'No Small Plans'? Burnham Never Said It

That's just one of the interesting tidbits in this celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Plan of Chicago and Daniel Burnham in The New Yorker.
March 4, 2009, 2pm PST | Tim Halbur
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"In the mid-eighteen-nineties, Daniel Burnham, then the most prominent architect in Chicago, met with a young architect named Frank Lloyd Wright. Burnham had been impressed by Wright's talent but felt that he could use some seasoning. He offered to pay Wright's tuition at the École des Beaux-Arts, in Paris, to support his family, and to give him a job when he returned. Wright turned him down. It was one of the few times that Burnham, who was probably the most successful power broker the American architectural profession has ever produced, didn't get his way, and he told Wright that he was making a mistake: the Beaux-Arts style, of which Burnham was a leading exponent, was taking over the country, and Wright was deluded if he thought that his modern approach, with its open spaces and horizontal lines, would ever amount to much.

Burnham and Wright went their separate ways, but their paths kept crossing, because if you had anything to do with American architecture around the turn of the century you inevitably ran into Burnham."

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Published on Monday, March 2, 2009 in The New Yorker
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