Alfred S. Alschuler

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Alfred S. Alschuler (1876 – 11 June 1940) [1] was one of Chicago's most prolific and versatile architects[citation needed] during the height of the city's architectural boom.


Alschuler was born in Chicago and was educated in the public school system. He graduated with a Master in Science from the Armour Institute of Technology in 1899 and spent a year studying architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1900, he began his career as a draftsman for famed architect Dankmar Adler. Alschuler studied under Adler for five years before joining the firm of Samuel Treat for two years. Alschuler opened his own office in 1907. His designs included warehouses, department stores, industrial buildings, synagogues, and offices. Alschuler's legacy lives on in the form of historically significant buildings such as the London Guarantee & Accident Building (1922–23) at the intersection of N. Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange Building (1927), another of Alschuler's acclaimed commercial buildings, suffered a less fortunate fate; The Merc was demolished in 2003, despite a spirited set of protests organized by local preservation groups. The silver lining of The Merc's demolition was the creation of a new Chicago law which provides the Landmarks Commission a 90-day period to review and potentially save historically significant buildings. Other significant industrial and commercial works by Alschuler include the Bull Dog and Whistle Restaurant, Brach’s Candy Factory, the Florsheim Shoe Factory, the Garment Center Building, and the Benson-Rixon Department Store.

Alschuler was also an accomplished designer of Jewish synagogues in the Chicago area, including K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Temple, Agudath Achim Bikur Cholim Synagogue, B'nai Sholom, Anshe Emet Synagogue, Am Shalom in Glencoe, and Am Echod in Waukegan.

A member of the American Institute of Architects, Alfred S. Alschuler died on June 11, 1940, near age 64, in Chicago.[1] His son John also trained as an architect.

Several of Alschuler's works are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.[2]

Notable works include:


  1. ^ a b "Alfred S. Alschuler" (history), archINFORM, 2006-10-12, webpage: archINFORM-ASA.
  2. ^ a b c d "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  3. ^ Highland Park MRA


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