Symposium Celebrates 150 Years of Louis Sullivan
Panel discussions, a tour, and a reception will be held throughout the day.
Meaghan O'Neill -- Interior Design, 10/23/2006 12:00:00 AM
On Friday, October 27, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York will hold a symposium to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of influential American architect Louis Sullivan, largely considered the creator of the modern skyscraper and renowned for his elaborate use of terra cotta ornamentation. The event will focus on the history, technology, and conservation of terra cotta structures, which Sullivan popularized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Louis Sullivan Terra Cotta Symposium, co-sponsored by Wank Adams Slavin Associates, the Association for Preservation Technology Northeast Chapter, and the Cooper Union, will also include a tour of the Bayard-Condict Building. Restored by WASA in 2002, the Bayard-Condict Building is the only Sullivan structure in New York. A reception will also be held at the Woolworth Building, one of the city's earliest terra cotta skyscrapers.
The symposium aims to “bring needed attention and appreciation to one of the most important materials in architectural history,” says Pamela Jerome, director of historic preservation at WASA. Builders, engineers, architects, conservators, historians, students, and enthusiasts alike will participate in a series of panels throughout the day.
Fired ceramic material dates back to pre-dynastic Egypt, where it was a medium for vases and statuettes; ancient Assyria and Persia, where it was made into polychromatic tiles; and China, where vases have been dated to 3000 B.C. Architectural terra cotta was popularized in ancient Greece during the 7th century B.C. Here, it was used for roof tiles, metopes, and acroteria.
The Cooper Union is the only U.S.-based private, full-scholarship college dedicated exclusively to preparing students for the professions of art, architecture and engineering.