Sugar Building and Annex


The Sugar Building is a grand Denver example of a Sullivanesque Chicago-style commercial building. The style’s name comes from the father of modern architecture, Louis Sullivan and the commercial style that came about from the reconstruction of Chicago following the fire of 1871.


Designed 1906 by Aaron Gove and Thomas Walsh. Walsh had worked in Chicago and Gove had studied near there.

The terra cotta and brick geometrical ornaments shown above on the upper two floors are one of the most notable Sullivanesque features. Ornament was far less prominent in the styles that followed, like the Prairie style.


The Sugar Building Annex was also designed by Gove and Walsh, this time in this newer Prairie style in 1912. It is a style heavily associated with Frank Lloyd Wright and house design.

Surviving examples of Prarie style are uncommon in Denver, but the use of this style in commercial buildings is very rare.


One last shot of the Sullivanesque Sugar Building ornament.

As for Prairie style, this became the precursor to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian style.

(Though these days the Prairie-style appellation is often loosely applied to new homes. It seems like any new construction with a gable roof and deep eaves reminds the owner of Wright’s Robie House and gives them the license to invoke this important historical style. ;<)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 9:14 am and is filed under Downtown, Prairie Style. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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