Dankmar Adler (1844-1900) was born in Stadtlengsfeld, Germany, and emigrated with his family to the United States in 1854. In 1861 he moved from Detroit to Chicago, where he worked as a draftsman for the architect E. Willard Smith. After serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, Adler returned to Chicago, and there began his career as an architect.
Louis Sullivan (1856-1924), the "father of modernism" and a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, was born in Boston to an Irish-born father and Swiss-born mother. In 1872 Sullivan enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's school of architecture. He dropped out after one year and moved to Philadelphia, where he worked as an apprentice draftsman for the firm of Furness and Hewitt. Within a year, Sullivan moved to Chicago, where he continued to work for architectural firms.
In 1880 Sullivan became a partner in Adler's firm, beginning a productive period for each architect.
This collection contains 12 drawings from Adler and Sullivan's plans for the Oakland Passenger Station, an Illinois Central passenger station located on 39th Street, in Chicago. The plans were prepared in May 1893 to accommodate "local passenger transportation" to the World's Columbian Exposition.