Chicago Comparison – Contributed by Casey Ex

My comparison of our trip was Omer Courthouse building to the Field Museum in Chicago.

In 1890, Arenac County built its second County Courthouse. The Courthouse was called the second Arenac Courthouse as the first one was burned down the prior year. Angus McDonnell was the contractor that submitted the lowest bid of $2,847.00 to construct the building.

Omer Courthouse

The Field Museum was built in 1893 as the Columbian Museum of Chicago. The Columbian Museum of Chicago building was built to exhibit the “accumulation and dissemination of knowledge, and the preservation and exhibition of objects illustrating art, archaeology, science and history.” The Museum’s name was changed in 1905 to the Field Museum of Natural History to honor Marshall Field, the Museum’s first major benefactor. The Museum moved from its original location, Jackson Park in 1921 to its current location.

Field Museum

Neoclassicism Architecture was a European movement that dominated during the 18the century. Neoclassical ideas influenced music, theater, literature, and visual arts.

The field museum has classic neoclassical architecture designed by Burnham & Company with its columns raising from the foot of the building extending to midway to the top. The Courthouse has a variation of this architecture with partial columns that do not raise quite as high as the Field Museum but very similar. The second comparison is the triangular pediment at the top of both roofs. Triangular pediments are yet another form of neoclassical architecture pieces. Both buildings have round elements at the peak of their roof. One being a window and the other with a round symbol like feature. The Courthouse does have a cupola at the top of its triangular pediment. I am not sure if this was added during the beginning of construction or as an afterthought.
It was very interesting to see on this trip that many buildings were being restored for the beauty of what they once were. I have a few buildings in our county that are currently being restored or recently restored. It was wonderful to learn not only about all different types of architecture in Chicago but mostly about the Worlds Exposition. Fascinating trip indeed!!

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2 thoughts on “Chicago Comparison – Contributed by Casey Ex

  1. I really enjoyed your post Casey. Its funny that prior to this trip to Chicago I would have never noticed things like neoclassical architecture, but now I find myself noticing this and other types more often. I wonder if it has anything to do with seeing it in such a large scale as we did in buildings like the field museum, now its easier to spot in more subtle places.

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