Wainwright Building

The Wainwright Building (also known as the Wainwright State Office Building) is a 10-story, 41 m (135 ft) terra cotta office building at 709 Chestnut Street in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.[3] The Wainwright Building is considered to be one of the first aesthetically fully expressed early skyscrapers. It was designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan and built between 1890 and 1891.[4] It was named for local brewer, building contractor, and financier Ellis Wainwright.[n 1]

Wainwright Building
Wainwright Building, spring 1986
LocationSt. Louis, Missouri
Coordinates38°37′37″N 90°11′32″W
Built1891
ArchitectAdler & Sullivan
Architectural styleChicago school
NRHP reference No.68000054[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 23, 1968
Designated NHLMay 23, 1968[2]

The building, listed as a landmark both locally and nationally, is described as "a highly influential prototype of the modern office building" by the National Register of Historic Places.[1] Architect Frank Lloyd Wright called the Wainwright Building "the very first human expression of a tall steel office-building as Architecture."[5]

The building is currently owned by the State of Missouri and houses state offices.[6]

In May 2013 it was listed by an episode of the PBS series 10 That Changed America as one of "10 Buildings That Changed America" because it was "the first skyscraper that truly looked the part" with Sullivan being dubbed the "Father of Skyscrapers."[7]


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