Chicago Landmarks

Dexter Building

Exterior View, circa 1950, photo courtesy of Chicago Architectural Photographic Co.     Address: 630 S. Wabash Ave.
Year Built: 1887
Architect: Adler & Sullivan
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: July 31, 1996

Front Elevation, photo by Bob Thall A modest commercial loft structure, this building represents an irreplaceable link in the chain of work of one of the nation's most important architectural partnerships, that of Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. The building's unornamented design is a precursor to the firm's work on the Auditorium Building, and the use of a cast-iron structural system permits larger window openings than would have been possible through the use of masonry alone. The distinctive, perforated, cast-iron beams on the rear facade, for example, anticipate building design of nearly seven decades later. The building, which was erected by Chicago attorney Wirt Dexter, was initially used as a factory and showroom for R. Deimel & Brothers, a furniture manufacturing firm.