Daniel Hudson Burnham was the architect responsible for creating the Flatiron Building in New York City, which opened in 1902. Born in Henderson, New York and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Burnham first apprenticed as a draftsman under William LaBaron Jenney. At the age of 26 he met future business partner John Wellborn Root, and together they were responsible for the design of one of America’s first skyscrapers: the Masonic Temple Building in Chicago. As an internationally prominent figure, Daniel Burnham brought ideas from many foreign cultures to America and was a major influence in the development of the idea of grand cities such as New York and Chicago. Burnham was an immensely influential individual, considered the preeminent architect at the start of the 20th century. He has been quoted as saying “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.” (Moore 1921) He was an innovator who was influential in bringing about the concept of a city being beautiful, as well as functional. His designs were heavily influenced by classical Greek and Roman architecture, and he worked in many of his designs to reconcile elements that were seemingly counteractive, such as the practical with the ideal, and business with art.
The Flatiron Building, at the time of its construction, was one of the tallest buildings in New York, and the first skyscraper north of 14th Street. Daniel Burnham designed the building as a vertical Renaissance palazzo with Beaux-Arts styling, unlike earlier New York skyscrapers which were towers extending from a blockier base. It was created using steel-frame construction which allowed it to be easily built to 22 stories, which would have been difficult had other construction methods of the time period been used.
Make no little plans: Daniel burnham and the american city. (n.d.). Retrieved from...