Marshall Field Store
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Architect Henry Hobson Richardson
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Location Chicago, Illinois   map
Date 1885 to 1887   timeline
Building Type commercial warehouse
 Construction System cut stone bearing masonry
Climate cold temperate
Context urban
Style Richardsonian
Notes "Marshall Field Wholesale Store". Block scale coherent ordering of facade creating a strong presence without use of historical detail.


Photo, exterior, facades and building corner

Photo, exterior overview, historical


Detail Drawing

Plan Drawing

  Contributions appreciated

Discussion Marshall Field Store Commentary

"The Field Wholesale Store appeared to be a single huge block. Since the interior consisted of open loft spaces, Richardson maintained an uninterrupted rhythm of arcades along each side. Instead of historical detail, Richardson used the textured monochromatic surface of the granite and brownstone masonry to provide visual interest, supplemented only by a chamfer at the corners and an enriched terminal cornice. Simple though it appears, the Marshall Field Wholesale Store demonstrated clearly that a large commercial block could be expressed as a single integrated unit of great force and authority. No longer were meretricious historical ornament or a ponderous roof obligatory. Large-scale coherent forms, graced with plain walls, could be effective. Though structurally the Field building was conservative, with bearing walls and cast iron and wooden columns for internal supports, the visual expression was highly advanced and pointed in a new direction which many critics and architects, both in the United States and Europe, interpreted as being distinctly American."

— Leland M. Roth. A Concise History of American Architecture. p169-70.

Sources on Marshall Field Store

Oswald W. Brube, Peter C. Pran and Franz Schulze. 100 Years of Architecture in Chicago, continuity of structure and form. Chicago: J. Philip O'Hara, 1976. photo of street corner facacde, p18.

Henry-Russel Hitchcock. The Architecture of H. H. Richardson and His Times. Archon Books, 1961. floor plan drawing 1885, plate 98.

George A. Larson & Jay Pridmore. Chicago Architecture and Design. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1993. ISBN 0-8109-3192-3. LC 93-18306. NA735.C4L37. exterior photo, p26.

H. H. Richardson. Selected Drawings: H.H. Richardson and His Office, A Centennial of His Move to Boston, 1874. Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harvard College Library, 1974. ISBN 0-914630-00-8. LC 74-80839. NA737.R5035. cornice detail drawing, fig19j, p120.

Leland M. Roth. A Concise History of American Architecture. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1979. ISBN 0-06-430086-2. NA705.R67 1979. discussion, p169-170. exterior rendering, p169. exterior photo, p170.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Marshall Field Store


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