Schlesinger and Mayer Department Store
 Great Buildings  Search  Advanced  Buildings  Architects  Types  Places  3D Models  Pix  Archiplanet   ArchitectureWeek  
Architect Louis H. Sullivan
Subscribers - login to skip ads
Location Chicago, Illinois   map
Date 1899 to 1904   timeline
Building Type department store
 Construction System cast iron ground floor storefront
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Early Modern
Notes "Schlesinger and Mayer Department Store", "Schlesinger and Meyer Department Store", "Schlesinger-Mayer Store", "Carson Pirie and Scott Store", "Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co". Tall with rounded corner.


Photo, exterior




Elevation Drawing
Plan Drawing
Plan Drawing
Section Drawing
Site Plan Drawing

Discussion Schlesinger and Mayer Department Store Commentary

"Instead of a stack of undifferentiated office rooms, the department store required broad horizontal open spaces where goods could be displayed; at the ground floor the windows were to be showcases highlighting selected wares. Thus in the finished building, constructed in two phases in 1899 and 1903-4, the horizontal line, rather than the vertical, is dominant, with the broad spandrel panels brought up flush with the narrow vertical piers. Nevertheless the tripartite division is present with (a) ground floor windows richly encrusted with cast iron frames by Sullivan and his assistant Elmslie, (b) midsection, and (c) the terminating attic and cornice slab. As in Burnham and Root's Reliance Building, there is a change in color, away from the reds and browns, to glazed white terra cotta."

— Leland M. Roth. A Concise History of American Architecture. p182-3.

"Originally built for the established firm of Schlesinger and Meyer, the first three-bay, nine-storey phase of this department store was erected in 1899, and the second, twelve-storey increment on the corner of Madison and State Streets between 1903 and 1904. The southernmost five bays along State were added in 1906 by D.H. Burnham. Located in downtown Chicago at an important commercial junction, this store was purchased soon after completion by the prosperous firm of Carson Pirie Scott and it is still owned by them. Sullivan's building finally comprised a seven by eight bay loft volume with each structural bay measuring approximately 22 by 20 feet."

— from Kenneth Frampton and Yukio Futagawa. Modern Architecture 1851-1945. p105.

Sources on Schlesinger and Mayer Department Store

Precedents in Architecture. Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. drawings and diagrams, p116-117. main floor plan, p116. typical floor plan, p116. section, p116. elevation, p116. site plan, p116. — Updated edition available at

Modern Architecture 1851-1945. Kenneth Frampton. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1983. photo of exterior of corner from across the street, p105. — Available at

Johnson Architectural Images. Copyrighted slides in the Artifice Collection.

A Concise History of American Architecture. Leland M. Roth. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1979. ISBN 0-06-430086-2. NA705.R67 1979. exterior photo, p183.

Carson Pirie Scott : Louis Sullivan and the Chicago Department Store (Chicago Architecture and Urbanism, Vol 2). Joseph Siry. Chicago Architecture & Urbanism (December 1988). ISBN 0226761363. — Available at

Architecture, from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1986. photo, f788, p502.

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


Web Resources
Links on Schlesinger and Mayer Department Store

Schlesinger and Mayer Department Store at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

We appreciate your  suggestions  for links about Schlesinger and Mayer Department Store.

 Great Buildings  Search   Model Viewing Tips   DW   Discussion   Blogs   Books   Archiplanet   ArchitectureWeek  
Subscribe free to weekly design and building newsletters by ArchitectureWeek

Quick Search by name of Building, Architect, or Place:   
Examples:  "Fallingwater",  "Wright",  "Paris"       Advanced Search
Send this to a friend | Contribute | Subscribe | Link | Credits | Media Kit | Photo Licensing | Suggestions

Special thanks to our sustaining subscribers including, and Saniflo Upflush.

© 1994-2013 Artifice, Inc. All Rights Reserved.