Fire: 3, Sullivan: 0
By Shannon in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 4, 2006 7:25PM
Exhibit A: Pilgrim Baptist Church
Location: 3301 S. Indiana Avenue
Notable facts: Originally built by Louis Sullivan and his partner, Dankmar Adler, as the Kehilath Anshe Ma'ariv synagogue. Became the Pilgrim Baptist Church in 1922. Often called the birthplace of gospel music, due to musical director Thomas Dorsey.
Designated as a Chicago landmark: Dec. 18, 1981
Fate: Destroyed by fire, Jan. 6, 2006. Caused by workers doing roof restoration.
Future: Possible rebuilding. Exterior walls appear to be structurally sound. However, many valuable records have been lost forever.
Exhibit B: Wirt Dexter Building
Location: 630 S. Wabash Avenue
Notable facts: Built by Adler & Sullivan for Chicago attorney Wirt Dexter. Also known as the George Diamond Building, for the steakhouse on the bottom floor. An early building in Sullivan's career, it functioned as a precursor to the pair's famed Auditorium Building on Michigan Avenue. Its most prominent features were the vertical cast-iron beams on the back.
Designated as a Chicago landmark: July 31, 1996
Fate: Destroyed by fire, Oct. 24, 2006. Caused by workers cutting up old furnaces with blowtorches.
Future: Impossible. Due to the extent of the blaze and its proximity to elevated train tracks, teardown commenced on the doomed structure the following day.
Exhibit C: George Harvey House
Location: 600 W. Stratford Place
Notable facts: Built by Adler & Sullivan for insurance magnate George Harvey. Believed to be the last wood-frame house built by the two, since two A&S wood cottages were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Owner Natalie Frank recently showed interest in making condos out of the site. Architectural conservation group Preservation Chicago pushed for the city to bestow landmark status upon the Lakeview abode. Restoration was being done on the house and it was vacant at the time.
Fate: Destroyed by fire, Nov. 4, 2006. Cause unknown as of yet.
Future: If Louis Sullivan's 2006 track record is any indication... very bleak indeed.