About this artwork
After working for architect Richard Upjohn in New York, Solon Spencer Beman (1853–1914) moved to Chicago in 1879 to design the model company town of Pullman, Illinois, for railcar magnate George Pullman. Beman remained in Chicago, receiving commissions to design the company town of Ivorydale, Ohio and public and commercial buildings in the midwest. Through his designs for several buildings at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Beman developed a long-standing relationship with the Christian Science Church, bringing a classical architectural vocabulary to Christian Science churches across the United States. Solon’s son, Spencer (1887–1952), practiced in partnership with his father until Solon’s death. Spencer continued to design Christian Science for several decades, but introduced Georgian and Colonial architectural influences. Spencer was also the architect of numerous Tudor and French Revival-style residences in Chicago’s North Shore communities. This collection includes a scrapbook of Solon and Spencer’s architectural designs—including advertisements, photographs, and published articles—and photographs of Spencer’s religious and residential designs.
Collections may be accessed in the Franke Reading Room of the Research Center at The Art Institute of Chicago, by appointment only. For further information, consult the FAQ.
Contact the Ryerson and Burnham Art and Architecture Archives:
- Currently Off View
- AIC Archives
- Solon Spencer Beman
- Solon S. Beman and Spencer S. Beman Collection
- Made 1892–1985
- Printed papers, a scrapbook, black and white photographic prints, black and white photomechanical prints, architectural reprographic prints and realia.
- 0.5 linear feet (1 box), 3 portfolios, 4 oversize portfolios, flatfile materials, and 1 rolled tube
- Largely unknown. Additonal gifts of Kerry Vautrot, 2007; Hasbrouck, 2011; First Church of Christ, Scientist, Toronto, 2013; Michael Dixon, n.d.; Jackie Griffith, 2016; and J. Abendschien, n.d.