Monday, April 4, 2011

"The Father of the Modern Skyscraper" on Route 6


Architect Louis Sullivan has been called the Father of Modernism, the Father of the American Skyscraper, the "Spiritual Leader of the Prairie School."  He was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, and a "starchitect" in his day.  Route 6 town, Grinnell, Iowa,  home to the highly rated Grinnell College (the first college established in  the West - in 1846), is also home to a Louis Sullivan "Jewelbox" design Merchants' National Bank building.

While most of the building is stark and boxy the ornate medallion over the front entrance looks like a clue in the Davinci Code or something Richard Dryfus would cook up to attract alien spaceships.  And what's up with the church-like stained glass?  There is an explanation, and I aim to discover it and pass it along to you when I hit Grinnell sometime early June.  Stay tuned....

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