Sunday, March 20, 2011

George Grant Elmslie

George Grant Elmslie should be an architectural legend. He worked for Louis Sullivan for nearly two decades. His work with William Gray Purcell was at the height of the Prairie Style. Whenever Elmslie is mentioned, it is in the context of Frank Lloyd Wright or Louis Sullivan. Personally, I never was a fan of Wright, but you can't ignore the guy's importance. People forget that Purcell and Elmslie made made more Prairie homes from 1910-1920 than Wright did. The later buildings that Louis Sullivan designed after leaving Dankmar Adler also had a heavy influence from Elmslie. He supposedly designed most of the cast-iron ornament on the famous Carson Pirie Scott storefront.

Recently I had the chance to drive down to Aur
ora, IL, where there is small concentration of Purcell and Elmslie buildings. The influence of Louis Sullivan on this work is hard to ignore, but these buildings are not something that Sullivan would design. While I could go on, I'd rather just post some of the photos I took. All were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i and a Tamron 10-24mm lens. It was a little too light for good photos, but I can't simply turn off the sun.

William H. Graham Building, 1926. George Elmslie

Old Second National Bank, 1924. George Elmslie.