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Atwood, Charles Bowler

Atwood, Charles Bowler (1849–95). Massachusetts-born and -educated architect, who worked for Ware and van Brunt from 1866 before opening his own office in 1872, later joining Daniel H. Burnham of Chicago, IL, in 1891. His work in the 1880s showed an ever-developing fluency in the use of Classical motifs, and it was this facility that helped to get him the position of chief designer for the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. The accuracy and power of his Classical architecture was best seen at the Terminal Railroad Station at the Exposition, based on Roman thermae, which influenced the design of many railway-stations in the United States thereafter. His Fine Arts Building (later Museum of Science and Industry) of 1893 was a noble essay in the Graeco-Roman Neo-Classical style. It was Atwood who helped to apply a logical and scholarly architectural language to tall buildings, including the Reliance (1894–5) and the Fisher (1895–6) Buildings, two of the most important works of the Chicago School: towers clad in glass and terracotta, they represent a significant step in the evolution of the metal-framed skyscraper, the outside skin of which was visibly non-structural.

Bibliography

C. Jenkins (1895);
Woltersdorf (1924)

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