Daniel H. Burnham

CFA Service: 1910–1912; Chairman 1910–1912

One of the most prominent architects of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Daniel Hudson Burnham, FAIA, began his career as a draftsman with the Chicago architecture firm Loring & Jenney in 1868. He later joined Carter, Drake & Wright before opening his own firm with fellow draftsman John Wellborn Root in 1873. Burnham & Root earned prominence in Chicago with such buildings as the Rookery, the Monadnock Building, and the Rand McNally Building. In 1890, the firm was commissioned to coordinate the massive World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893; following Root’s death in 1891, Burnham took over as chief of construction and director of works for the fair. The exposition became a seminal influence on architecture and urban design, helping to establish the Beaux-Arts style for public buildings and city development. After 1891, Burnham operated the firm under his own name, D. H. Burnham & Co., and went on to design such renowned works as the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. Burnham was also an influential member of the McMillan Commission, which developed a Beaux-Arts plan for the monumental core of Washington, and he later developed a Beaux-Arts plan for the city of Chicago. Burnham became the first chairman of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, helping to assure the implementation of the McMillan Plan’s vision. He was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, was a co-founder of the American Academy in Rome, and served two terms as president of the American Institute of Architects. Burnham’s papers are in the Ryerson and Burnham Archives at the Art Institute of Chicago.