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Louis Sullivan Building of Newark

Centennial Celebration

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An historic celebration...  

The community gathered to celebrate the centennial of the Louis Sullivan Building of Newark on Saturday, August 22, 2015 with a series of programs detailing the rich history and many facets of Louis Sullivan and Newark’s “jewel box” bank.

The Licking County Foundation and the Licking County Library collaborated on the event, held at both the Main Library and the Sullivan Building, which included a photography exhibit, a lecture, a film and a guided tour.  Generous support was provided by Park National Bank, the DoubleTree by Hilton and Palumbo’s Italian Market.

Location:  LICKING COUNTY LIBRARY, 101 West Main Street, Newark Main Library Meeting Room A

11:00 am—Photography Exhibit Opening: Taking Another Look at Louis Sullivan: Eight Midwest Banks Designed by the Father of Modern Architecture – Images, introduction and history by John Celuch

Photographer and artist John Celuch has been inspired and captivated by the work of Louis Sullivan since his introduction to the architect’s work while a student at The Ohio State University.  Since then he has rescued ornament, devoted a master’s thesis, photographed, documented, and designed exhibitions about Sullivan.  John is completely captivated with Sullivan’s ornament design, created in a variety of materials.  The Midwest banks were designed by Sullivan between 1906 and 1920, and represent his mature work. The communities represented include Owatonna, Minnesota; Columbus, Wisconsin; Algona, Grinnell and Cedar Rapids, Iowa; West Lafayette, Indiana; and Newark and Sidney, Ohio.  Taken since the winter of 2001, the exhibit features digital photography of the architectural ornament of each building.  Eventually, John would like to share the exhibit with each community that has a bank, so they can celebrate how fortunate they are to have an architectural masterpiece for all to appreciate and enjoy.

1:00 pm—Lecture:  Emmet Baugher of Newark and Louis Sullivan of Chicago – Joe Tebben, author of The Old Home: Louis Sullivan’s Newark Bank

Joseph Tebben is a retired professor of classics at The Ohio State University.  He has been a resident of Newark, Ohio for more than forty years.  He is also the author of The Old Home:  Louis Sullivan’s Newark Bank which was published in April 2014.  This book is the first comprehensive account of Newark’s bank, and places its aesthetics in the context of Sullivan’s time and his philosophy of “form follows function.”  Joe’s illustrated talk will focus on the century-ago collaboration between renowned architect Louis Sullivan and local bank president Emmet Baugher, their parallel lives and passions, and the remarkable legacy their partnership created in downtown Newark. 

3:00 pm—Film Screening:  Louis Sullivan:  The Struggle for American Architecture

The first feature-length documentary (97 minutes) about the revolutionary and brilliant Chicago architect Louis Sullivan (1856-1924).  Known by historians as the ‘father of the skyscraper’ and creator of the iconic phrase ‘form follows function,’ Sullivan was on top of his profession in 1890. Then a series of setbacks plunged him into destitute obscurity from which he never fully recovered. Yet his persistent belief in the power of his ideas created some of America’s most beautiful buildings, and inspired Sullivan’s protégé, Frank Lloyd Wright, to fulfill his own dream of a truly American style of architecture.  This award-winning film was directed by Mark Richard Smith, and was named the Best Feature Documentary at the Kansas City FilmFest in 2010.  

Location:  THE LOUIS SULLIVAN BUILDING OF NEWARK, 1 North Third Street, Newark First Floor Banking Room

11:00 am – 4:00 pm—Guided Tours

Experience the still-magnificent first floor banking room of Newark’s Sullivan Bank.  Widely considered to be America’s first true modern architect for designing original forms and details rather than echoing historic styles, Louis Sullivan’s community banks are known as “jewel boxes” due to their ornate features, such as geometric murals and intricate mosaics.  Newark’s “jewel” is a standout with its two-story design as well as the departure from the standard red brick color scheme in favor of a gray-green terra cotta exterior.  Through the years, this building was also home to a butcher shop, a jewelry store and eventually an ice cream parlor.  With each new tenant the interior was altered, but the building’s historic and architectural significance never changed. In 1973, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2013, the building was generously donated to the Licking County Foundation.

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