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Carbon and Carbide Building, Chicago, Illinois, Perspective Sketch

A work made of graphite on tracing paper.

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  • A work made of graphite on tracing paper.




Burnham Brothers (American, 1924-1929)
Daniel Hudson Burnham, Jr. (American, 1886-1961)
Hubert Burnham (American, 1882-1968)

About this artwork

Designed by the sons of Daniel H. Burnham, the leading commercial architect in Chicago, the Art Deco Carbide and Carbon Building represented a stylistic departure from office buildings in the Neoclassical style, which had dominated the city since the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The Burnham brothers clad the tower in polished granite and dark-green and gold terracotta, in keeping with the bold, often exotic materials used in Art Deco design in the 1920s and 1930s. This high decorative quality was intended to set the office building apart from its neighbors, to serve, in the words of the company, as a “distinctive and perpetual advertisement” for the building’s occupants. The low angle of this perspective sketch emphasizes the tower’s soaring height, as it looms over pedestrians and cars on Michigan Avenue.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


Burnham Brothers, Architects (Architect)


Carbon and Carbide Building, Chicago, Illinois, Perspective Sketch


Michigan Avenue, 230 North




Graphite on tracing paper


93.3 × 59.8 cm (36 3/4 × 23 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by the Friends of the Library and the Architecture Society (proceeds of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the Burnham Library Benefit)

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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