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Daniel H. Burnham, Chicago Planner


Daniel H. Burnham, architect and planner

Daniel H. Burnham, architect and planner

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Reproduction #LC-USZ62-36686
Daniel Burnham designed some of the world's earliest skyscrapers and helped create the first complete plan for controlling urban growth. Drawing upon the City Beautiful movement, Daniel Burnham proposed a plan for Chicago that included extensive parkland and laid the foundation for modern theories of urban design.


September 4, 1846 in Henderson, New York

Full Name:

Daniel Hudson Burnham


June 1, 1912 in Heidelberg, Germany


  • 1868: Apprenticed as a draftsman under architect William LeBaron Jenney
  • 1872: Joined the Chicago offices of Carter, Drake, and Wight
  • 1873: Partnered with John Wellborn Root
  • 1891, after the death of Root, renamed the firm D.H. Burnham & Company
Since 1917, Burnham's firm has been practicing architecture under the name Graham, Anderson, Probst & White.

Selected Buildings:

Urban Design:

  • 1893: Served as chief coordinating architect for the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, creating a vast, orderly Beaux-Arts plan for the city
  • 1904: Plan for Baguio for the U.S. Philippine Commission
  • 1905: Plan for Manila for the U.S. Philippine Commission
  • 1909: Co-authored the Plan of Chicago, which controlled urban growth and provided for extensive parkland

Famous Quote:

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistence. Remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty."
From Daniel H. Burnham, Architect, Planner of Cities, by Charles Moore

Related People:

Ideas and Syles:

Free Books Online:

Plan of Chicago, by Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett, architects

Daniel H. Burnham, Architect, Planner of Cities, by Charles Moore

From Our Architecture Bookstore:

The Devil in the White City. In a page-turning novel, author Erik Larson combines the true story of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago with a fictionalized account of a serial killer who used Burnham's design to lure his victims. (compare prices)

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