Early Twentieth Century Architecture


What does early twentieth century architecture have to do with reading, you ask?

I am nearing the end of Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City. The fair has closed, the murderer is in jail, and the madman has struck. The murderer still has to be tried, we still have people’s lives to finish, and a few more things to tie up.

I’m reading about the architecture of the Chicago World’s Fair and how its influence spread into the 20th century with its gothic columns and Romanesque feel. Another Chicago architect (Sullivan) blasted the fair’s architect (Burnham) because the style lasted over long.

About two months ago I read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. She used the world of architecture as her background. The battle was over architects keeping to the traditional intricate styles against the architect whose innovations shook the field to its core. I can’t help but wonder if Sullivan’s attack of Burnham was part of Rand’s influence for her epic novel.