From March 20 – May 11, the “American City: St. Louis Architecture: Three Centuries of Classic Design” exhibition will be up at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in downtown Chicago. The show consists of 83 large prints of over 40 historic buildings in St. Louis, including acclaimed landmarks such as Louis Sullivan’s Wainwright Building, James Eads’ Eads Bridge, Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch and Tadao Ando’s Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts Building. The timeline stretches from 1839 to 2010. The show is being staged in the Willis’ ground floor atrium and lobby and is free to the public. More information on the exhibition after the break.
The show is being sponsored by U.S. Equities Realty, the owners of Willis Tower and the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association. Willis Tower is, of course, the tallest building in North America. The exhibition and accompanying monograph are the second installment of our “American City” project, which is dedicated to exploring the architecture of the Midwest. The project began in 2005 with the publication of “American City: Detroit Architecture 1845-2005.” Although they are only 300 miles apart, the architecture of St. Louis could not be more different than that of Chicago.
“Less Is More” is not a phrase that resonates in St. Louis, a city that glories in color and bold ornamentation. How bold? I’m attaching some photos from the show of Union Station, which was designed by Theodore Link in 1894 and recalls Henry Hobson Richardson’s Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh. The interiors, meanwhile, are by Chicago designer Louis Millet, who also worked extensively with Louis Sullivan.