Another Louis Sullivan on fire!

    From our roof here on Navy Pier I see black smoke. Billowing, and lots of it. A building is on fire in the south loop. Seems to be near the neighborhood where the Great Chicago Fire started!

    As this is Chicago, one must hope it ain't a landmark.

    My colleague makes a call and we learn - it is a Louis Sullivan building. 630 South Wabash. The Dexter Building.

    Poor Louis! What a year or so. Two of his cottages destroyed by Katrina. Then Pilgrim Baptist Church. Now this.

    Ah, Louis. Love ya.


    Later I'll post a photo or two of the black smoke over the city.

    The fire may have been limited to the fifth and sixth floors. I'm told it has been contained. Some 225 firefighters and 40 pieces of equipment battle the blaze.

    I need to write an opera on the tragic life and legacy of Louis Sullivan.

    The fire broke out a little before 3 p.m. in the basement of 630 S. Wabash Ave. The fire department's response rose through several alarms and at about 4:45 p.m. was upgraded to a 4-11 alarm fire, which means 145 firefighters, at least 16 engines and 10 trucks were sent to the scene...

    Chicagoans will remember the George Diamond Steak House was in that building until a few years ago. Photo from Atelier Teee's flikr stream (with lots of nice photos of Sullivan buildings and ornament.)
    Over at the online tourist guidebook their entry on the steakhouse doesn't even mention that patrons also got the thrill of dining in an Adler and Sullivan building. But it does feature this comment posted on 04/02/2003 by 'anonymous.'
    "It's absolutely the most dirty, disgusting place on earth! You would be safer eating from the bottom of a Portable Toilet on a hot summers day. The current owner has not now, nor has ever had any relation to the Original George Diamond Steak Houses. It was purchased in an auction. And it serves as a tribute to just what a few bucks to a health inspector can get you in Chicago."

    ! More fodder for the opera.
    -EdwardSource URL:
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