Skyscrapers Cities St. Louis Wainwright Building


About Wainwright Building

The Wainwright Building is a 10-story red-brick landmark office building at 709 Chestnut Street 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.

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