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Louis H. Sullivan

By the time Louis Henry Sullivan was asked to design the Cathedral and parish structures, he had earned a reputation for being one of America’s most renowned architects. In designing this church, Sullivan undoubtedly studied the designs of numerous contemporary Russian churches; however, archival references show that a small wooden church in the village of Tatarskaya in Siberia served as inspiration for his final design.

Louis Sullivan is widely considered America’s first truly modern architect. Instead of imitating historic styles, he created original forms and details. Older architectural styles were designed for buildings that were wide, but Sullivan was able to create aesthetic unity in buildings that were tall.

Sullivan’s designs often used masonry walls with terra cotta designs. Intertwining vines and leaves combined with crisp geometric shapes. This Sullivan style was imitated by other architects, and his later work formed the foundation for the ideas of his student, Frank Lloyd Wright.