Daniel Burnham

Daniel Hudson Burnham ( born September 4, 1846 in Henderson, New York, † June 1, 1912 in Heidelberg) was urban planner and architect. He made a name for himself as a planner for the design of Chicago, as chief architect of the Chicago World's Fair and as the architect of one of the most remarkable skyscrapers of New York, the 91 meter high Flatiron Building.


When Daniel was nine years old, the family moved to Chicago Burnham. The young high school graduate Daniel Burnham worked in the mines of Nevada, but returned in 1860 back to Chicago. He worked in the known as the father of the skyscraper architect William Le Baron Jenney and the architectural firm Carter, Drake and Wright. Together with John Wellborn Root, another employee of this architectural offices, he became self-employed in 1873.

In 1876 he married Margaret Sherman, who came from a family of upscale Chicago society. About her father, he got access to these groups and access to major works contracts in the city. Burnham and Root evolved into pioneers of industrial architecture in Chicago, and the protagonists of the so-called Chicago School, which is reluctant designed buildings in skeleton construction. Out outstanding examples of Burnham and Root designed buildings include the Chicago Rookery Building (1887 ), the first skyscraper in lightweight construction, as well as the Masonic Temple Building ( 1891-1892 ).

For the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 Daniel Burnham was appointed as lead architect. His partner John Root was architectural consultant, but died suddenly in 1891 of pneumonia. For the World's Fair White City was built, a district that is dominated by historicism. The facades there are clad with stucco. Many architects of his time were disappointed and designated this as architectural throwback.

Daniel Burnham in 1894 still president of the American Institute of Architects. His firm DH Burnham & Co. employed a number of well-known architects. 1901-1903 was at the intersection of Broadway / Fifth Avenue in New York, the Flatiron Building ( Iron building). Contrary to some assertions, the Flatiron Building was at the time of its construction is not the tallest building in the world and not even the tallest building in the city. The Park Row Building ( 119.2 meters) was from 1899 to 1908, the tallest building in New York. Nevertheless, the Flatiron Building is one with its tapered shape, which exploits at the head of only 85 centimeters wide residual plot perfectly, still one of the architectural attractions of New York.

At the beginning of the 20th century until his death, Daniel Burnham did produce especially as an urban planner. In 1909 he presented a general urban planning design for Chicago ("Plan of Chicago " ), which lays down inter alia, the waterfront, on Lake Michigan as a freelance landscape zone with beaches, lagoons, islands and marinas. This urban development plan was created 30 years and served for a long time as the basis for urban planning in Chicago. Other cities in their planning, he was involved are Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Washington, San Francisco and Manila.

A well-known quote from Daniel Burnham says: " Do not make small plans. You do not have the magic to bring the blood of the people boil. You will not be realized. Make big plans, you put hopeful the highest goals - and work ".

After Good Old Germany he came to study the round arch style.

Known Structures

  • Rookery Building, 1887, Chicago
  • Masonic Temple Building, 1891-1892, Chicago
  • Reliance Building, 1894, Chicago
  • Flatiron Building ( Fuller Building originally ), 1901-1903, New York
  • Washington Union Station in 1907, the main bus station in Washington, DC