Thomas Tallmadge

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Thomas Eddy Tallmadge
Born(1876-04-24)April 24, 1876
DiedJanuary 1, 1940(1940-01-01) (aged 63)
Nationality American
PracticeTallmadge & Watson
Buildings Robert A. Millmusicn House
Roycemore School (former Lincoln Street campus)
Arthur J. Dunham House

Thomas Eddy Tallmadge (April 24, 1876 – January 1, 1940) was an American architect, best known for his Prairie School works with Vernon S. Watson as Tallmadge & Watson.

Prairie School architectural style

Prairie School is a late 19th- and early 20th-century architectural style, most common to the Midwestern United States. The style is usually marked by horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves, windows grouped in horizontal bands, integration with the landscape, solid construction, craftsmanship, and discipline in the use of ornament. Horizontal lines were thought to evoke and relate to the wide, flat, treeless expanses of America's native prairie landscape.



Thomas Eddy Tallmadge was born in Washington, D.C. on April 24, 1876. He was raised in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, graduating from Evanston Township High School. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1898 with a bachelor's degree in Architecture. He returned to Chicago to study under Daniel H. Burnham, one of the city's most prominent architects. While working for Burnham, Tallmadge received a scholarship from the Chicago Architectural Club for his work "A Crèche in a Manufacturing District". He used the scholarship to travel through Europe. [1]

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.

Evanston, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Evanston is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States, 12 miles (19 km) north of downtown Chicago, bordered by Chicago to the south, Skokie to the west, and Wilmette to the north. It had a population of 74,486 as of 2010. It is one of the affluent North Shore communities that adjoin Lake Michigan and is the home of Northwestern University. The boundaries of the city of Evanston are coterminous with those of the former Evanston Township, which was dissolved in 2014 by voters with its functions being absorbed by the city of Evanston.

The Arthur J. Dunham House in Berwyn. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Arthur J. Dunham House, Berwyn, IL.jpg
The Arthur J. Dunham House in Berwyn. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Upon his return in 1905, Tallmadge decided to start his own architectural firm with fellow Burnham draftsman Vernon S. Watson. Although Watson was the chief designer, Tallmadge became the face of the firm due to his commitment as a historian and teacher. He taught at the Armour Institute of Technology from 1906 to 1926. Tallmadge is credited for coining the term "Chicago school" in an article for Architectural Review to describe the recent trends in architecture pioneered by Burnham, Louis Sullivan, and others. Tallmadge took sole control over his firm after Watson retired in 1936. Late in his career, Tallmadge focused on publishing books instead of articles, completing three works. In 1940, Tallmadge was killed in a train accident near Arcola, Illinois. He is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago along with many other famed Chicago architects. [1]

Chicago's architecture is famous throughout the world and one style is referred to as the Chicago School. Much of its early work is also known as Commercial style. In the history of architecture, the first Chicago School was a school of architects active in Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. They were among the first to promote the new technologies of steel-frame construction in commercial buildings, and developed a spatial aesthetic which co-evolved with, and then came to influence, parallel developments in European Modernism. A "Second Chicago School" with a modernist aesthetic emerged in the 1940s through 1970s, which pioneered new building technologies and structural systems such as the tube-frame structure.

<i>Architectural Review</i> Architectural Magazine

The Architectural Review is a monthly international architectural magazine. It has been published in London since 1896. Its articles cover the built environment – which includes landscape, building design, interior design and urbanism – as well as theory of these subjects.

Louis Sullivan American architect

Louis Henry Sullivan was an American architect, and has been called the "father of skyscrapers" and "father of modernism". He is considered by many as the creator of the modern skyscraper, was an influential architect and critic of the Chicago School, was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, and an inspiration to the Chicago group of architects who have come to be known as the Prairie School. Along with Wright and Henry Hobson Richardson, Sullivan is one of "the recognized trinity of American architecture". The phrase "Form follows function" is attributed to him, although he credited the origin of the concept to an ancient Roman architect. In 1944, Sullivan was the second architect to posthumously receive the AIA Gold Medal.


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  1. 1 2 Kruty, Paul (2011). "T". In Joan Marter (ed.). The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 11.