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Louis SUllivan

Louis H. Sullivan

Regarded as the Father of American Architecture, Louis Sullivan was born at 22 Bennett Street in Boston's South End to an Irish father and a French-Swiss mother.  His father Patrick was an itinerant dance master who arrived on The Unicorn in July 1847 at the height of the Irish famine.

Louis was raised in South Reading in a bi-lingual household and he advanced quickly as a student, attending MIT at age16.  He then moved to Paris to complete his studies before settling in Chicago right after the Great Fire of 1871, where his services were in great demand.

Sullivan led a movement to create an American style of architecture that acknowledged masterpieces of European design but didn't imitate them. He was Frank Lloyd Wright's mentor, and influenced the so-called Prairie School of architects.

Sullivan coined the adage that 'form ever follows function,' and his buildings in the Midwest, just over ten stories high and considered gigantic by standards of the time, prompted the new word skyscrapers.

On September 3, 1946 the Boston Society of Architects and the Massachusetts State Association of Architects placed a bronze plaque at Sullivan's birthplace at 22 Bennett Street in the South End.

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