimately destroyed in 1985. images courtesy of the richard nickel archive, ryerson and burnham archives, art institute of chicago.

1953 photo by arron siskind shortly before demolition

 

the walker warehouse was a speculative project for martin ryerson. his death in 1887 stalled the project and/or construction, but moved forward by ryerson's son. shortly after completion, it was leased to james h. walker, a wholesaler.

note: aaron siskind's 1953 photos are far more superior, but i was thrilled to finally document the ornament myself. 

siskind's "iconic" photo of a tendril taken in 1953.

the following images were taken of the walker warehouse's bedford limestone slab located at the graham foundation's fragment garden. 

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