Walter Burley Griffin
And The Stinson Memorial Library:
Modernism Comes To Main Street
By Paul Kruty
With a contribution by Paul E. Sprague
“To create a new public architecture for America, Griffin turned for inspiration to the origins of architecture, on the one hand, and contemporary technology and practice on the other. His solution resulted in one of the most important statements of contemporary architecture to emerge from the theories of Louis Sullivan and the experiments of the Prairie School.”
Written by Paul Kruty, with an analysis of the landscape plan by Paul E. Sprague, the book is the first monograph on Griffin’s major public building in the United States. Historian of the Prairie School H. Allen Brooks called the Stinson Library “a brilliant design and a fitting climax to Griffin’s American career,” while Sullivan/Wright scholar Paul Sprague pronounced it “one of America’s greatest architectural treasures.” Yet there has never been a detailed examination of this extraordinary monument.
Drawing on the priceless collection of letters and documents surviving at the library, Prof. Kruty recounts the story of the commission, design, construction and reception of the building. He then sets it in the contexts of Griffin’s career, the public library in America, and the architect’s intention to create a Modern representational public architecture. Along the way, Kruty provides new details about Griffin’s office staff in 1912-14, the contributions of Marion Mahony Griffin to the design, and the role of the general contractor, Paul F. P. Mueller—the person responsible for the actual construction of more of the great buildings produced by Sullivan and the Prairie School than any other individual, including, in addition to the Stinson Memorial Library, Adler & Sullivan’s Schiller Building and such works by Frank Lloyd Wright as the Larkin Building, Unity Temple, and Midway Gardens.
Walter Burley Griffin and the Stinson Memorial Library sells for $25, plus p & h, with a 20% discount price for Griffin Society members. 68 pages, with 60 black & white illustrations. Walter Burley Griffin Society of America, 2010. ISBN: 0-9793588-1-7
Published by the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America. 1152 Center Drive,
St. Louis, MO 63117. Wbgsociety@charter.net www.wbgriffinsociety.org