Sunday, October 31, 2010

An Analysis of Classical Elements in the London Guarantee and Accident Building

The London Guarantee and Accident Building, at 360 N. Michigan Avenue sits at a location of both historic significance and contemporary relevance in Chicago. The modern history of the site starts in 1803, with the erection of Fort Dearborn. Two iterations of Fort Dearborn have stood at the site, originally serving as home for a major part of the western defense for the United States. With the development of the city, the site gained prominence as the intersection between one of the major geographic elements, the Chicago River, and one of the most famous streets, Michigan Avenue. The current building was built from 1922 to 1923 under the direction of architect Alfred Alschuler. Originally the American headquarters of the Britain based London Guarantee and Accident insurance company, the building has subsequently been called the Stone Container Building and the Crain Communications Building. The building features many classical elements, tying it strongly to the Beaux-Arts style popular in the United States in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

This analysis discusses the classical elements found on the building and analyzes the success of implementing classical design in an early skyscraper.

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