Building 51 | Building 51 | c. 1905 vintage ornamental cast iron rookery building interior staircase spindle – frank lloyd wright, architect
9420
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c. 1905 vintage ornamental cast iron rookery building interior staircase spindle – frank lloyd wright, architect

51-5391-10

Category

Frank Lloyd Wright

About This Item

very rare ornamental cast iron, rookery building interior turned staircase spindle, designed by frank lloyd wright as part of the building’s interior renovation in 1905. the staircase spindle was executed by the winslow bros. ornamental ironworks or foundry. measures 28 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches. the spindle was removed from the adams street staircase located at the northeast corner of the building. the powerful exterior of this building, which is softened by lively ornament detailed by architect john root, typifies the lingering picturesque attitudes toward commercial architecture still prevalent in the 1880s. a transitional structure in the evolution of modern architecture, the rookery building employs both masonry wall-bearing and skeletal frame construction techniques. it takes its name from a temporary city hall and water tank that stood on the site following the fire of 1871. a favorite roost for pigeons, these structures were referred to as “the rookery.” when frank lloyd wright remodeled the rookery’s large skylit lobby in 1905, he introduced elements characteristic of his prairie school designs. wright removed most of john roots original iron ornament and replaced it with simple geometric plans. prior to the reniovation, frank lloyd wright briefly had his office there in 1898-99. other notable tentants include, but not limited to, the american luxfer prism co. and william winslow, president of the winslow brothers ornamental ironworks.