Image via ArtInfo
When the news broke that Louis Sullivan’s Chicago masterpiece, the Carson Pirie Scott Company building, was to be converted into a Target store, outrage among architecture historians and critics was predictably forthcoming. They worried that the purposefully unadorned upper portion of the building would be covered in bull’s-eyes, turning a Chicago icon into a cheesy display of branding. But this is not what came to pass.
Rather, Target assumed control of the first two floors of the building with remarkable restraint, posting a bull’s eye at the corner of the building but otherwise leaving Sullivan’s trademark wrought-iron floral ornament untouched. In fact, this move might even be positive; instead of remaining an empty and lifeless museum piece to be viewed from the outside, the building has been brought back to life with a use remarkably close to that which was originally intended by the architect: the flagship location of the eponymous department store.
Image Courtesy of the Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University