Building 51 | Building 51 | c. 1893 chicago world’s fair-era cast bronze columbus memorial building interior passage door hardware – yale & towne mfg. co., stamford, ct.
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c. 1893 chicago world’s fair-era cast bronze columbus memorial building interior passage door hardware – yale & towne mfg. co., stamford, ct.


Chicago Buildings

About This Item

complete 19th century ornamental bronze and brass metal interior columbus memorial building office door hardware designed and fabricated by the yale & towne mfg. co., stamford, ct. the building’s door hardware, consisting of backplates, a single mortise lock, doorknobs and a hinge were ordered specifically for the building’s interior office and passage doors by chicago-based orr and lockett. the unusually shaped and oversized backplates feature a repeating fleur-de-lis motif with floral embellishment along the edges. the banded rim doorknobs with uniquely shaped shanks contain lightly embossed rearing lions. the nicely aged surface patina on each and every hardware component was left untouched. two additional sets available for sale. the non-extant or demolished columbus memorial building was a 15-story steel frame downtown chicago skyscraper building designed at a time to capitalize on the columbian exposition or chicago worlds fair of 1893. the downtown chicago steel frame structure was the very last commission for william w. boyington, who was a highly regarded chicago architect at the time. boyington earned a solid reputation for designing several buildings prior to the great chicago fire of 1871, which included the chicago water tower and pumping station (extant). however, most of his buildings constructed prior to 1871 were destroyed in the fire. the heavily ornamented terra cotta and stone building featured large glass mosaics of the landing of columbus between the main entrance on state street. a nine-foot cast bronze freestanding statue was mounted in an alcove directly above the building’s entrance. the 240 foot tower contained an opalescent glass globe that was lit by incandescent lighting. continents on the globe were marked in color, with a large cut jewel used to pinpoint chicago’s location. an in-depth or descriptive analysis of the interior is still a work in progress for me. with more time in the near future, i hope to locate any and all interior images of the building, along with information pertaining to the decorative treatments used throughout the lobby and office spaces, which were primarily as physician offices. the few artifacts collected from this building (see other listings) are likely just the tip of the iceberg, but whether anything equally or much more substantial dodged the wrecking ball or scrap yards remains undetermined. at the very least the moses ezekiel-designed statue of christopher columbus was rescued shortly before demolition and later relocated to little italy’s arrigo park (formerly known as vernon park) in 1966.