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 Louis H. Sullivan
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Prairie School Timeline

This timeline reflects major events of the Prairie School between 1856 and 1965.

Click on an architect to emphasize specific events.

Louis H. Sullivan Frank Lloyd Wright William Gray Purcell & George Grant Elmslie George Washington Maher
1856 Louis Henri Sullivan born, Boston, Massachusetts

1864 George Washington Maher born in Mill Creek, West Virginia

1867 Frank Lloyd Wright born, Richland Center, Wisconsin

1869 George Grant Elmslie born, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

1880 William Gray Purcell born, Wilmette, Illinois

1884 Elmslie immigrates to United States

1884-85 Adler and Sullivan's Scoville Building, Chicago

1887 Frank Lloyd Wright, George Washington Maher, and George Grant Elmslie simultaneously work for Chicago architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee

1887 Frank Lloyd Wright leaves Joseph Lyman Silsbee for Adler and Sullivan

1887 George Washington Maher leaves Silsbee to open his own practice in Chicago

1889 Wright helps George Elmslie get a job with Adler and Sullivan

1889 Frank Lloyd Wright builds home for himself, a shingle-style with Progressive elements, in Oak Park, Illinois

1890-91 Adler and Sullivan's Wainwright Building, St. Louis, Missouri

1891-92 Adler and Sullivan's Schiller Building Theater, Chicago

1893 Adler and Sullivan's Chicago Stock Exchange Building

1893 Wright leaves Adler and Sullivan to open own practice

1895 Adler and Sullivan partnership ends

1895 George Grant Elmslie becomes Sullivan's chief draftsman

1896 House Beautiful magazine begins publication in Chicago, popularizing the Arts and Crafts Movement in America

1901 Wright's Ward Willits House, now considered the first Prairie School residence

1902 Frank Lloyd Wright's Francis W. Little House, Peoria, Illinois

1903 Elmslie secures a five month internship with Sullivan for Purcell

1903 Sullivan's Carson Pirie Scott Building, Chicago

1903-06 Purcell interns on the West Coast

1903 Frank Lloyd Wright's Larkin Building, Buffalo, New York

1904 Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple, Oak Park, Illinois

1904 Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis established

1907 Purcell and Feick establish architecture practice in Minneapolis

1907 Purcell and Feick's Catherine Gray House, Minneapolis

1907-08 Sullivan's Henry B. Babson House, Riverside, Illinois

Louis Sullivan's National Farmers' Bank, Owatonna, Minnesota; Elmslie is principal designer

1908 Purcell and Feick hire a woman drafter, Marion Alice Parker

1909-10 Purcell and Feick's Stewart Memorial Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis

1909 Elmslie leaves Sullivan's practice; Sullivan can no longer afford to pay him

1909 Frank Lloyd Wright's Frederik C. Robie House, Chicago

1910 Elmslie joins Purcell in Minneapolis to form Purcell, Feick and Elmslie

1910 Purcell, Feick and Elmslie's first commission as a firm, the E.L. Powers House, Minneapolis

1910 George Washington Maher's Charles J. Winton, Sr. House, Minneapolis

1912 George Washington Maher's E.L. King House (Rockledge), Homer, Minnesota

1912 Elmslie moves to Chicago and opens branch office of Purcell, Feick and Elmslie

1912-13 Purcell, Feick and Elmslie's Edward W. Decker House, Wayzata, MN

1912-13 Purcell and Elmslie's Merchants National Bank of Winona, Winona, Minnesota

1912-14 Frank Lloyd Wright's Francis W. Little House, Deephaven, Minnesota

1913 Feick leaves Purcell, Feick, and Elmslie

1913 Purcell and Elmslie's Edna S. Purcell House (Purcell-Cutts House), Minneapolis

1913 Purcell and Elmslie's Madison State Bank, Madison, Minnesota

1914 Frank Lloyd Wright's Midway Gardens, Chicago

1915 Purcell and Elmslie's Minnesota Phonograph Company, Minneapolis

1916 Purcell and Elmslie's Farmers and Merchants Bank, Hector, Minnesota

1916-22 Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan

1917 United States enters World War I

1918 Handicraft Guild becomes University of Minnesota's art education program

1919 Treaty of Versailles ends World War I

1920 Purcell moves to West Coast for remainder of his career

1921 Purcell dissolves Purcell and Elmslie partnership

1922 Elmslie's Capitol Building and Loan Association Building, Topeka, Kansas

1924 Louis H. Sullivan dies

1926 George Washington Maher commits suicide

1928 Elmslie's Western Springs Congregational Church, Western Springs, Illinois

1929 "Black Thursday" market crash begins decade-long Great Depression

1952 George Grant Elmslie dies

1953 Purcell and Elmslie exhibition at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

1956-59 Wright's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

1959 Frank Lloyd Wright dies

1965 William Gray Purcell dies

Emphasize: Louis Sullivan  Frank Lloyd Wright  Purcell & Elmslie  George Washington Maher

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