Thursday, June 5, 2008

DWC ~ getting to know Burnham & Root

Daniel Burnham and his partner John Root "were Chicago's leading architects" (p. 14). I enjoyed a couple of paragraphs on page 27, one about Root and the other about how they operated their business. I think I would have liked these fellows:
Root played the organ every Sunday morning at the First Presbyterian Church. ... He had a sly sense of humor. One Sunday morning he played the organ with a particular gravity. It was a while before anyone noticed he was playing "Shoo, Fly."

Each man recognized and respected the other's skills. The resultant harmony was reflected in the operation of their office ... Burnham also created an office culture that anticipated that of businesses that would not appear for another century. He installed a gym. During lunch hour employees played handball. Burnham gave fencing lessons. Root played impromptu recitals on a rented piano. "The office was full of a rush of work ... but the spirit of the place was delightfully free and easy and human in comparison with other offices..."
I wonder what they would have thought of our Essencia Island. Ha! As you can see, I haven't gotten very far into the book, but I thought I'd share what I'd found.

8 comments:

Chain Reader said...

That does sound like a nice work environment! I'm on about page 80, and am enjoying it, although I have been surprised that is reads more like a non fiction book. I'm a bit of a wimp, so I hope I won't be too horrified by the serial killer. He sounds pretty psycho already.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

It is a nonfiction book. I'm not looking forward to the part about the serial killer either.

Chain Reader said...

I know the author states that it is a non-fiction book, but my copy is from the fiction section of the library. I've been wondering how that classification took place.

Zorro said...

I wonder if your library made a mistake??

Bonnie, have you read Water for Elephants? If so, have you posted your review anywhere online?

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Yes, I think Shelley's library made a mistake and have it in the wrong section.

Mary, I haven't read Water for Elephants yet, but I have it in the pile to be read. I try to put all my reviews, wherever they are posted, on my Bonnie Reviews Books blog, here, if you want to bookmark the site:

http://bonniereviewsbooks.blogspot.com/

Occasionally I find another book I reviewed and forgot to add to the list, so it's okay to ask. And I have also read a lot of books that I have NOT reviewed ... because I've only had blogs for 16 months. Another good reason to ask. Are you reading it now?

Chain Reader said...

Bonnie and Zorro,
Of course you must be right. I should probably say something at the library, because it is strange to think you're going to read a historical fiction/horror story that is just based on true events, and then as you're reading it, realizing it's non-fiction. I have kind of a wild imagination, so I was thinking that the author meant it to be non-fiction, but others felt that his facts were unverified or embellished a bit, so it was labeled as fiction. But then I saw that it won the National Book Award for NON-FICTION, so my whole crazy theory went out the window! Regardless of what kind of book it is, I am finding it fascinating!

Chain Reader said...

I need to make a correction--it was a finalist for the National Book Award, not the winner. (I make many more mistakes than my library.)

Zorro said...

Since I am listening to the audiobook, I don't know where the discussion schedule begins and ends, so I will wait for clues from you.

I am running into psychopaths in the last 3 books I have read. Can't say which ones because it would spoil the books for you!