Skip to main content

The Public Papers

This volume brings together for the first time all the papers Louis Sullivan intended for a public audience, from his first interview in 1882 to his last essay in 1924. Organized chronologically, these speeches, interviews, essays, letters to editors, and committee reports enable readers to trace Sullivan’s development from a brash young assistant to Dankmar Adler to an architectural elder statesman. Robert Twombly, an authority on Sullivan’s work and life, has introduced each document with a headnote explaining its significance, locating it in time and place, and examining its immediate context. He has also provided a general introduction that analyzes Sullivan’s writing style and objectives, his major philosophical themes, and the sources of his ideas. With the help of headnotes and introduction, readers will get a thorough sense of Sullivan’s concerns, discover how his ideas evolved and changed, and appreciate the circumstances under which new interests emerged.

This collection is a handy introduction to the full range of Sullivan’s thinking, the book with which readers interested in the architect’s writings should begin. As a companion volume to Robert Twombly’s biography of Sullivan, it gives a comprehensive picture of one of America’s most important architects and cultural figures.

280 pages | 1 halftone | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1988

Architecture: Architecture--Criticism

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Form and Function of Louis Sullivan’s Writing
1. From Hooley’s New Theater (1882)
2. Characteristics and Tendencies of American Architecture (1885)
3. We Are All Jolly Good Fellows (1885)
4. Essay on Inspiration (1886)
5. Remarks on the Subject, "What are the Present Tendencies of Architectural Design in America?" (1887)
6. What is the Just Subordination, in Architectural Design, of Details to Mass? (1887)
7. Report of the Committee on a Standard of Professional Requirement (1887)
8. Remarks on an Architects’ Code of Ethics (1888)
9. The Decoration of McVicker’s Theatre, Chicago (1888)
10. Style (1888)
11. Remarks on the Subject of an Architects’ Protective League (1888)
12. Proposal for an Architects’ Protective League (1888)
13. Remarks on the Merger of the Western Association of Architects with the American Institute of Architects (1888)
14. Blessed by Masons (1889)
15. The Artistic Use of the Imagination (1889)
16. Sub-contracting—Shall the National Association Recommend That It be Encouraged? (1890)
17. From Church Spires Must Go (1890)
18. Plastic and Color Decoration of the Auditorium (1891)
19. The High-Building Question (1891)
20. Ornament in Architecture (1892)
21. The Transportation Building (1893)
22. Emotional Architecture as Compared with Intellectual: A Study in Subjective and Objective (1894)
23. The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered (1896)
24. May Not Architecture Again Become a Living Art? (c. 1897)
25. Opinions On the Use of Burned Clay for Fire-Proof Buildings (1898)
26. An Unaffected School of Modern Architecture: Will It Come? (1899)
27. The Modern Phase of Architecture (1899)
28. Remarks on the Motto, "Progress before Precedent" (1900)
29. Remarks at the Architectural League of America Convention (1900)
30. The Young Man in Architecture (1900)
31. Reality in the Architectural Art (1900)
32. Open Letter on Plagiarism (1900)
33. Letter to the Editor on Kindergarten Chats (1901)
34. Telegram to the Architectural League of America Convention (1901)
35. Architectural Style (1901)
36. Education (1902)
37. Sub-structure at the New Schlesinger & Mayer Store Building (1903)
38. Basements and Sub-basements (1904)
39. Reply to Mr. Frederick Stymetz Lamb on "Modern Use of the Gothic: The Possibility of a New Architectural Style" (1905)
40. Letter to the Editor on The Craftsman (1905)
41. What is Architecture?: A Study in the American People of Today (1906)
42. Letter to the Editor on Gutzon Borglum (1908)
43. Is Our Art a Betrayal Rather than an Expression of American Life? (1909)
44. Artistic Brick (c. 1910)
45. Lighting the People’s Savings Bank, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: An Example of American Twentieth Century Ideas of Architecture and Illumination (1912)
46. Tribute to Solon S. Beman (1915)
47. Development of Construction (1916)
48. Remarks at the American Institute of Architects Convention (1922)
49. The Chicago Tribune Competition (1923)
50. Concerning the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan (1923)
51. Reflections on the Tokyo Disaster (1924)

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press