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Communiversity Presents the Architecture of Daniel Burnham

When one thinks of iconic American architects, Frank Lloyd Wright comes to mind. But another architect had a similar impact on the skyline of America's cities: Daniel Burnham.

Date: 6/30/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephanie Smith

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Renaissance Hotel outside view

Daniel Burnham built some of the first skyscrapers. He directed construction of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which inspired the City Beautiful Movement, a philosophy of architecture and urban planning in the 1890s and 1900s that introduced beautification and monumental grandeur in cities. And he created urban plans for Washington, D.C., Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Manila before the idea of urban planning existed.

Writer, instructor and antiques expert Frank Farmer Loomis will present a University of Cincinnati Communiversity class on Burnham's legacy July 15 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for Preservation Triumphs in the Queen City. The lecture will give architecture fans a chance to examine Burnham’s style up close at one of Burnham’s buildings: the Marriott Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel. Lunch (not included in the classroom fee) will follow at the hotel’s restaurant, which is named in Burnham’s honor.

Here are a few highlights of Burnham's career.
Burnham also designed four skyscrapers in Cincinnati between 1901 and 1905:
  1. The Bartlett Building, located at Fourth and Walnut streets, was built in 1901 for Union Savings Bank and is Cincinnati’s first skyscraper. The building was expanded in 1914, has 19 stories and stands 239 feet tall. It was the tallest building in Ohio for three years until the completion of the Fourth and Walnut Center. Since 2014, the Bartlett Building is the home of the Marriott Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel.
  2. The Tri-State Building at 432 Walnut St. was built in 1902 for streetcar operator Cincinnati Traction Co., has 15 stories and measures 215 feet in height.
  3. The Fourth National Bank Building at 18 E. Fourth St. was built in 1904. From 2003 to 2005, the building was renovated and converted into lofts, which sold between $200,000 to $380,000 each.
  4. The Clopay Building, now known as the Fourth & Walnut Center, at 105 E. Fourth St., was built in 1905. The name “Clopay” was a combination of the words “clothing” and “paper.”
Registration for the class is $59 (lunch not included). Register online or call 513-556-6932.

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