Sullivan is known as the father of the modern skyscraper. Combining technological advances like the steel frame building with a city ready to rebuild after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Louis Sullivan was able to become one of the most influential architects in history. After his death, his legacy was carried on and taken in different directions thanks to his most famous pupil Frank Lloyd Wright. He is credited with the phrase "form ever follows function" which has become influential in not only architecture but all forms of design.
While Sullivan was witness to his skyscrapers going up at a rapid pace, sixty years later Richard Nickel was racing to document them before they came down. Eventually, Nickel had become so emotionally involved in the work of Sullivan that he took a stand and tried to get the demolition of the Garrick Theater stopped in court. Sadly, he failed and the beautiful building was turned into a parking lot. He then turned to the preservation of the old Chicago Stock Exchange. When he realized he couldn't stop the demolition he worked feverishly with other like-minded people to save the interior of the building when a stairwell tragically collapsed and killed him.
He did not, however, die in vain. His work became a major impetus for the preservation movement in Chicago and many of Sullivan's remaining buildings have survived. Below I've compiled some Richard Nickel photographs I've found on the internet. Click the images for their sources.
|The Garrick Theater|
|From the Garrick Theater|
|Carson Pirie Scott Building. Still standing.|
|Old Chicago Stock Exchange and where Richard Nickel died.|
|Thanks in part to Nickel's efforts the entrance to the Old Chicago Stock Exchange was preserved and put on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.|
|They were also able to save the original interior from the stock exchange trading floor and have rebuilt it within the Art Institute of Chicago.|
Sources: The Richard Nickel Story http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=1,7,1,1,32
Richard Nickel and the Garrick Theater http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/exhibitions/LouisSullivan/GarrickTheater