About This Item
lightly cleaned ornamental cast iron interior office door monogrammed doorknob and matching backplate or escutcheon removed from the extant wainwright building. the original patented bower-barff “rust proof” finish remains largely intact. the decorative doorknob and backplate were manufactured by the yale & towne mfg. co., stamford, ct. the doorknob with patented shank exhibits unique embossed lettering with a heavily beaded rim. the wainwright building is a 10-story red-brick office building located in downtown st. louis, missouri. built in 1890-91 and designed by dankmar adler and louis sullivan, it was among the first skyscrapers in the world. it was named for local financier ellis wainwright. it is described as “a highly influential prototype of the modern office building” by the national register of historic places. architect frank lloyd wright called the wainwright building “the very first human expression of a tall steel office-building as architecture.” aesthetically, the wainwright building exemplifies sullivan’s theories about the tall building, which included a tripartite (three-part) composition (base-shaft-attic), and his desire to emphasize the height of the building. he wrote: “[the skyscraper] must be tall, every inch of it tall. the force and power of altitude must be in it the glory and pride of exaltation must be in it. it must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exultation that from bottom to top it is a unit without a single dissenting line.” after a period of neglect, the building now houses missouri state offices and is well maintained. some architectural elements from the building have been removed in renovations and taken to the sauget, illinois storage site of the st. louis building arts foundation. backplate measures 2 1/2 x 11 inches. doorknob measures 2 1/2 inches.