Daniel Hudson Burnham, Architect
September 4, 1846 “ June 1, 1912
DANIEL HUDSON BURNHAM one of the best known and most distinguished architects in this country, died at Heidelberg, Germany, June 1. He was 61 years old. Mr. Burnham was well known on the Pacific Coast where a number of-large commercial buildings stand as monuments to his architectural genius. (Burial location, died from complications of Diabetes).
Mr. Burnham was a pioneer in modern building methods and the originator of many of the standard forms now in general use in skyscraper construction. His was the task to standardize the essential elements, to apportion renting space to lot area, elevator service to renting space, to minimize the cost of construction and to increase the efficiency of operation. The upkeep and the care of office buildings was also his task. The precedents established by him in the construction of the Mills building more than twenty years ago, are models that are followed to this day.
As Chief of Construction, Director of Yorks and Chairman of the Board of Architects of the Chicago Fair, Mr. Burnham was the dominant spirit that guided, controlled and made possible the great success that was there achieved, his first act being to surround himself with the great architects, sculptors and painters of that day. Chas. F. McKim, Richard M. Hunt, George B. Post, Augustus Saint Gaudens and Francis D. Millett all sought and found in his sympathy, opportunity for full expression of their ideals.
President McKinley, appointed Mr. Burnham Chairman of the Washington Plans Commission, upon which were McKim, Saint Gaudens, and Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. The work of this Commission was the beginning of the city planning movement.
Mr. Burnham with his distinguished confreres founded and supported out of their private purse an American School of Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, and Music in Rome. This School has now become an institution of the United States Government.
The National Commission of Fine Arts established under Federal authority by President Roosevelt and re-established by President Taft had Mr. Burnham for its chairman.
The Chicago orchestra, built up under the leadership of the late Theodore Thomas, had among its original supporters and founders Mr. Burnham, to whose active interest it owes a large part of its success.
Besides the plan of Washington, Mr. Burnham was active in the plans of the cities of Cleveland, San Francisco, Manila, Chicago, and with the assistance of Mr. Edward H. Bennett with the plans of Minneapolis, Portland and Detroit and quite recently at his suggestion, Mr. Bennett was retained to prepare a city plan for the borough of Brooklyn, New York.
Mr. Burnham was closely identified with the building up of many of the great commercial houses of Chicago, and was a member of the Executive Board of the Commercial National Bank of that city.
Mr. Burnham was a big man physically and of a personality that dominated those about him. In many things he was a pioneer and obstacles fell away before the force of his will. lie was a poet, an artist, a musician, an architect and a business man. Always generous and liberal with his confreres, always ready to help where help was needed. His statesmanship was of the constructive order. His tolerant spirit never having an unkind word in opposition to the plans of others.
Source; The Architect & Engineers; 1912
DANIEL BURNHAM DESIGNED RICHMOND’S PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD DEPOT.
Depot Constructed c: 1902
This (c: 1872) Depot was replaced by the Daniel Burnham structure in 1902.
The Richmond RR district (1884 illustration.)
2007 Aerial view of the RR District.
2008 Photo by Dan TateFor more reading on this subject, see this link. Two Richmond Police officers died at this Station in 1916. Local businessman Roger Richert purchased the Depot in February, 2010.